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A Dangerous Fortune

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  13,605 ratings  ·  783 reviews
In 1866, tragedy strikes at theexclusive Windfield School. A young student drownsin a mysterious accident involving a small circleof boys. The drowning and its aftermath initiates aspiraling circle of treachery that will span threedecades and entwine many loves... From theexclusive men's club and brothels that cater to everydark desire of London's upper classes to the dazz...more
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published (first published 1993)
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Russ Ball
Yes, this book is somewhat predictable and serves less as a mystery novel and more as a historical drama/romance, but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the novel simply as it was. It may also be a bit too familiar to Follett followers as the model of storytelling remains consistent with his typical writing techniques, but it also displays Follett's tremendous ability to set a mood and create an atmosphere that makes almost all his books so hard to put down. The historical detail makes A Dange...more
Geniales Sittenbild des ausklingenden 19. Jahrhunderts

Das Buch ist ein geniales Sittenbild der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Im Kern geht es um die Geschichte des Hugh Pilasters, der das schwarze Schaf der Pilasters - einer der größten Bankiersfamilien - ist. Nun schwarzes Schaf ist vielleicht etwas falsch ausgedrückt, eher ist er das weiße Schaf innerhalb der grau-schwarzen Herde. Hugh ist ehrlich, aufrichtig und glaubt an das Gute im Menschen. Nebenbei ist er höchst intelligent und vers...more
Ankit Agrawal
Jul 01, 2013 Ankit Agrawal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jeffrey Archer Fans, People who like master story-telling and real life dramas
Copied from a testimonial:
"Good thrillers are like elegant geometrical proofs. Their drama lies not in their ultimate outcome but in their method. Though we know that the good guys will eventually triumph, we don't know how; a good thriller should keep us guessing until the last page. Ken Follett does just that."

This is the first thing I had to say about Ken Follett when I completed this book. For long Jeffrey Archer has been my favourite writer and I have believed the fact that I can count on f...more
***Attention! This review contains spoilers. So, don't read it unless you finished the book***

This book, what to say about this book? I absolutely love all Ken Follett’s book, he is genius.
Dangerous Fortune is not typical Follett’s book, set in 19th century , story follows the fortunes of famous and rich family Pilaster. At the beginning I thought it will be criminal book or something like that, I didn’t expect so much drama, romance and malice (all in good way).
First, my favorite character was...more
Patrice Sartor
Ken Follett sure knows how to tell a story, and he oozes character development skill. I got to know every character in the title well, for better or for worse. There were manipulators, the manipulated, the highborn, the lower class, and everything in between. I was eager to discover what these people would do next, and who they would do it to.

As a period piece, I cannot vouch for its authenticity (since I'm not an expert on London and South America in the late 1800s), but I can tell you that it...more
Things you can count on in a Follett book:

A strong male protagonist who everyone else is determined to make fail.

A strong female protagonist who acts in ways women of their time period just do not act, and doesn't give a damn about what others think of her.

One of the above parties either rises from their low station or falls from their high station.

A nasty villain who does nothing, but bad and surrounds himself with powerful people who he manipulates to get what he wants and to cover his bad d...more
Ken Follet has added another great book this novel, A Dangerous Fortune. His has a great nack for creating amazing characters showing many different aspects of human life, like manipulation, greedy, misery, deceiving, murder, political and amorous intrigues, etc., making the book a very entertaining reading.

The story takes place in the late 1800’s and starts with a tragic drowning of a student in an exclusive school named Windfield. A small circle of boys are directly or indirectly involved in t...more
A Dangerous Fortune is my third Ken Follett book, after Fall of Giants and Hornet Flight and I have to say after Fortune, he is fast becoming a favourite author of mine. This book was a tremendous read and one that had me hooked and longing to return to its pages to find out what would happen next.

Set in the 19th century, the story spans the decades between the 1860s and 1890s and follows the fortunes of the powerful Pilaster family following the death of a student one summer at a swimming hole...more
The story takes place in late nineteenth century England. We are introduced to the major protagonists in boarding school and they interact throughout the book. These are all upper crust, high society individuals and bankers for the most part. It is not what I would describe as an action thriller but Mr. Follett spun his tale in such a way that it was exciting and held my interest throughout. There were
no gray hats worn in the story; each character wore either a black hat or a white one and behav...more
After reading Pillars of the Earth and listening to World Without End, I found A Dangerous Fortune to be somewhat predictable but I still thoroughly enjoyed the story. In A Dangerous Fortune, Ken Follett is again the master story teller, bringing together a family-saga spanning over 30 years that includes love, treachery, rivalry, drama, and crime. We watch the characters develop over the years some becoming strong and honest adults and others slipping into pure evil. The transitions from year t...more
OMG!! I enjoyed this book. Although, the story was in the late 1800's, it had a modern flare to it. Ken gave us sooo much drama to work with from homosexuality, adultery, promiscuity, etc. I was intrigued from beginning to end. My first Follett book, but it won't be my last.
Oct 24, 2007 inah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: ken-follett
this is so far my favorite book..
i honestly say that this is a real page-turner and you'll be hooked up 'til you finish it.....
this book is about everyone's greed for money that they're able to do even the impossible just to get it...
Ken Follett has long been a favorite author of mine. We tend to snap his books up as soon as they hit the shelves. Not sure how it happened, but 20 years ago I somehow missed this one. Came across it quite by accident, and it was like discovering a hidden treasure and what a pleasure it was to read!

