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)
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!
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Great story! Interesting and suspenseful the entire way through.
It was hard for me to follow the various story lines at first since I have trouble keeping track of names, but that didn’t last long and I soon got swept up by the plot.
I also loved learning about the Pan Am Clipper!! I knew nothing about it prior to this book; a fascinating little bit of history.
Book should be re-titled Technical Specifications of the Boeing 314. As a novel it was pretty terrible with, as others have said, dreary cardboard characters. Most of the writing seemed to have no purpose other than to extend the weight rather the quality of the book.
The narrator offered no help either as it was a dry reading although he did have a lot of characters to cover.
This book read like a bad B movie. This was a first for me with any KF book, so I had to ask myself if it is possible it was the narrator. The narration felt false and made the book sound rather hoaky.
I must give the narrator his due though, he did the accents exceptionally well.
Very interesting premise. Mediocre execution. Follett is a very good writer and I can see him getting the idea for this book and thinking "I MUST write this" and then even after it was clear it was not to be a great book, he thought "I must FINISH this." Therein lies his mistake.
I'll make three points:
1. I don't "look ahead" when reading a suspense novel like this. I don't try to figure out what will happen next. Instead, I prefer to let the story teller do their job and just let it come to me. In this book, I could not help but see the obvious. I won't say there weren't any surprises, but the few unexpected turns were contrived and hard to believe.
2. Readers can make a story better or worse than it really is. In this book, I can't tell whether Tom Casaletto had any impact, but I won't look for any other books he's voiced.
3. SEX. Yes, there is sex in this book. Unfortunately, listening to it described here is like listening to your sainted grandmother give an account of her first experience. In most cases, the anatomy is referred to by it's proper name and with about as much passion as a role call. I literally had to skip the last sex scene because it was too painful to bear.
If you decide to get this book just remember one thing--once the Pan Am Clipper takes off, it's a long flight.
I cannot believe that this was written by a best-selling author! This was some of the most trite, overdone yet simple-minded writing I have ever read. I thing the listening made it worse. The author did a very fine job with all the accents, although they were very heavy on stereotype, but the narration was absolutely emotionless. And fast... I checked more than once to see if the speed on my device was set too fast. This was a bad book made simply awful by horrid narration.
Many parts of the audio book are in short, choppy sentences and the narrator, Tom Casaletto does not help the pattern of the structure. His narration becomes choppy also and does not hold a good balance to the rhythm pattern of the sentences.
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Normally I love Ken Follett's books but I found the I had a hard time following what exactly was happening. The narrator is stilted and unexciting in his narrative. I'm sorry I purchased the audiobook.
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.)
I love Ken Follet, I think he is a very talented writer and this was a pretty good book. However, this narrator was horrible. Every sentence was ended like it was either a question or an exclamation. I have to assume it wasn't written this way.
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