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author: Ken Follett
average rating: 4.55
book published: 2020
read at: 2020/09/19
date added: 2020/09/19
Another thrilling read by the master of historical fiction
It is hard for any writer to measure up to previous success. Pillars of the Earth was a masterpiece of historical fiction, and the sequels were – although not quite as majestic – both most entertaining reads. With The Evening and the Morning Follett has written another story that puts the reader back in a place 1,000 years ago with imagination, insights and authenticity. I enjoyed reading about the making of Kings Bridge and its many characters, neatly integrated into the historical narrative of Kings and Clergy and the plight of the common people; devouring all 800 pages or so with unbridled delight.
A journey few of us can really understand, but I suspect those who have experienced loss the way Hisham has, will relate to. Grief for a father, a family and a country ruined by a brutal regime pours out of every page. The observations and ruminations are at times excruciating, painfully honest and stark reminders of how precious life is, even as hope is the most fragile of threads. Read it, weep and keep it up until the very last page. The author and his people deserve that – and so much more – from the rest of us mostly oblivious to the seemingly never ending plight of the people of Libya.
The story keeps building from an innocuous beginning, tidbits of intrigue are served in carefully planned measures as the plot unfolds. The people are well crafted with insight and feeling, the love of place – Tasmania – is obvious and so well described on many dimensions. The dialogue is utterly believable. It’s just a great, thought provoking yarn. If you love Australia, if you are concerned about what is happening to this country, politically and otherwise, this is a must read. Not just for the warnings, but for the slivers of hope it offers to those of us who care.
It reads like a masterful novel, yet is a fact based account of the World Fair in 1893, interspersed with the story of what may well be the worst serial killer ever. Both narratives are cleverly conceived, based on an enormous body of research and both keep you turning the pages wanting more. As a one time resident of Chicago I learnt lots about The White City, and even why the magnificent city on the lake is called Windy City. It’s not what I thought…
At first you cringe, then slowly it dawns in you what’s happening, from then on it’s pure delight in a clever yarn so ridiculous it almost could be true. So much of it is…
Not the best of the series, but enjoyed it nevertheless. As always the people whose paths he cross is so cleverly weaved in, especially loved his conversations with Abe Lincoln.
As always, le Carré spins a good yarn about the world of spies. I really enjoyed until the soap opera ending which seemed completely detached from the story, utterly unbelievable and felt like an amateur writer rushing to finish the book. Just plain silly.