Ken Follett Fans discussion

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Welcome to the group.


message 2: by Gerald (new)

Gerald (bmar_g) | 2 comments I love this book! After re-reading Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, I initially thought that this would be the finale to the Kingsbridge Saga. Learning that this was the beginning, rather than the end, added a new level of excitement. So much so that I finished the book in 8 days.


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Have you read any of his other books?


message 4: by Gerald (new)

Gerald (bmar_g) | 2 comments Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, Hammer of Eden, Hornet Flight, Jackdaws, Night over Water, The Key to Rebecca, Eye of the Needle and A Place Called Freedom.


message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Out of the one's you haven't read I'd say that Triple was my favorite. Apparently he was pretty accurate to what really happened without even knowing it.


message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Hi Judith! Which Follett book is your favorite?


message 7: by JudiAnne (new)

JudiAnne (judipatooti) Heather wrote: "Hi Judith! Which Follett book is your favorite?"

This is a hard one to answer because I love all of his novels. I love his historical epics but I think, after careful consideration it would have to been one his earlier spy/espionage novels. My very favorite is Lie Down With Lions written I think in 1986 and 2nd was Eye of the Needle which was made into a very exciting movie staring Donald Southerland. BTW, I have just opened a Fall of Giants thread in the Goodreads group, Unputdownable Book Club. It was a little scary at first but I'm getting some good discussions.

I have visited Northern and Southern England, but never got a chance to go to Wales so I am also glad that this book started in Wales because I have rarely had the opportunity to read about life in Wales.


message 8: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
My family is Welsh so I was very excited to finally get a book that takes place in Wales. Most people don't even know it exists. I liked Eye of the Needle, but I think I liked Jackdaws a little more.


message 9: by JudiAnne (last edited Oct 15, 2010 05:19PM) (new)

JudiAnne (judipatooti) Heather wrote: "My family is Welsh so I was very excited to finally get a book that takes place in Wales. Most people don't even know it exists. I liked Eye of the Needle, but I think I liked Jackdaws a little more."

I agree, Jackdaws was pretty great. I remember reading it in one sitting. Too bad nobody got any dinner that night. ha ha There are so many great ones of Follett's that I have a hard time naming which one was my favorite.


message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
I was so bad with WWE that I took the day off and was sitting in the B&N parking lot before they opened and then read it all before 5pm.


message 11: by JudiAnne (new)

JudiAnne (judipatooti) Heather wrote: "I was so bad with WWE that I took the day off and was sitting in the B&N parking lot before they opened and then read it all before 5pm."

Well, that's pretty bad or good, however you look at it. Did you take any breaks, like lunch or bathroom?


message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
I had food and water set up next to me before I left for the store. I wanted to prolong the reading, but I'm not the type to come back to a book if I put it down. If I do it's a year later. I read War and Peace 100 pages a time from when I was in jr. high onward. I'd always put it down when a new book came out and never get back to it. Luckily, I have a good memory and didn't forget the plot over the years.


message 13: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Follett just announced that the next book in the Century trilogy will be called The Winter of the World and will come out in 2012.


message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
I'm going to put a poll up in a few days and see if there's a particular book any of you would like to read in February. I'll just list all of his current publications and see if we get any votes. Also, if there are any other similar authors out there you'd like to suggest then feel free. (I'll post them in a March poll). We can always read stuff from other people while we wait for Follett's next story.


message 15: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments Heather, I was reading your post of 16Oct2010, in which you said that you read WWE in one sitting at B&N. That works out to something on the order of 130 pages per hour! You must have taken Evelyn Woods' course in Reading Dynamics to be able to read that fast. It took me 19 days to read WWE two years ago. That is because I took notes, which run to 16 single-spaced, typewritten pages. I envy your ability to devour a book like that.


message 16: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
I've never taken a class. My eyes just process multiple lines at once instead of reading word by word. It's horrible when there's a big surprise. My mind clicks on the key words on the page faster than it processes everything else so the surprise is always ruined about 3-4 sentences too soon. Sometimes that's fine, but sometimes those sentences really matter to building the suspense. =)
I intended to take notes on WWE, but I just got sucked in and read it all. My copy of Pillars has marks over every blank space on the pages with color coded highlighting and everything.
It generally takes me 3 hours to read a book 500 pages or less. I get sidetracked easily though unless the book is really good.


message 17: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Any suggestions on authors to vote on for April? I'm going to say Wilbur Smith.


message 18: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments Lawrence Durrell


message 19: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Anyone else want to vote?


message 20: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments Don't everyone speak at once!!


message 21: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
I know. It's overwhelming!


