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Mørkets by, lysets by (1996)

af Marge Piercy

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
421844,538 (3.88)20
This novel by a New York Times-bestselling author follows three "bold, courageous, and entertaining" women through the tumult of the French Revolution (Booklist). For Claire Lacombe and Pauline Leon, two poor women of eighteenth-century France, the lofty ideals of the coming revolution could not seem more abstract. But when Claire sees the gaping disparity between the poverty she has known and the lavish lives of aristocrats as her theater group performs in their homes, and Pauline witnesses the execution of local bread riot leaders, both are driven to join the uprising. They, along with upper-class women like Madame Manon Roland, who ghostwrites speeches for her politician husband and runs a Parisian salon where revolutionaries gather, will play critical roles in the French people's bloody battle for liberty and equality. Based on a true story, author Marge Piercy's thrilling and scrupulously researched account shines with emotional depth and strikingly animated action. By interweaving their tales with the exploits of men whose names have become synonymous with the revolution, like Robespierre and Danton, Piercy reveals how the contributions of these courageous women may be lesser known, but no less important. Rich in detail and broad in scope, City of Darkness, City of Light is a riveting portrayal of an extraordinary era and the women who helped shape an important chapter in history.… (mere)

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» Se også 20 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
This historical novel about the French Revolution, being reissued as an ebook, reminds us yet again about lessons to be learned from history. Piercy has carefully traced the origins and outcomes of the events in 18th century France through telling the stories of three men and three women, based on her research and surmisings. Even though we may remember the outcomes for these real people, the details of their lives make their times seem immediate and tragic, and we are immersed in their situations. For readers not too familiar with the personalities, the transitions between characters is sometimes confusing, and I wish I had known about the guide at the end of the book before I started; this is just not obvious in an e-reader. Particularly strong were the descriptions of friendships, for example between Camille and Georges, and Pauline and Claire. ( )
  sleahey | Jun 5, 2016 |
This book was an enjoyable novelistic summary of the French Revolution: pre- , during, and post-, with an epilogue, [not called as such] of three characters meeting years later and discussing what had been accomplished during the Revolution years, even with the excesses. The story follows six main figures: Robespierre, Danton, Condorcet and three women [who seemed like platforms for Piercy's blatant feminism]. The first part of the novel: years 1780-1791 were much more interesting. 1792 dragged and the Marat murder in the bathtub by Charlotte Corday and the Reign of Terror were just skimmed over. Pacing wasn't that good. I liked both major and minor characters' biographies and their revealing their inmost thoughts and aspirations openly to the reader. The French Revolution has been well documented--with biographies, even an autobiography, so Piercy had much source material. The author's use of "guy" or "boyfriend" annoyed me. Her "Author's Note" is worth reading. ( )
  janerawoof | Sep 23, 2014 |
I did enjoy the book, but I think the first part (1789-1791) was stronger. The POVs varied in quality, I found Pauline, Danton, Claire and Robespierre's stronger than Manon and Condorcet's. There were some characterisation choices I don't agree with: I think Danton lacked some strenght and I am not so sure about Robespierre's portrayal of ever-increasing insanity, as well as his treatment of Elèanor.

The prose was flat at some points but it was good at showing the material realities of Paris in the late 18th century, especially between the lower classes.

All in all, a good book that I enjoyed, but lacking in some areas. ( )
  julesbe | Jan 26, 2014 |
Well written and very well researched novel about the French Revolution which refreshingly included a couple of characters who are not amoung the usual suspects when reading about the revolution. Besides the well known Danton and Robespeirre and the slightly lesser known Manon Roland and Nicolas Condorcet, we also follow Claire Lacombe and Pauline Leon who founded the first all women's political organisation (the Revolutionary Republican Women) so there's a nice mix of point of views from men and women, moderates and radicals, petty nobles, educated middle class and city poor.

