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A Dangerous Fortune | [Ken Follett]

A Dangerous Fortune

In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.

From the exclusive men's clubs that cater to every dark desire of England's upper classes to the luxurious ballrooms of the manipulators of the world's wealth, Follett conjures up a stunning panorama of intrigue. A Dangerous Fortune brings us characters swept toward a perilous climax in which greed, fed by the shocking truth of a young man's death, must be stopped - or the dreams of a nation will die.

©1993 Ken Follett; (P)1994 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"Breathlessly plotted...relentlessly suspenseful." (The New York Times)
"Ken Follett is a matchless storyteller, and this story is tailor-made for audio....With Follett teamed up with Page, you can't stop listening." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (2796 )
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4.3 (1438 )
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2 star
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1 star
 (25)
Performance
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  •  
    Cathi Miami, Florida, United States 10-01-12
    Cathi Miami, Florida, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    27
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    "Classic Follet, entertaining, does not disappoint"
    What made the experience of listening to A Dangerous Fortune the most enjoyable?

    I really enjoyed the story. As in other books, Ken Follett is great at characterization and you can really feel the book's heroes and villains come alive. The multiple plots, twists, and points of view are always entertaining and keep you listening. The setting in 19th century England is interesting, and it provides good insight into the banking world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Grant New Zealand 09-10-12
    M. Grant New Zealand 09-10-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    7
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    0
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    "A rich insight to an undiscovered time & society"
    What made the experience of listening to A Dangerous Fortune the most enjoyable?

    A story that followed people that seemed real and plausible. It followed a time and events that made a time in history come alive.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It was easy to follow and the story followed lifelike people.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 08-16-12
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 08-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
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    75
    72
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    "One of Follet's Best!"

    I loved this book; it's right up there with Pillars of the Earth. Great story plus great characters & plot = Great book. Narration was excellent. You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Stockton, IL, United States 08-09-12
    Carol Stockton, IL, United States 08-09-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    37
    12
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    1
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    Performance
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    "Good character development"
    Would you listen to A Dangerous Fortune again? Why?

    I'm not sure I would listen to it again, but, I have read it twice and passed it on to others.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No favorites


    Any additional comments?

    I do enjoy listening to a story well told with interesting characters. Ken Follett is a favorite author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Germaine 12-26-11
    Germaine 12-26-11 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible!"

    This is only appropriate for those who are sexually unfulfilled, and those who oppose women's suffrage. Also a good read for those who like thematic repetition and a grade 9 reading level of difficulty. I wish I could get my time and money back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 12-19-11
    Joseph 12-19-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great historical mystery."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Outstanding character development and intrigue.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The charcter development and detailed descriptions.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Page’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Do you think A Dangerous Fortune needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Follet has a wonderful portfolio historical novels.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Nashville, TN, United States 12-12-11
    Angela Nashville, TN, United States 12-12-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    4
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "A Mystery With a Narrative"
    Where does A Dangerous Fortune rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Even though my audiobook preferences are classics, I found this book spellbounding The narrative was crafted on the John Grisham model as the outcome was unpredictable but like the English novel pleasing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Augusta was my favorite character and this does Michael Page honor, as his voice renditions of the female characters are worthy of Shakespeare. Also, the author develops this wicked and self centered character so carefully that she garners sympathy.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Page’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Unfortunately not however I will keep him in mind as I select more.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Since this was a 2 volume book, there were many directional changes in the story. Most were unsuspected as most of life is; but the most memorable to me was the last scene of the book - an ending at the beginning of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    richard/sharon great falls, va, United States 12-07-11
    richard/sharon great falls, va, United States 12-07-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
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    36
    36
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    8
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    "Follett's got skills"

    This is not great literature but pure entertainment with a nostalgic feel. It reads like an old movie. As usual for Follett, there is history, adventure, mystery and romance of an erotic nature. It's good fun. Richard's wife again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyndsie R. Suttle West Virginia 12-02-11
    Lyndsie R. Suttle West Virginia 12-02-11 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wish it didn't have to end!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book was an amazing read from the first page! I'd recommend it to anyone!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I didn't think there could be so many twists and turns in a story! I never could have predicted how it would turn out.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Page’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have never listened to Michael Page before, but I thought his performance was incredible. He really painted a picture in my mind.


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this book every spare minute until I finished it. I couldn't wait to hear what happened next and how it would turn out, but I really didn't want it to end. A great read all around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII 11-30-11
    HIII 11-30-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    268
    ratings
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    252
    150
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    27
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    "Follett Fluff"

    A good period piece, it was interesting to hear about banking senior partners. The sex seems long and drawn out especially with Michael Page's clipped, rapid pace! It was entertaining to the end. But when it ends it is over, the listener is not left with anything for additional thoughts or feelings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 91-100 of 133 results PREVIOUS19101114NEXT
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  • Andrew
    Potten End, United Kingdom
    5/12/11
    Overall
    "Fabulous"

    I grabbed this as a way in to Follet while not having to sit through 50 hours of Pillars of the Earth. I was not disappointed. The story is masterfully crafted and keeps moving with the two main plots being whether or not Hugh and Maisy will get together and when or if the bad guywill get his due deserts. Great story, great characters and an unusual but satisfying, fitting end.