Back to the days of corsets and bustles in merry old London, this tale spans the period of 1866 to 1892. Fans of this author are used to his finely drawn characters, not just the principals, all of t...more
Definitely an interesting read, even more because of the financial crisis and the banking reality as its main theme. I think Follett manages to depict quite accurately the spirit of 19th century's protestantism and -equally religious- faith in liberal economy. I really enjoyed his description of London and the care he took in giving the reader the little details helped you immerse yourself in the story. The book's plot, was well developed, with nicely fitting twists and turns and at the same tim...more
Sam Still Reading
Oct 30, 2010 Sam Still Reading rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like family sagas
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: my mum
This book has the distinction of being the first book that I purchased and read on my Sony e-reader. The first thing I noticed was that the e-reader must condense the pages as there were less screens than the book copy of A Dangerous Fortune- a good thing in my opinion as Mr Follett tends to write chunky pageturners.

A Dangerous Fortune is another one of those page turners, focusing on an English banking family, the Pilasters, in the late 1800s. There is Edward, the rich banking heir and Hugh, wh...more
I have yet to finish this book but that doesn't mean I haven't already devolped a strong opinion about it. The book is interesting and nearly impossible to put down. Though you see the villians crush the happiness of others again and again for their own personal gain, that's one reason I can't stop reading it, the hope that in the next page, the next chapter the villians will finally get exactly what they deserve. That also sets it apart from most of the crappy teen romances you see now, where e...more
A masterfully written novel. Expertly plotted. Great character development. 4.5stars

Augusta is the queen of manipulation. A seemingly loveless woman who cruelly dispatches of those that get in the way of her ambitions. The level of her scheming in an attempt to raise her family into a position of titles and power is astounding.

Micky is ruthless in his efforts to further himself and his fathers control. I am glad he met an unfortunate end after all the murder and evil intent he brought upon those...more
This book slowly got under my skin. Ken Follett somehow manages to have you almost routing for some of the "villians" because he so skillfully gets you inside their heads. As one "plot" after another comes to fruition, your allegiance changes, while you are still somehow hoping for everything to turn out all right for everyone. I thought I knew where the story was headed, and while I was correct on some points, I was wildly incorrect on others.

I really enjoyed the characters, and the way he dev...more
Kimberly Allen
NOt what I expected from Follett, who I associate more with spy novels. This was a great book, with breadth and depth and great characterization. Really kept me interested to the end.
Joe Stamber
I can only repeat other reviews and say that Follett is a great story teller and whatever genre A Dangerous Fortune falls in I enjoyed it for what it was. It is a combination of historical drama, mystery and romance but at its heart it is just a wonderful story. The cast of characters include the good, the bad, the foolish and the downright evil but they are all fascinating. This tale of the ups and downs of the Pilaster family and those connected with them is almost impossible to put down and I...more
موريسكو باندوليرو
بعد الإنتهاء من رواية دعامات الأرض اقتنيت هذا الكتاب بسرعة، ولم يخب ظني، فهي رواية تجعلك "تبتلع" الكتاب في مدة قصيرة.

كين فوليت استعمل تقريبا نفس الوصفة التي استعملها في كتاب دعامات الأرض، لكن هذه الرواية، رغم وقوعها في التشخيص الهزيل والغبي والغير واقعي في بعض الأحيان للشخصيات الشريرة في الرواية، تبقى رواية غنية بالأحداث التي تدور في وحول بريطانيا في النصف الأخير من القرن التاسع عشر، خصوصا الأحداث الإقتصادية منها.