I have wavered between giving this 4 or 5 stars for a couple of days but finally plumped for 4 as the book did have a couple of weaknesses including a slow start (took about 50 pages to get going but once it did it was very hard to put down), some minor but jarring use of modern language and an ending that felt a little tacked on and not entirely in keeping with the rest of the story. However, none of this was enough to seriously annoy and it was an otherwise great read.

This is a wonderfully detailed novel if you want to learn more about the French Revolution in an enjoyable way and while my favourite French Revolution novel is still Hilary Mantel's 'A Place of Greater Safety' this one comes in a pretty close second.

Thanks to my GR friend Kim for suggesting this book for our buddy read and French Revolution binge as otherwise I might never have read it :-). ( )
  jemidar | Apr 15, 2013 |

My friend Jemidar and I decided to read this book together because after finishing Hilary Mantel's wonderful [b:A Place of Greater Safety|101921|A Place of Greater Safety|Hilary Mantel|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1344312998s/101921.jpg|1168385], we missed its chief protagonists, that is, Camille Desmoulins, Georges-Jacques Danton and Maximilien Robespierre, and we wanted to further immerse ourselves in the events of the French Revolution. The novel tells the stories of Danton and Robespierre, along with those of three other players in the Revolution: actress Claire Lacombe and chocolate maker Pauline Léon (who between them founded and led the influential Society of Revolutionary Women), middle-class political activist Manon Roland and mathematician, philosopher and politician Nicolas Condorcet. Piercy explores events from 1789 to 1794 chapters which alternate the point of view of the six main characters.*

At first, reading the novel seemed like less than a good idea. Piercy's style is very different from that of Mantel. The narrative is much less dialogue driven than that of A Place of Greater Safety and much heavier on exposition. While a reader wanting to be told the facts may consider that an advantage, I missed the feeling that I was seeing events through the character's eyes and thinking their thoughts. Instead, I was often being told things by the author rather than shown things by the characters. However, as I continued to read, that aspect of the novel bothered me less and I was soon thoroughly engaged with the characters and the events through which they lived.

This was another fascinating excursion into the events of the French Revolution, something about which I previously had only the sketchiest of knowledge. Overall, I prefer A Place of Greater Safety, largely because I prefer Mantel's style, but also because I was disappointed that Piercy ended the novel with a speculative flight of fancy. But it's a close run thing. Piercy brings her characters to life and tells an interesting story in an engaging and accessible way. In addition, through the inclusion of Claire Lacombe and Pauline Léon as characters, Piercy provides a female and working class (sans culottes) perspective which is missing from A Place of Greater Safety. As far as ratings go, it's hovering at around the 4-1/2 star mark.

* Camille Demoulins, who is such a strong presence in Mantel's novel, is a more minor character in this one.
( )
  KimMR | Apr 2, 2013 |
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This novel by a New York Times-bestselling author follows three "bold, courageous, and entertaining" women through the tumult of the French Revolution (Booklist). For Claire Lacombe and Pauline Leon, two poor women of eighteenth-century France, the lofty ideals of the coming revolution could not seem more abstract. But when Claire sees the gaping disparity between the poverty she has known and the lavish lives of aristocrats as her theater group performs in their homes, and Pauline witnesses the execution of local bread riot leaders, both are driven to join the uprising. They, along with upper-class women like Madame Manon Roland, who ghostwrites speeches for her politician husband and runs a Parisian salon where revolutionaries gather, will play critical roles in the French people's bloody battle for liberty and equality. Based on a true story, author Marge Piercy's thrilling and scrupulously researched account shines with emotional depth and strikingly animated action. By interweaving their tales with the exploits of men whose names have become synonymous with the revolution, like Robespierre and Danton, Piercy reveals how the contributions of these courageous women may be lesser known, but no less important. Rich in detail and broad in scope, City of Darkness, City of Light is a riveting portrayal of an extraordinary era and the women who helped shape an important chapter in history.

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