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Edge of Eternity: Century Trilogy, Book 3 | [Ken Follett]

Edge of Eternity: Century Trilogy, Book 3

As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in an unforgettable tale of passion and conflict during the Cold War. When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene.
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Publisher's Summary

The epic final volume in the Century Trilogy.

As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in an unforgettable tale of passion and conflict during the Cold War.

When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene.

In the United States, George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration, is a fierce supporter of the Civil Rights movement - as is the woman he is in love with, Verena, who works for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boarding a Greyhound bus in Washington to protest against segregation, they begin a fateful journey together.

Russian activist, Tania Dvorkin, narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news sheet. Her actions are made all the more perilous as her brother, Dimka, is a rising star in the heart of the Communist Party in the Kremlin.

From the deep south of America to the vast expanses of Siberia, from the shores of Cuba to the swinging streets of '60s London, Edge of Eternity is a sweeping tale of the fight for individual freedom in a world gripped by the mightiest clash of superpowers anyone has ever known.

©2014 Ken Follett (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

What the Critics Say

"The true historical events are probably the most exciting bits to read, because Follett always gives his puppet eye-witnesses an excellent vantage point from which to recount them." (Private Eye)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (80 )
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4.7 (68 )
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  •  
    leonie Australia 09-22-14
    leonie Australia 09-22-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great ending to the trilogy"
    If you could sum up Edge of Eternity in three words, what would they be?

    History comes alive


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that everything is based on true events and has real characters intermixed with the fictional characters make everything real.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    He has so many voices and accents to deal with that I had thought there was a few narrators. John Lee does a great job and his voice is historically realistic.


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

    So many moments that were front page news, are part of this story. The story is the history of the whole world but is about families and individuals.


    Any additional comments?

    I have been waiting for this third instalment for years. So far it has lived up and beyond all my expectations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Evans 04-21-15
    Greg Evans 04-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good story but far too long."

    Good story but far too long as I found it was rambling at times. Looking forward to the next book though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan 04-20-15
    Brendan 04-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "This should be recommended reading for everyone."

    This book is probably one of the best ways to study history. Ken Follet has masterfully painted history through the fictitious story of a few families from around the world. I found myself in tears many times throughout the book, especially in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jussi Korhonen 04-14-15 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "3rd best of the trilogy"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anyone who wants an overview of world events from 1950s onwards might find this interesting. The parts set in Europe seemed to be a bit better.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ken Follett again?

    He knows his historical fiction, so I will be interested in his future works.


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

    John Lee is always a great performer, once you get used to his strong accents. I thought he handled this book well, which can't be easy since there are so many different characters.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Edge of Eternity?

    None of the American characters were interesting, and only existed to give a voice to the Kennedys and Martin Luther King. For anyone interested in them, I'd suggest reading a better book.


    Any additional comments?

    The biggest flaw in the book was the characters who are completely wooden, and only exist to listen and comment to speeches made by political figures. There was very little continuity from the first two, I barely remembered who was related to who.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anneke Meyerton, South Africa 04-12-15
    Anneke Meyerton, South Africa 04-12-15 Member Since 2013
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    3
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    "Excellent"

    This was excellent, "lighter" than the previous books! This book close the circle, and although there was still loose ends, the story worked for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Jennings Calgary Canada 03-30-15
    A Jennings Calgary Canada 03-30-15 Member Since 2007

    Thea

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    "Very well done but preferred the first two!"

    This is really heavy going on the civil rights movement, otherwise extremely interesting!I Enjoyed it and would recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mickfin 03-29-15
    Mickfin 03-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "Very political"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I looked forward to this book with great anticipation. I enjoyed the story line and the characters but none hooked me and kept me caring about them as in the prior two books.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending felt rushed and as if the author was just trying to wrap up in a hurry to get on with something else.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    John Lee is a great narrator. He adds a depth to the story and proves quite enjoyable to listen to.


    Did Edge of Eternity inspire you to do anything?

    To look into some historical events that the author claims took place.


    Any additional comments?

    The author is blatantly biased in his political views. He dislikes Republicans and goes into detail smearing them while singing the praises of Democrats and completely overlooking any of their scandals or events. He even manages to highlight and endear John Kennedy's many affairs and callousness and turn him into a beloved and revered president. I did not enjoy this book as much as the other two but I am glad I read it to tie up the events and families. There were no stand out characters that I fell in love with or became involved with. It was just ho-hum.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C F Pittams 01-09-15
    C F Pittams 01-09-15
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    3
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    "A Historical Journey"
    What did you love best about Edge of Eternity?

    The historical information in this book is amazing. Folet has weaved realistic characters into the historical events in a believable way. It covers the cold war, civil rights movement in the US, Vietnam war, and the creation and eventual downfall of the Berlin wall. The characters in the story experiencing these passages in time, were interwoven nicely.


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

    The story was a journey in time, rather than an 'edge of your seat' type story. For me the interest was in the historical events themselves. I had some knowledge of them, so had an overall appreciation of what was going to happen, but I didn't know all the details so found that fascinating.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    too hard to choose - it covers so many events, they were all unique.


    Any additional comments?

