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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 (2875 )
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4.3 (1508 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jennifer austin, TX, United States 01-23-09
    Jennifer austin, TX, United States 01-23-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    316
    ratings
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    154
    64
    FOLLOWERS
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    3
    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I hardly have the words... this novel was not what it appeared from the publisher's summary. There was a murder mystery set among the upper eschelons of Victorian London, but there was also the seemy underside not mentioned in it. Brothels abound, and the scenes set in them, and in facct all of the scenes involving sex, were grotesque, off-putting, and faintly disturbing. I must assume that this was the desired effect, because it was done so consistantly, but still... The rest of the story was all right, but in no way particularly engaging. The characters weren't deep, the plot was not especially clever, and over everything was the twisted, grotesque sex, even in the simplest things. The only good thing I can find to say is that the narrator is quite enjoyable.

    22 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Oakland, CA, United States 05-19-12
    Michael Oakland, CA, United States 05-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
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    6
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Well-Plotted Melodrama. Fun to Hear."

    Ken Follett can craft plot twists and evolutions with the best of them, and he creates characters you care about to follow the plot. Appealing protagonists, evil villains, dire straits, appalling treachery, and satisfying revenge. I was drawn in, and looked forward every day to my commute to hear what happened next. I enjoyed Michael Page's narration, and have added him to my list of search parameters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Austin, TX, United States 01-05-12
    Melissa Austin, TX, United States 01-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
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    111
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    Story
    "I see a pattern"

    I have read a lot of Ken Follett's books and some are really good. Fall of Giants is probably on my top 10, but he has developed characters that he uses in every story. He has strong willed women and misunderstood geniuses. There are things larger than the two main characters and their unrequited love at play. There is manipulation but through it all, the good guys develop more and more character while the bad guys degenerate.
    If you like Ken Follett this is what you should expect. If you've never read anything of his, start with his larger books. They were worth every minute I stayed up late, hurting myself trying to finish them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-20-11
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-20-11 Member Since 2010

    An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Great Wealth, History, Great Characters & Conflict"

    Having just watched Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth" on TV, I have to admit that his stories are somewhat formulaic, but they are so well written that I love them anyway. The bad guys are all bad, and the good guys so good that - in another writer's hands - the book could be dull and predictable. But Follett manages to engage the reader from the first page to the last. Loved this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn jackson, WY, United States 02-05-10
    Carolyn jackson, WY, United States 02-05-10

    Avid Listener of Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "Worth reading, but...."

    This is a good book; however, there is a lot of plotting by the "evil doers." It begins to get a bit tiresome. All in all, it is entertaining and the characters are well written. I loved the accents the narrator gave some of the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John M Lafayette, CA USA 09-21-09
    John M Lafayette, CA USA 09-21-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    383
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    "Enjoyable, solid work by Follett"

    This book was certainly no "Pillars" or "World's End" but it was a good read that I was always eager to resume on my daily commute. I did appreciate that, unlike many works of historical fiction, I was not confronted by characters were modern figures transported into the past. The characters in this book generally behaved as one would expect for the time period.

    In addition, this book had one of the better "coup de grace" moments toward the end of the book. Usually I feel the villain gets off too easily (or too quickly). Not this time.

    Overall a very good read that will not disappoint.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Burlingame, CA, United States 05-27-09
    M Burlingame, CA, United States 05-27-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining but flawed historical fiction"

    Many authors write historical fiction set in and around the Victorian age that is entertaining and not particularly profound. Fun books in this category include James Clavell's "Noble House" and "Gai-Jin," and Michael Crichton's "The Great Train Robbery." Ken Follett has written two of my favorite historical entertainments, "Pillars of the Earth," and "World Without End." (Set in medieval, not Victorian, England.) But none of these books resorts to inventing a fictional South American country that is central to the plot nor does any stray as far from the actual events of the time as "A Dangerous Fortune." I don't think even Sidney Sheldon fabricated a country in his potboilers. One likes to think that the history in these books has at least a reasonable semblance to reality. For me, this was a fatal flaw.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Coppell, TX, USA 04-30-09
    Sandra Coppell, TX, USA 04-30-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i like a mystery"

    and as usual, ken f writes good ones. i will listen to this one again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam MORRISVILLE, NC, United States 01-30-09
    Sam MORRISVILLE, NC, United States 01-30-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    I loved this book. As a constant listener of Audible, I found this to be one of my favorites! I enjoyed all of the characters and could not stop listening to it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Gallinaro Auburn, NH United States 08-19-08
    Frank Gallinaro Auburn, NH United States 08-19-08 Member Since 2007

    Lover of good ideas

    HELPFUL VOTES
    182
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    5
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    Overall
    "Follet has written another masterpiece thriller"

    Ken Follet has written another masterpiece thriller. The story is a complex of story line and characters, whose lives intersect over a life time. In his usual manner he has well developed characters and there is no mistaking the "good guys" from the "bad guys". You cheer when the bad guys get their just desserts, but you heart is broken when one of the good guys falls victim to one of the bad guys.

    You will enjoy every moment you listen to this novel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Al
    5/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ken Follet is always good"

    Wonderfully read. This is one of many Ken Follet stories I have read/listened too and despite always being slightly reticent as to the story (via reading the synopsis) they always guarantee to be interesting.

    A mix of historical and novel - any of his books are worth a try.

    Superbly narrated and excellent value for money

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • M. Chantry
    London UK
    5/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story well told and brilliantly read."

    Had read the book when it was first published but had forgotten it. Glad I had as I enjoyed this audio version even more. Praise must go to the reader too as he really made the characters come alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"

    Enjoyable with many twists to the plot. Believable and intriguing inside into upper class life in the period. Excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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