Author Spotlight – Ken Follett
by Cheryl G. (Poncer)
One of the great things about being a member at PaperBackSwap is finding new authors to read and enjoy. Just like not judging books by their cover, I relearn over and over again, not to judge authors by my limited experience with their books.
I thought Ken Follett only wrote books about WWII. Boy, was I wrong. A book that came highly recommended to me was The Pillars of the Earth. Matter of fact, a close friend who I have had the pleasure to get to know in real life gave me her own copy to read. Thanks, Lori!
The 983 pages seemed daunting at first, but after the first few pages I was hooked. Read it through in about a week’s time and am very glad I did. The research that went into this book is amazing, and the story winds its way through it seamlessly.
I have always marveled at the feat of church-building, even ones built in the modern age, but to follow along as a cathedral is being planned and built in the early 10th century is awe inspiring. And to follow the builder, the monks, the daily struggles of Ken Follett’s characters really put me in the medieval time. This book came highly recommended to me and now, I, too, highly recommend it.
The next Ken Follett book I read was The Man from St. Petersburg, set in England just before WWI. It follows the Walden family, Lord, Lady and daughter, through the lead-up to the war. And just like The Pillars of the Earth, I was hooked from the very beginning.
Ken Follett’s research in both books is impeccable, weaving his story lines through history, and though we know that what he writes did not necessarily happen, his novels are believable and very true-to-life. He achieves this by his careful construction of characters, surrounding them with accurate details of the eras in which he sets his stories. He says, ““I like to create imaginary characters and events around a real historical situation. I want readers to feel: OK, this probably didn’t happen, but it might have.”
Ken Follett is a prolific author. He has penned over 30 novels, and sold over 150 million copies of his books. 4 have made the NY Times best seller list. An author I avoided for far too long is one of my new favorites. Today I received A Place Called Freedom in the mail that I ordered from another member here at PaperBackSwap. Set in 1766, it too promises to be a compelling read.
There are currently over 700 copies of Ken Follett’s book available to order on PBS. And two more on their way to me, Night Over Water and Paper Money. I am hoping they will be just as absorbing as the first two books I have read.
What Ken Follett books have you read? Which would you recommend?