message 22: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Apparently Smith's book doesn't release in the US until May so I'll break the tie that way, Durrell this month, Smith next. It works...


message 23: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments So it is to be Durrell in April? I think his 4 masterpieces are considered to be The Alexandria Quartet: Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, and Clea (written in that order). Or would you rather read one of the biographies written about him by either Gordon Bowker or Ian MacNiven?


message 24: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
I put the thread up. The deal with AOM is that you can pick any book that you want by the author. You can start at the beginning or read their latest. Whichever one interests you personally. Like, when we get to Wilbur Smith, he has three different series, plus a lot of others (more than 20). you could go with his Ancient Egypt, Rwanda, South Africa series, or a standalone.


message 25: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments Sorry, Heather. I am such a newcomer that I thought we were all supposed to read the same book. Be patient with me, I'll get the hang of it sooner or later.


message 26: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
Don't worry. This is only the second month we're doing it so no problem. This way, if you don't have to worry if you've already read a book. You can just pick up something else by the author that you haven't gotten to yet.


message 27: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments OK, I've read a book by Lawrence Durrell (LD). It is Monsieur Or Prince Of DarknessLawrence Durrell. (I must be doing something wrong, as those little pictures don't seem to be showing up.)
If this first novel (of the Quintet) is any indication, the Quintet is far less interesting and accomplished than was the Alexandria Quartet (AQ). We see an alternative perspective of the Knights Templar, and their relationship to Gnosticism. I suppose I should read the other 4 books to form a definitive opinion, but in this first book there was not much happening. In the AQ there was a lot happening, but that was marred by LD’s overuse of figurative (metaphors and similes) language. This book (Monsieur) has less figurative language, but this doesn’t seem to overcome the lack of plot. I would give this book only a 4 (out of 10).


message 28: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
You just have to click the button at the bottom that says cover, instead of link so it'll show up.
I finally got Justine in from the library. I should start it in the next few days.


message 29: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments Lawrence Durrell Monsieur Or Prince Of Darkness by Lawrence Durrell

How's this?


message 30: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments Heather, I have 4 pages of notes on

Lawrence Durrell Justine by Lawrence Durrell
which I would gladly share with you. You might want to read the book first, because my notes are complete spoilers.


message 31: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
I'll let you know once I read it.


message 32: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments I have read the 2nd book of the Avignon Quintet, Lawrence Durrell Livia by Lawrence Durrell .
On the first couple of pages, the reader learns why he must read all 5 books: LD tells us that Blanford is writing the fictional character Sutcliffe, who, in turn, has written Monsieur, the first book of the 5. If I were a vulgar man, I might think that the scatological aspects of the last page of the book were a fitting reference to the overall worth of the book itself. However, I think the book is more worthy than that. LD is a very talented writer, and some of his phraseology and use of words is beautiful. But, unlike the Alexandria Quarter (AQ), there seems to be no sinister intrigue lurking in the background here, other than just WW2. Also, unlike in AQ, there are no love triangles and conflicts to speak of, other that Constance/Livia and Blanford. Now, maybe all this happens in volumes 3, 4, and 5. But so far, this is inferior to AQ, and written in LD’s obscure prose also. As was the case with Monsieur, I give this only a 4 out of 10.


message 33: by Dick (new)

Dick Edwards (RamblinWreck) | 16 comments The title of the book is "Livia."


message 34: by Heather (last edited May 05, 2011 08:56PM) (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
I never got into the first book so I didn't finish it.

The May AOM is up. If you read anything by Wilbur Smith then post it in the AOM thread.


message 35: by Enio (new)

Enio | 16 comments Having already read each of Follett's books (some more than twice) I'm now looking for another contemporary author who can spin a tale as well as this man can. Can anyone suggest authors who know how to write compelling stories with thrilling plot lines, good dialogue and great characters?


message 36: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliatruter) | 167 comments I only found this group just now!! Ken Follett is the best author ever. Look forward to chatting ...


message 37: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliatruter) | 167 comments Enio wrote: "Having already read each of Follett's books (some more than twice) I'm now looking for another contemporary author who can spin a tale as well as this man can. Can anyone suggest authors who know h..."

Wow Enio - have you actually read through ALL his books? It's my goal ... I'm just struggling with the non-fiction one - "On Wings of Eagles" - maybe because it's a true story and I know the ending. You're asking about another author with compelling stories - I would recommend Jeffrey Archer. I've known about him for years, but never tried his books. I've read two now and I'm hooked. If you're looking for something "light" - Alexander McCall Smith. I usually read one heavy book and one light book ... anyway, that's just my suggestions ... you may not like the authors.


message 38: by Enio (last edited Jul 12, 2011 03:46PM) (new)

Enio | 16 comments Thanks Julia!

