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Ken Follett

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Sat August 30th, 2008, 2:34 am

Not sure you want to get me started on this book, but suffice to say that I have a review on Amazon that you can read, which has been mostly well received. No, I did not like this book, and wish I could wash out some of the scenes that are still in my brain.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Sat August 30th, 2008, 12:23 pm

Ash, you never found the thread on the old board where EC and I got started on that topic. You are not alone :) :p :rolleyes:

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Misfit's Review of Heaven Tree

Postby Margaret » Sun August 31st, 2008, 5:52 pm

Enjoyed your review, Misfit.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Sun August 31st, 2008, 8:27 pm

Edith Pargeter's "Heaven Tree" trilogy is amongst her best work in my opinion, with memorable imagery and an emotional warmth rather missing in her "Brothers of Gwynedd" quartet.

I rather enjoyed "Pillars of Earth" as a historical adventure, though I haven't rushed to read "World Without End".
The most recent Follettt novel which I read was "Jackdaws", a story about an all-women team of covert agents operating in German-occupied France during WW11. Follett does write a good thriller, but I have noticed a recurring element of sexual violence in his novels which leaves a nasty after-taste.

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Sun August 31st, 2008, 11:18 pm

There's sexual violence in World Without End, too. I hadn't thought of it as a dominant element in Follett's novels, but that may be largely because the two medieval historicals are so long that there's a lot of other things in them as well. And then, there are a lot of novels, both good and bad, with sexual violence in them. As Meat Loves Salt, which I thought an extremely fine novel, also had some graphic scenes of sexual violence.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Sun August 31st, 2008, 11:56 pm

Margaret, I didn't find sexual violence a dominant theme in POTE when set against the rest of the novel. As you say it's a long one with many strands running. But when sex does crop up, most of the time it's not tender and the author - as I recall - seems to use imagery of breast-squeezing on more than one occasion. The images on paper left me wanting to go and have a wash. They felt grubby and unpleasant. Yuk.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Leyland
Bibliophile
Location: Travelers Rest SC

Postby Leyland » Mon September 1st, 2008, 12:34 am

Follett's A Place Called Freedom recently surfaced out of a box of 'maybe I'll read it agains' and since I'd forgotten what it was about since the first time I read it, I went to Amazon. Here are some interesting bits from the Publishers Weekly section:

"All this time, his fate is intertwined with that of Lizzie Hallim, daughter of the impoverished laird of High Glen, who is as spirited, independent-minded and daring as is Mack himself. (Readers may not quite believe her sexual aggressiveness, but Follett knows how to strike chords with feminists.)"

"If the dialogue sometimes seems lifted from a bodice-ripper, and if far-fetched coincidences keep flinging Lizzie and Mack together, these flaws are redeemed by Follett's vigorous narrative drive and keen eye for character."


Sexual aggressiveness and daring in a well-born young lady meant to marry well to restore family fortune (I don't think so) and then the bodice ripper dialogue (a nice way to describe rape?). It's just hard to take him seriously as an HF writer when he continues to add these elements in what are otherwise interesting stories. He just doesn't need to interject these sexual scenes and behaviour.

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Leyland
Bibliophile
Location: Travelers Rest SC

Postby Leyland » Mon September 1st, 2008, 12:59 am

"EC2" wrote:Margaret, I didn't find sexual violence a dominant theme in POTE when set against the rest of the novel. As you say it's a long one with many strands running. But when sex does crop up, most of the time it's not tender and the author - as I recall - seems to use imagery of breast-squeezing on more than one occasion.


I've cut and pasted the following from Follett's website:

Munich-based Tandem Productions has taken an option on the rights to produce The Pillars of the Earth as a television series, in conjunction with Ridley and Tony Scott's production company, Scott Free Inc. More information will be posted here as the project develops.


If the project goes through and Ridley Scott directs, I wonder how he will treat multiple rape scenes and molestation. Maybe those elements of the story will be subdued or cut out entirely?
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Mon September 1st, 2008, 1:32 am

Yikes! A movie version. What else can one expect, I've also seen a board game of some sort based on Pillars promoted on Amazon.

I know that at times sex and violence can't be avoided in a book, but a better author can let the reader know what has happened without going into such extreme, excruciating minute detail. And not just once, but over and over and over. I seem to recall the rape of the prostitute as being particularly offensive, although I don't recall the specific details now.

All that said, I frankly found his writing to be quite dreadful even without the sex and violence. That was my first and last by this author.

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diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Mon September 1st, 2008, 1:34 am

It's kind of surprising that this is happening now given how long ago Pillars was originally published, unless it has been optioned before and nothing really happened with it.
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