أكثر ما يعجبني هو وصف الحالة الإجتماعية للبريطانيين في تلك الفطرة، بداية الحداثة، أ...more
Julia Mukuddem
i almost gave this one 5 stars, but couldn't put it in the same category as 'pillars of the earth', 'world without end', 'fall of giants' and 'winter of the world', but i think it's my favourite of the 'thinner' books so far.

it was just under 600 pages, so it took me a while to read, as i'm quite a slow reader. i so enjoyed the story - all the twists and turns, and i loved the characters. they were so alive and real in my mind's eye - even the villains.

the use and abuse of women was quite distu...more
Blair McDowell
From the author of the great historical drama, Pillars of the Earth, this story of two banking families in London in the late eighteen hundreds is a brilliantly drawn tale of suspense and murder, filled with characters who live and breathe. We care about what happens to the people in this book, we root for the heroes and boo the villains. In A Dangerous Fortune, as in all Follett’s books, he has masterfully recreated the period in which it is set, bringing us fully into the social, political and...more
Plot: The book took place during the late 1700-early 1800's and focused mostly on a banking family in London. There were the typical "rags to riches...good overcomes evil...blacksheep makes good" story lines.

My Thoughts: Although this book did keep my interest, there was nothing special about it. The plot was predictable and there were few surprises. I don't think I really learned anything from reading this book, nor was I left thinking about it after I finished it.

Pacing: Good enough to keep my...more
Pratip Aditya
Awesome book....Simply captivates and holds your breath till the finish. I have liked Ken Follets novels because they revolve around historical events but this one is probably one the best. The tale takes you through 3 generations of drama, treachery and murder spinning a web of mystery about the outcome till the very end. The characters are well written and have balanced sides but the theme stands out. The book also showed the working of Victorian Society and culture and reflects on the British...more
After reading a dozen or so Ken Follet books, I think they can be easily separated into four levels.

Level 1 is the highest level. Reserved for amazing books you won't soon forget and I find myself consistently recommending. Pillars of the Earth, Eye of the Needle and the Century Trilogy to name a few.

Level 2 are just below level 1. Awesome books I highly enjoyed, but not quiet game changers. Night Over Water, Jackdaws and The Man From St Petersburg. Fall in this level.

Then we have the just okay...more
There is nothing quite like a big, fat book with multiple intersecting plots. This one has romance, in spades, including love gone wrong, personal disasters averted because of friends, and personal disasters that occurred.It has a nasty, plotting person, a few total dupes, and comeuppance for the evil ones at the end. (More or less.)
In addition to the romance, there is suspense. Although the person committing each murder is generally known to the reader almost immediately, somehow he always see...more
Nick Phillips
I know that all tastes in books is subjective and what one person may like might not necessarily appeal to another but I really cannot stress how utterly terrible I found this book.

Imagine Zola's La Curee mixed with a touch of Mary Poppins and just enough Eyeless in Gaza to make one think that this might be a halfway decent read, rewritten by Jeffery Archer as a TV mini series for a minor digital channel and you are 10% of the way to understanding just how awful this novel is.

There is no charact...more
* My review- Yes...another historical fiction by Ken Follett about English Victorian families and their political/business/romantic drama. This was a good read...

** In 1866, tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School. A young student drowns in a mysterious accident involving a small circle of boys. The drowning and its aftermath initiates a spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many loves... From the exclusive men's club and brothels that cater to every d...more
Alasandra Alawine
Hugh Pilaster's life changes in 1866. He is at the swimming hole with his friends Tonio Silva and Peter Middleton when his cousin Edward Pilaster and his friend Micky Miranda show up. They start bullying the younger boys Hugh runs away, but Edward catches Peter and starts ducking his head under water, Tonio throws a rock at Edward which hits him in the forehead and enraged he starts chasing Tonio and Peter drowns. A very upset Tonio catches up to Hugh and repeats over and over I didn't see it. B...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Dangerous Fortune - wrong page count 2 14 Dec 26, 2013 10:37AM  
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Ken Follett burst onto the book world in 1978 with Eye of the Needle, a taut and original thriller with a memorable woman character in the central role. The book won the Edgar award and became an outstanding film.

He went on to write four more bestselling thrillers: Triple; The Key to Rebecca; The Man from St Petersburg; and Lie Down with Lions.

He also wrote On Wings of Eagles, the true story of ho...more
More about Ken Follett...
The Pillars of the Earth  (The Pillars of the Earth, #1) Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1) World Without End (The Pillars of the Earth, #2) Eye of the Needle Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)

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“The Bible says, ‘If any would not work, neither should he eat.’ Saint Paul wrote that, in Second Thessalonians, chapter three, verse ten,” 0 likes
“There was also something false about the atmosphere here. It was solemn and dignified like a church or the court of a president or a museum. They were moneylenders, but they acted as if charging interest were a noble calling, like the priesthood.” 0 likes
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