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Topic: Edward Rutherfurd

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Subject: Edward Rutherfurd
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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On Mr. Rutherfurd's website, it says that The Forest is a companion novel to Sarum.  I have both, but was wondering if they are standalone or if The Forest is a continuation of Sarum.

Also, if you have read any of his novels, what did you think?

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
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I really liked "Russka" and "Sarum". I couldn't get through "London". I have read "The Princes of Ireland" and have the sequel in my TBR pile.

He's like Michener in that he takes a spot and traces a family through the generations - good history.  Interesting story lines.

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,002
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I have read both, though it was years between the readings, and I don't recall any connections between the books. Sarum's time frame is from the Stone Age through the 1970's or 80's, if I remember. The Forest starts out in the 1100's and again goes through the 20th century. Obviously in both books huge expanses of time pass between chapters. Sarum is set near Stonehenge; The Forest  nearer the Englisg Channel. I also don't think the families traced in the books are connected.

Basically, thy are stand-alones. Though, if you want to read from a time period viewpoint, Sarum would be first.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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I've been reading Plaidy's Norman trilogy, and picked up The Forest because it was set in the same time period.  I think that I'll read it as planned.  I appreciate the info, Charlie!

 

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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I tried to read The Princes of Ireland (also published as Dublin) and couldn't finish it.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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Not what I wanted to hear, Daphne....   I've recently acquired all of his books, and I'm now setting out to read them.  I guess if they're not my style, I can always trade them!  I'll let everyone know.

The only "history" that I've ever struggled to finish is Robert Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra.  I keep stalling out about halfway through.  I've never attempted Michener or Rutherfurd.  Sometimes I even bore myself, so they may be right up my alley.  I thrive on trivial bits of knowledge :)

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Sarum and The Forest aren't related but they are similar in that Rutherfurd does the books the same way--taking a location and tracing several families that live there through time. I love this style of doing things and have enjoyed all of the books of his that I read, which are Sarum, The Forest and London. From what I understand, his writng style is one that you really like or really don't--not too much in-between. I actually bought Sarum while touring Old Sarum and wished I'd read it beforehand as I think the visit would have been much more meaningful!

I have the Ireland books on my TBR but haven't gotten to them yet.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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Lisa - I recently read Nicholas and Alexandra and really enjoyed it, although I"ll have to agree that around the middle it becomes a little tedius.  The last several chapters make up for it though.

The Princes of Ireland started off pretty good but I guess I just didn't like the multi-generational jumping around.  Sometimes the story skipped several hundred years and I didn't think it all fit together very well and the characters weren't around long enough to become very invested in their story.  I had the Dublin version (which I think is both of the Ireland books published together - 800+ pages) and I actually read more than half of it.   I think Cheryl is probably right - you either like that style or you don't.

 

Date Posted: 5/11/2008 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
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I had no problems with Nicholas and Alexandra but then I focused on Russian and Eastern European History in college.

Date Posted: 5/11/2008 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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I enjoy the format and liked Sarum and The Forest, but London  was just more of the same.  I couldn't finish Princes of Ireland so I've given up on him.    Michener, however, is the master of the format, and Rutherfurd to me is a distant second.

Date Posted: 5/11/2008 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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Last Edited on: 12/13/08 2:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1