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
"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)
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.
This book was thoroughly enjoyable. The characters are brought to life in a believable, historical context, read by a fine narrator.
I highly recommend this book.
If you're captivated by the machinations of wealthy families....well, this might be the book for you. I found the story dragged on and on with predictability, but then the last chapters felt rushed as if Follett felt the need to wrap things up quickly. All the regular suspects are there (the rich snob, the hooker with a heart of gold, the honourable son, the black sheep of the family, the evil foreigner) but they don't add up to anything unexpected and aren't written with much subtlety or imagination. Follett seems to me to write some excellent books and some very average ones, and this is solidly in the second category.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
TRUTH IS, HE IS EVIL THROUGH AND THROUGH
This book is like a mini epic, following a couple of families from childhood to old age, from rags to riches, from riches to rags. If your in a mood for an epic, but don't have the time for three books 20+ hours long a piece, then this may be your answer. It is not great literature, but it kept my attention for 16+ hours. It was predictable, but like a car wreck, I could not quit listening. The evil characters are evil through and through. I like the way they are mostly plotting and conniving. I like how they insult people without making it obvious. I used to work with a woman who would do that all the time. If you called her on it, she would act all innocent, as if she did not know what you where talking about.
"DO YOU THINK ABOUT FINANCES ALL THE TIME?" NO, HUGH THOUGHT, I THINK ABOUT YOUR BREASTS ALL THE TIME.
This is only my second novel by Follett, but what I notice is that he does not ignore sex in everyday life. He does not make it the over whelming part or get that explicit, but there is lots of it. Maybe with women it is different, but men think about sex, once every so many seconds (based on age). It is a big part of life and effects a lot of what we do, so to ignore it is to ignore life as it really is. YOU ALWAYS GET PREGNANT FROM ONE F.
I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.
Read most of his books, but somehow overlooked this one. You will enjoy the journey as his characters begin to take shape and command your attention. By the time I was half way through the book, I began to manage my time such that I could spend more with the book. When that happens, I'm more than willing to grant the highest ratings.
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.
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.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
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.
Avid Listener of Audible
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.
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.
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!
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.
"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.
"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!!
"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.
"I had already heard this title."
why was I not made aware until I tried reading it?l
please take it back and refund me my credit.
Regards Alexander Ager.
The whole story unfolds very nicely
He brought each charactor to life
Yes but I cant reveal it or it might spoil the story
"Well written and enjoyable but not outstanding."
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.
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.
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.
Let's say, two or three sittings not one.
None springs to mind.
"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.
"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
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