I'll definitely check out Archer and Smith.

And while I LOVE Follett's period pieces like Pillars, Hornet Flight, Man From St. Petersburg, etc., for some reason his contemporary thrillers just don't thrill me as much. Maybe it's simply not possible to create the same level of urgency or high-enough stakes while remaining believable in today's world. At least not compared to medieval Europe, or Russia on the brink of the communist revolution, or England at the verge of World War II. Like you, "On Wings of Eagles" didn't grab me like his stories normally do. Probably because, like you said, it's a true story, which means that out of respect he couldn't take dramatic license.


message 39: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliatruter) | 167 comments I hear what you're saying Enio. I just can't seem to find fault with any of his books, because I'm such a fan!! But yes, some of them are much better than the others. Can't wait for the follow-up of Fall of Giants - apparently he is finished with the first draft - I follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

The two books that I've read by Jeffrey Archer is "Kane and Abel", and "As the Crow Flies" - both very good. He's an amazing story-teller. Apparently "Not a penny more, not a penny less" is also very good. I never read his books, as I though, yeah right - it's those books that EVERYBODY reads, blah blah blah, but now that I've started, I'm hooked.

Alexander McCall Smith - like I said, it's very "light" reading. I like to read one heavy book and then one light book and keep on alternating.

His "No 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series is very good and entertaining. I read one of the "Scotland Series" now and enjoyed it as well ...


message 40: by Heather (new)

Heather T (horrorvacui000) | 142 comments Mod
He's a little different, but I like a lot of Wilbur Smith's stuff. Some are weaker than others, just like Follett, but when you get a good one it's great.


message 41: by Enio (new)

Enio | 16 comments I agree, Julia. The Fall of Giants series started off with a bang. Can't wait for part II. Heather, which Wilbur Smith would you say is your favorite? (I'm a sucker for romance and espionage).


message 42: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliatruter) | 167 comments Apparently George R R Martin's books are excellent - "The Game of Thrones". Not sure if this is for me, but my husband will read it and will be able to tell me if I would like it or not.


message 43: by Enio (new)

Enio | 16 comments Yes, I hear R.R. Martin is amazing. I was blown away by the HBO adaptation.


message 44: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliatruter) | 167 comments I had to ask my husband what is HBO now? I gathered it was a TV station and he confirmed it. :) We live in South Africa. Everybody's going crazy about The Games of Thrones over here as well.


message 45: by Enio (new)

Enio | 16 comments LOL!! Sorry. In the United States HBO and Showtime are premium cable channels that produce some of the most sophisticated television I've ever seen. E.g. The Wire, Deadwood, Nurse Jackie, Dexter and now Game of Thrones. :o)


message 46: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliatruter) | 167 comments To be honest and without being disloyal to my country, our TV channels suck!! And it's also very difficult to download series or buy any series for that matter. We get series from friends who download it, which is not exactly cool to do, but we have a bandwith issue in our country as well ...


message 47: by Enio (new)

Enio | 16 comments It's funny, but that's exactly why (in Hollywood) over the last 10 years TV has gotten so good and movies have gotten so bad. With home theater technology, mail DVD services and internet video streaming, the grown-ups are staying home for their entertainment, leaving the movies for the teenagers who are more prone to going out in social groups. So most movies are now geared towards 14 to 24 year old males and females, while TV now targets the older more sophisticated crowd. You never would have seen something as nuanced as Game of Thrones on the big screen.


message 48: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliatruter) | 167 comments Yes, we're experiencing that in South Africa as well. I was always a big movie goer, but not anymore hey. I still do foreign films at the arty-farty theaters, but there's no good movies anymore. Much better to watch a few episodes of a specific series when and where you feel like it. Streaming a movie in SA will take 2 days!! :)


message 49: by Enio (new)

Enio | 16 comments Well if you get the chance to rent some of these TV shows on DVD, I highly recommend it. When you watch a show like Mad Men or Breaking Bad they're so rich in character, plot and theme it feels like you're reading a novel. If I may be so bold, like reading Shakespeare where you find layers upon layers every time you view it.


message 50: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliatruter) | 167 comments Hi again - I was busy replying to you and then we ran out of bandwith ... We use two different service providers and the one cut me off, as it was past 12 at night. :)

My husband and I were just discussing it tonight - movies and series versus books. I went through a stage where I was mad about movies and TV, but these days I prefer books - I suppose it's seasons we go through.

Hopefully in the future our bandwith and streaming and accessibility etc will get better!! :)


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