    There were a lot of sex scenes in the later half of the book. Seemed like everyone was finding a new partner - some of them didn't overly contribute to the story and could've been left out (in my opinion).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 12-18-14
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 12-18-14 Member Since 2009

    An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Follett"

    How he does it I will never know, weaving all the threads into an audio Beyeux. I great pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Baldivis, Australia 11-01-14
    Jill Baldivis, Australia 11-01-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love Love Loved it"

    I hesitated to download this book because it was a huge commitment at 36 hours but I have enjoyed every minute and didnt want it to end. Ken Follett has the ability to make you bond with the characters and feel real emotions for them.
    I enjoyed this the most out of the series possibly because it is an era I remember most of the things happening,
    Worth the download

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Amazon Customer
    HARROGATE, United Kingdom
    9/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best in series"
    If you could sum up Edge of Eternity in three words, what would they be?

    Satisfying, engrossing, awesome


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Edge of Eternity?

    Perhaps early on, when George's freedom bus is attacked. It's quite visceral and brings to life the base malice of Southern white violence that somehow got left out of Gone With The Wind. It sets the stage for the struggle the "negros" face in the decades to come.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Yes, nearly 200 hours of Ken Follett books alone! This trilogy plus his middle ages books, Pillars Of The Earth and World Without End. There's a character in this book called John Lee, and I'd dearly love to confirm if he was named after Follett's prolific narrator.

    How does it compare? Well, I listened to the earlier installments again recently, and I can say that the narration and character voices remain perfectly aligned, as if they'd come from one, excruciatingly long recording session.

    The one negative thing I'd say is that poor Lee got thrown a curveball with this book. If he'd known he'd have to impersonate John and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Richard Nixon, he might have turned it down. But by the third book, it was too late!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A lot can change in half a century.


    Any additional comments?

    I finished the nearly 37 hour book in 9 days, which is probably why I'm the first to leave a review! I hope that speaks for how compelling I found it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    10/14/14
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    "An enthralling final part to the trilogy"

    I was hooked by the first part of this trilogy, was further entranced by the second and eagerly awaited this final part. The creation of fictional characters followed through successive generations of families in the USA, USSR, East and West Germany and the UK vividly brings to life the impact of two World Wars on people’s lives during the 20th century. The sheer length of these books allows the fictional characters to become so real that I felt sad when their lives were blighted, delighted when things went well and focused my mind on the injustices of segregation in the USA, the helplessness of ordinary people in totalitarian regimes and how unrestrained power corrupts.

    This third part of the trilogy was for me the best maybe because it covered my lifetime and reminded me of the momentous events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of Kennedy and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Though most of the events were familiar this didn’t detract from the power of the narrative to keep me listening wanting to know how the lives of the characters were affected. Though these are fictional one can see that some are lightly-veiled facsimiles of actual people such as Solzhenitsyn.

    John Lee has done a magnificent job narrating the trilogy comprising over 100 hours of compelling history, which I recommend listening to in chronological order.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    United Kingdom
    2/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Had to finish the Trilogy!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes, I would want the ending to be less of a sprint. As with his other novels he likes to cover a large number of years and towards the beginning the pace is well set, yet towards the end the years flow by too quickly and you lose all grounding.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked learning about a period in history that I hadn't much interest in before.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Probably the majority of chapters revolving around the Cuban Missile Crisis.


    Did Edge of Eternity inspire you to do anything?

    Learn more about the Cold War, but not much other than that.


    Any additional comments?

    If you've read the first two you will want to finish the series but I can think of plenty better books!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lynn
    5/23/15
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    "FabUlous!"

    This is the most fantastic account of social history I've ever read. Touching from start to end. The characters are people you feel you know or could have known. What a testament to the human spirit. Beautifully read. A masterpiece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • peter jones
    Wick St Lawrence, United Kingdom
    5/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "simply great"

    top notch everything, great story, great narration and a simply excellent production a team worthy of awards 👍

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MikeS
    Manchester
    5/10/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "A long history of the world part 3!"

    The 3rd in this epic trilogy about Russia, America and Europe and the conflicts is incredible. In this book we get the Cold War in depth and in particular the relationships between US presidents and Russia and relationships of some presidents! Interwoven through all three books are fictional families that the story and world events are drawn around. Thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • lsanderson65
    5/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "3rd book in an amazing trilogy"
    What did you like most about Edge of Eternity?

    The narration is very good, its a great story following the grandchildren from the characters in book one. Lots of the original people make another appearance so you meet them again in old age.I learnt lots of history and loved the characters.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A journey through class, culture and race over 100 years.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mywallmum
    United Kingdom
    4/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is a gotta read"
    Where does Edge of Eternity rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Almost the best book i have ever read, linked with the others in this series, i really got to know the characters


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Edge of Eternity?

    It was all awesome, from the opening chapters all the way through, did not want to stop listening


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favourite?

    I just loved them all, even the cranky russian bods. there were a couple of nasty folks, but they ahd their place


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

    realising that it was the history that i grew up in, made me feel more moved because i didnt realise things like this were happening in the world, i have seen it through an adults eyes now


    Any additional comments?

    Thank youi Ken Follett

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    4/13/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling Listening"

    A fabulous story told by a fabulous story teller. Narration was first class. I am sorry to see the trilogy end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • londonbikerider
    4/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lost for words"

    An incredible, eye opening, account of the history and politics of the 20th century. Almost embarrassed to just be learning about the brutal regimes of nazi and soviet leadership but, at the age of 36, this has just started a thirst for more. The interleaving of real characters with fictional provides a first person view on the critical decision points of the time. It's a roller coaster of total frustration leads to eventual relief. Who could have ever thought that Marx's innocent ideas would lead to such evil! Amazing trilogy and absolute must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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