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Can we talk about Ken Follett?

Omg, just finished Eye of the Needle. It was so good! It's about a German spy in WW2 who has a secret that could cause Britain to lose the war. I also read Jackdaws by him and loved it. (Female spies in WW2, I love how he has strong female characters.)

I know he's really well known for Pillars of the Earth, but I read to about page 130 of that book and just got bored and gave it up. (And yes, I know that's probably somebody's favorite book, but we're all entitled to our own opinions.) Weird, huh? What else of his would you recommend if I liked those two, but not Pillars? What do you think of his drastic topic differences/writing styles?

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Re: Can we talk about Ken Follett?

  • I've read and loved both Pillars and it's sequel, World Without End, but I can see how they wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. If you liked his WWII stories and strong females, I'd highly recommend his Century Trilogy. He's only got the first two out, and I've only read the first one (but have the 2nd waiting in the wings!). The first is Fall of Giants and the 2nd is Winter of the World. It starts in the early 20th century and will follow various generations of 5 or so families throughout the century. Love!
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  • I gave up once at Pillars about that page range.  I was SO bored with Philip and the monasteries.  If you ever feel up to it again, give it another go.  Especially if you like books like GoT.  It's pretty epic in that sense.

    I will have to give the other books you recommended a try! I've only read Pillars, but want to read WWE too.

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  • I think the first Follett books I read were Eye of the Needle, Key to Rebecca, and Lie Down With Lions. You might want to check out Rebecca and Lions.

    I still like all three of them better than Pillars.

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  • I quit Pillars once at about 75-100 pages in, too.  I'm so glad that I went back to it, as it is now one of my all-time favorite books ever.  But I completely understand why so many people aren't into it - that timeframe is sort of tough to get into.

    I also read Jackdaws a year or two ago, and absolutely loved it.  And I just finished Fall of Giants earlier this week.  I think that you would probably LOVE Fall of Giants, if you liked his other war-time stuff.  I think that the WWI/WW2 setting is really his comfort zone as an author, and that's when most of his books are set.  I remember reading, either in the intro to Pillars or in another article about him, that Pillars was sort of an opus for him - it took years and years and years for him to feel as though he had "gotten it right," and I think that's because of the different time period.

    I think he's such a brilliant writer, though.  I think his character development is what does it for me - they're all so richly developed and dynamic.  That one earl or whatever he was in Pillars was one of the best characters I've ever read - I loved to hate him so, so much. 

  • I didn't love Pillars of the Earth but I really enjoyed Fall of Giants. It's the first of the Century trilogy.  I
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  • I loved Fall of Giants. I can't wait to read more by him.
  • I've been meaning to read more of his books.  I've read Pillars, WWE and the Century Trilogy and loved them all.  He's so talented!

    I think you should give the Century Trilogy a try if you enjoy that time period.

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  • I was another one that put down "Pillars" the first time I tried to read it. However the second time I picked it up, I just flew right through it and couldn't understand what ever made me put it down the first time.

    I have also read 'Jackdaws' which I LOVED.

    And the 'Century Trilogy' is perfection!!!  I can not wait for the third book to come out.  Ken Follett does the generational epic so well.  He is a master. 

    Definetely read the Century Trilogy ('Fall of Giants' and 'Winter of the World') if you want some really great Ken Follett writing.  You won't be dissappointed.

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