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Dark in the City of Light: A Novel Paperback – July 1, 2010
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Baron Ferdinand Harsanyi, an Austrian diplomat stationed in Paris, gets control of his wife's valuable mines after her mysterious death. The mines produce mercury, a product sought by both France and Prussia as they hover on the brink of war in 1870. Harsanyi's two adult children have their own concerns: Rudolph reluctantly attends military school as his father wishes despite his own desire to attend the Sorbonne, and Therese takes up with a dashing French captain, Auguste de l'Imperator. The outbreak of war is only one of the complications that affects the family's relationships. European history buffs will appreciate this well-researched story featuring a number of real figures and events of the period. A sense of Paris under siege is nicely cinematic. But readers looking for a human story should go elsewhere; the characters evoke little empathy, and the plot gets a little slow and convoluted in its attempt to disguise the villains. The author is better at history than psychology.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Back Cover
What Evil Haunts the Shadows of 1870s Paris?
Baron Ferdinand Harsanyi -- After his wife's mysterious death, this Austrian attaché holds control over mines whose coveted ore could turn the tide of war.
Therese Harsanyi -- Swept up in new romance and the spectacle of Paris, the Baron's daughter is blind to the dangers stalking her family and the city she loves.
Rudolph Harsanyi -- Unsure whom to trust, the Baron's son's grief over his mother's death twists into growing anger and a desire to break free.
As France and Prussia plunge toward war, one family is caught in a web of deceit, political intrigue, and murder that threatens to tear them apart.
Top customer reviews
My rating system:
5 stars = Already is, or I think will become a classic, or addresses issues and meets an immense need in modern literature, or is particularly enriching or educational; will not dwell on sex (even in marriage) and should not have explicit scenes unless the subject matter requires it, i.e. rape. Most likely a mix of the afore mentioned. I rarely give 5 stars.
4 stars = Great read -- Highly recommended May not become a classic but definitely worth reading. Book has great character and event development, will not dwell on sex (even in marriage) and should not have explicit scenes unless the subject matter requires it, i.e. rape. Many of these books I wish I could give 4.5 stars.
3 stars = Good read – recommended Entertaining but not particularly deep; light, fun, and maybe a bit predictable but not overly redundant in information, great for an easy read or escape read. This is fiction and rose colored glasses may be needed. Might have historical errors. Will not dwell on sex (even in marriage).
2 stars = Good but maybe overly redundant or characters/events need more development to be believable, might have too many sex references or scenes. Likely I did not finish as my time is worth too much.
1 star = Gag – Really? Issues could be but not limited to: character/event underdevelopment, redundancy, characters overly perfect, extremely predictable, too much or too explicit sex. Likely I did not finish as my time is worth too much.
That said, I tried on several occasions to finish this book, but found it too difficult. Character development was minimal (very!), and the transition from one scene to another was often abrupt. On numerous occasions, two-three characters are in dialogue, and another character "magically" appears in the scene, unexplained. Similarly, the reader is often "teleported" from one location to another without explanation, right in the middle of a scene or dialogue. I was constantly re-reading text to see if/what I had missed. I suspect this book was self-edited by the author. If not, the editor might profit from more training and/or experience re: their work.
Finally, I just gave up reading this book, opting to better spend my time otherwise. If this had been any other type of purchase, I would have wanted my money back.
Most recent customer reviews
The details at times are a bit too much, causing reference to the enclosed maps all to...Read more