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Ken Follett

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Margaret
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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
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Postby Margaret » Mon September 1st, 2008, 1:35 am

Those scenes could easily be toned down for film and retain their value in terms of plot and character development. On rare occasions, the filmed version of a novel is superior to the novel. I've remarked in another thread that I thought the omission of a particular incident in Girl With a Pearl Earring was a good choice when the movie was filmed (and would, IMHO, have improved the novel). Another movie I thought was far superior to the novel was the film of Tom Clancy's Hunt for Red October - not a historical novel, but a case in point. However, I suspect the modern-people-in-fancy-dress aspect of Pillars will not be altered for film. (Although I thought World Without End was a worse offender in that regard.) We should not forget that many people did behave quite despicably in the Middle Ages (as some still do).
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

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Mon September 1st, 2008, 11:04 pm

>We should not forget that many people did behave quite despicably in the Middle Ages (as some still do).

No question. But I don't need to see (and I do see them in my head when I read) over the top descriptions of rape and torture several times in a book to know that people acted like this. Other authors have shown these atrocities without detailing them, if you know what I mean.

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Mon September 1st, 2008, 11:16 pm

I didn't believe in Follett's version of the despicable behaviour though. It was all 'bwa ha ha my pretty, I'm going to ravish you now!' sort of stuff. Totally pantomime and almost slapstick, but at the same time nasty and vile. Atrocities were committed but the way these are written feels like feeding a modern appetite for titilation - if that makes sense? Probably not. It's my bed-time! :o
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
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Location: Travelers Rest SC

Postby Leyland » Mon September 1st, 2008, 11:53 pm

"EC2" wrote:Atrocities were committed but the way these are written feels like feeding a modern appetite for titilation - if that makes sense? Probably not. It's my bed-time! :o


It does make sense - as if he was appealing to the same people who now love certain reality TV shows that particularly do well when humiliation is heaped upon 'ordinary and real' participants. Demeaning and degrading actions on some shows do titillate enough viewers to keep them coming back.

I'm not sure this is an accurate comparison on the whole, but I've not read a majority of reviews of POTE or WWE that complain about the type of violent sexual content in these novels either.

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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 » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 12:45 am

I've got to agree with EC and Leyland. Follett did a lot of great research about the technical realities of the time period, but I just didn't find his characters convincing. Not only were the villains over the top, most of his good-guy characters were just too nice.

Ash, I know what you mean about overly graphic violence. I probably have a higher tolerance than you do, but there are authors who linger on it to the extent that it feels like a pornography of violence. For example, after reading one Clive Cussler novel, I will not read any more.
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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Juniper
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Interest in HF: I studied English Literature and History at college. Historical fiction blends my two passions together in one neat package.
Location: Missouri, USA
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Postby Juniper » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 2:29 am

"MLE" wrote:Dropped this clunker at the first rape scene. I chacked and discovered that many more, all equally and unnecessarily graphic, were still to come. The period details were inaccurate, the realities of the characters lives ditto, flat one-sided protags, and stunk so far -- it didn't look like it was going to get better. Even though, as a architect's daughter, I love discussion about buildings.
So I found something better to do.


I really enjoyed POTE, although the rape scene was far too graphic for my liking. I tore the page out of the book (I can honestly say that is the only book I have ever damaged in my life).

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princess garnet
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Location: Maryland

Online Discussion

Postby princess garnet » Tue October 28th, 2008, 12:24 am

Ken Follett will be online tomorrow 12 noon Eastern (US) for a book discussion on "Washington Post Book World":
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/10/24/DI2008102402765.html?hpid=discussions
Here's your chance to interact with him and ask questions!


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