The passengers include a fascist English aristocrat fleeing with his family and a fortune in jewels; a German scientist escaping from the Nazis; a murderer under FBI escort; a beautiful young woman heading for a new life; and a handsome, charming, unscrupulous thief.
They will be in the air for 30 hours, soothed by the carpeted lounges, the curtained beds, the gourmet dining room, and the endless champagne. But once inside the flying palace, there is no escape. Over the Atlantic, the Clipper's passengers are gripped by mounting fear and tension as their journey reaches the point of no return.
©1991 Ken Follett; (P)1991 Brilliance Audio
"Follet soars to a thoroughly satisfying ending with aeronautical precision." (Publishers Weekly)
"Tom Casaletto's glib performance makes this seemingly endless journey fly by with ease. His many accents are first-rate." (AudioFile)
Follett weaves another fine yarn!
This book is written from the perspective of a handful of different characters who all end up on a transatlantic flight together.
As a master story teller, he weaves it all together exceptionally well, combining action, romance and intrigue.
The conversations and actions near the end get a little cliche' and campy but I think Follet was just trying to capture how people really spoke in 1939 as opposed to sounding a little hokey at times.
The narrator was good.
Of his recent Audible releases, I would rate this one the second best behind "A Dangerous Fortune", which was terrific. The Needle, Triple and Lie Down with Lions are decent but not as good.
I teetered between a 4 or 5 star and rounded up :)
Don't you just love a great story well told?
Follett spends a 1/3 of the book setting up his characters like dominoes. Then the plane takes off and he lets the dominoes tumble in wonderfully intertwined yet unpredictable patterns. Nearly all the characters are well developed and highly believable, several conflicted. The plot is more complex than one would expect in such a limited space. This story is very well researched, produced and narrated. Overall: A first rate thriller.
This story will keep you engaged throughout. The characters are well developed separately and brought together with some interesting consequences. Follett is truly a great storyteller more than a great writer. Sure, there are some slightly implausible parts where you think, "Why doesn't he do this or do that?" But, hey, this is a fun story and not a literary masterpiece. If you are the type that scoffs and shoots holes in stories, go ahead. But if you are looking for a fun plane ride with lots of bumps and twists, give it a try.
One caveat, the sex scenes are more descriptive and frequent than is necessary for the story.
I love Ken Follet and have been enthralled by his other books. This was not one of them. The story line itself was good. The writing/sex/intregue were all so terribly boring.
On top of that, the reader was unexciting to say the least. He sounded bored with all of it. I was too.
Of course. Pillers of the Earth was unsurpassed.
No interest in what he was reading.
All the sex scenes. Someone said it was like sex of their grandmother. Yep!
Come on Mr. Follet. Please do what we know you can do.
The story took quite awhile to get going. The narrative seems to be more directed to a teenage audience then an adult one. The story telling, however, seems to presage the authors subsequent excellent stories.
The narrator does a fine job and his accents carry the story to a certain extent.
I loved this book but listening to this particular narrator was painful. He put nearly the same inflection on every sentence, so that he always sounded as if he were reading the exciting line of a kid's book. If Follet weren't so good, I couldn't have kept going.
Daily Dog Walker and LONG Silicon Valley commutes, so I gulp through and love lotsa books, especially literary fiction and Mystery.
While I was listening to this, I thought-- I've got t re-read Katherine Anne Porter's "Ship of Fools" because this novel reminded me of "ship" in the air vs. sea. So after I finished listening to this, I did listen to "ship" and it wasn't a very good mental comparison.
Some of this repeats what I just wrote about "Ship."
Here's the thing, I've said in reviews before that more literary novels do not always fare so well as "listens." I think of Follet as storyteller, someone like the brilliant Bryce Courtney who puts together a brilliant story, and the story drives all, and the characters are quickly and proficiently sketched and the reader is quickly and professionally sucked in to a compelling narrative, an these books are tailor-madefor Audible. "Ship" is harder to carry off in Audible form -- it's a more psychological novel, and doesn't let you sit back (drive/commute/walk) and relax, you have to REALLY listen (or read). Or listen twice.
Follet as always is sheer storytelling enjoyment, strong narrative, fun, you'll want to speed-listen. Follet is perfect for Audible (or beach-reading) and is story telling its finest.
There are other good/legitimate reasons to read/listen as well, and "Ship" is not for the story, it's for the psychological insight. I love that I can honor two world class writers in one review, and encourage listening/reading to both for different reasons.
"Night Over water" will pull you in and give you great listen/story that you won't want to pause, as I expect from this author and have yet to be disappointed!
I stumbled on Ken Follett when I joined Audible. What a writer! He is an amazing storyteller and builds characters like few can. Pillars will be in my top five favorites of all times. World Without End is slower to take off, but picks up pace quickly. Love them both!
I think Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" is a masterpiece and the follow-up novel "World Without End" a worthy read. So when I was browsing for something light, I picked "Night over Water." The basic plot revolves around the Pan American Clipper that flew from London to New York and is set at the outbreak of WW II. I thought it had great potential and was very disappointed when it kept constantly degenerating into long descriptions of character X sexually stimulating character Y. These were not integral to the plot and I finally just quit listening. I'm done with Follett for good!
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.)
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