I've enjoyed several Ken Follet stories but, after the first couple painful hours, I started fast forward, thinking that certainly it had to get better. It never did. Tired plot line, the standard old "passengers on the liner (or train)". The characters are not interesting and I never cared a whit about them. Especially bad is the character Lady Magaret and her caricature of a British wealthy fascist family. Spare yourself, and the credit - avoid this one. (For an example of a great "passengers on a train" story, see the movie TransSiberian - don't know if they have an audiobook of that, but simply referring to it as an example of the genre well written.)
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
QUESTIONS BUZZED IN HIS HEAD, LIKE FLIES IN A JAR
I was entertained and I learned some things about history. This takes place just before World War II broke out, and I believe you get a feel about what life was like back then. It was interesting to hear about 19 and 21 year olds that have to run away from home. Today we might find it hard to believe that back at that time, some Englishmen would be pro Hitler. We have to remember that the world was just coming out of a Depression. It seemed as if Democracy was not working, people were starving, etc... It was also interesting to hear that some governments were hoping Hitler would destroy Russia. Plus you have to remember as is pointed out quite clearly in this story that Lords, Kings and Queens were still ruling several countries and most including England had Aristocracy, who held lots of power. There was a large caste system and Jews were hated by many.
GAMBLING AND PROSTITUTION HAVE BEEN GOING ON SINCE GOD WAS A BOY.
I like Follett's writing even when it is not his best. He has some great characters and one of the main characters is a thief. I will have to admit at times this seems like an X rated version of the Love Boat. Anytime you read Follett, expect some sex, cause he writes about real life situations and sex happens.
CLEVER MEN LIKE CLEVER GIRLS
The plane itself was pretty cool and Follett talks about it after the story ends. Unless you are a plane enthusiasts most people have probably never heard of the flying Love Boat.
For this book, I liked the narrator, he seemed to have the right voice for this type of story.
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Great story! Interesting and suspenseful the entire way through.
It was hard for me to follow the various story lines at first since I have trouble keeping track of names, but that didn’t last long and I soon got swept up by the plot.
I also loved learning about the Pan Am Clipper!! I knew nothing about it prior to this book; a fascinating little bit of history.
Book should be re-titled Technical Specifications of the Boeing 314. As a novel it was pretty terrible with, as others have said, dreary cardboard characters. Most of the writing seemed to have no purpose other than to extend the weight rather the quality of the book.
The narrator offered no help either as it was a dry reading although he did have a lot of characters to cover.
This book read like a bad B movie. This was a first for me with any KF book, so I had to ask myself if it is possible it was the narrator. The narration felt false and made the book sound rather hoaky.
I must give the narrator his due though, he did the accents exceptionally well.
Very interesting premise. Mediocre execution. Follett is a very good writer and I can see him getting the idea for this book and thinking "I MUST write this" and then even after it was clear it was not to be a great book, he thought "I must FINISH this." Therein lies his mistake.
I'll make three points:
1. I don't "look ahead" when reading a suspense novel like this. I don't try to figure out what will happen next. Instead, I prefer to let the story teller do their job and just let it come to me. In this book, I could not help but see the obvious. I won't say there weren't any surprises, but the few unexpected turns were contrived and hard to believe.
2. Readers can make a story better or worse than it really is. In this book, I can't tell whether Tom Casaletto had any impact, but I won't look for any other books he's voiced.
3. SEX. Yes, there is sex in this book. Unfortunately, listening to it described here is like listening to your sainted grandmother give an account of her first experience. In most cases, the anatomy is referred to by it's proper name and with about as much passion as a role call. I literally had to skip the last sex scene because it was too painful to bear.
If you decide to get this book just remember one thing--once the Pan Am Clipper takes off, it's a long flight.
I cannot believe that this was written by a best-selling author! This was some of the most trite, overdone yet simple-minded writing I have ever read. I thing the listening made it worse. The author did a very fine job with all the accents, although they were very heavy on stereotype, but the narration was absolutely emotionless. And fast... I checked more than once to see if the speed on my device was set too fast. This was a bad book made simply awful by horrid narration.
Many parts of the audio book are in short, choppy sentences and the narrator, Tom Casaletto does not help the pattern of the structure. His narration becomes choppy also and does not hold a good balance to the rhythm pattern of the sentences.
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Normally I love Ken Follett's books but I found the I had a hard time following what exactly was happening. The narrator is stilted and unexciting in his narrative. I'm sorry I purchased the audiobook.
I love Ken Follet, I think he is a very talented writer and this was a pretty good book. However, this narrator was horrible. Every sentence was ended like it was either a question or an exclamation. I have to assume it wasn't written this way.