    I loved it and fear I will have no choice now but to take the plunge and get Pillars of the Earth!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    5/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A splendid melodrama"

    Set in the second half of the 19th century the story starts with an unexplained drowning at a public school. The lives of the boys involved are entertainingly intertwined in this melodramatically good yarn of how that accident had ramifications down the decades. Like a fairy-tale good and evil battle it out, but here the failure of banks is the topical backdrop to characters who revel in villainy, licentiousness and intrigue set against those who are honourable, loyal and parsimonious. The story is full of suspense as the fortunes of the Pilaster banking family are affected by favoritism, folly, felony and foreign events. There are some wonderfully over-the-top characters such as the domineering mother, Augusta, and the devilishly attractive and manipulative Micky Miranda from South America.
    Class, race, gender and religious prejudices abound in this colourful narrative with its Victorian values and the consequent hypocrisy.

    I greatly enjoyed this book and thought the narrator excellent.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Amy
    Kilkenny, Ireland
    7/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful addictive story"

    After listening to all Ken Follett's epic novels, I downloaded this to listen to on holiday. It took a couple of chapters to get in to but after that I just loved it. You hate his villains and love his central characters. Twists, turns and tragedies, classic Follett!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • barjil
    BEMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
    4/4/13
    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I usually read the comments from readers before I buy a book, and these generally confirm the fact that reading taste is a totally individual thing - books I love some people can't finish and vice versa. Readers I enjoy are irritating to others and so on. However, whatever criticism I read of Ken Follett I'd probably ignore because the books he writes are usually well researched and the subject matter interesting. Not this time, though. All the people in it are horrible and their lives tawdry and I'm limping on to the end because I don't like to give up. I suppose it does point up the morals and social differences of the 19th century but says nothing original on the subject. After the blockbusters on the 20th century that he's written, this is a sad disappointment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Family
    Veltem-Beisem, Belgium
    6/27/12
    Overall
    "Entertaining, Enthralling, Exciting"

    I have to say, I love Ken Follet, I've read most of his books and The Pillars of the Earth is one of my all time favourites. I already read this book 15 years ago but it was nice to listen to again. I did not remember all the plot twists and was excited to see how it would all end.
    It is written in his laid-back style and you can't wait to here what is going to happen next. Its also a very nice portrayal of the time, with intrigues in the financial world.
    Book is also remarkably up to date with all the banks that are crashing at the moment, history repeats itself...
    The readingby Michael page is also very nice, with good accents and pauses at the right moments.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • elizabeth
    ALFORD, United Kingdom
    7/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good"
    What did you like most about A Dangerous Fortune?

    The whole story unfolds very nicely


    What about Michael Page’s performance did you like?

    He brought each charactor to life


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes but I cant reveal it or it might spoil the story


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mongfhind
    7/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written and enjoyable but not outstanding."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Dangerous Fortune to be better than the print version?

    I prefer audio books as I can listen to and enjoy them anywhere. Audio books comes into its own when carrying out boring tasks like ironing or on a tedious bus journey to work.


    What other book might you compare A Dangerous Fortune to, and why?

    I compare A Dangerous Fortune to other works by Ken Follett which I have read and enjoyed, Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and the Kingsbridge novels all of whom are well researched, well written and absorbing. Some of the plot of A Dangerous Fortune lacks credibility, however the characters are well-drawn and the overall story is good. I much preferred the narrator John Lee's style to Michael Page's, John Lee portrayal of the different characters was plausible, whereas Michael Page's characters' voices seemed almost comic, especially the older women. They sounded like pantomime dames which was not intention, I'm sure, but it spoiled my enjoyment a little. To balance that though his speech was clear and smooth.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    As I have said above, Michael Page's narration of some of the characters's parts was not as polished as I would have hoped.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Let's say, two or three sittings not one.


    Any additional comments?

    None springs to mind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Frank
    Hereford, United Kingdom
    11/30/11
    Overall
    "An excellent listen"

    It moves at a great pace throughout and is an excellent story. As with previous books by this author one needs to be prepared for some graphic detail and colourful language which I could personally do without, but that said, his storytelling is fantastic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Perth, United Kingdom
    7/31/11
    Overall
    "A Dangerous Fortune"

    Both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this terrific book. Superbly researched, excellently read and a real gripper from start to finish. I can certainly recommend this to all Follett fans

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Liam
    Malmesbury, United Kingdom
    12/17/09
    Overall
    "SuperDuper!"

    Love it. Great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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