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Night over Water | [Ken Follett]

Night over Water

On a bright September morning in 1939, two days after Britain declares war on Germany, a group of privileged but desperate people gather in Southhampton to board the largest, most luxurious airliner ever built - the Pan American Clipper - bound for New York.
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Publisher's Summary

On a bright September morning in 1939, two days after Britain declares war on Germany, a group of privileged but desperate people gather in Southhampton to board the largest, most luxurious airliner ever built - the Pan American Clipper - bound for New York.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (688 )
5 star
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3.9 (393 )
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Story
3.9 (397 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Daniel Mcafee Texas USA 07-11-08
    Daniel Mcafee Texas USA 07-11-08 Member Since 2005

    danmc

    HELPFUL VOTES
    799
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    "Fun Listen"

    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 :)

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Memphis, TN 01-23-09
    Wolfpacker Memphis, TN 01-23-09 Member Since 2005

    Curtis

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Yarn With a Few Unexpected Twists"

    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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 09-18-08
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 09-18-08 Member Since 2006

    Don't you just love a great story well told?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Story"

    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.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca brentwood, CA, United States 09-15-13
    Rebecca brentwood, CA, United States 09-15-13 Member Since 2007

    Daily Dog Walker and LONG Silicon Valley commutes, so I gulp through and love lotsa books, especially literary fiction and Mystery.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Ship of Fools..."

    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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Petersburg, VA, USA 07-08-09
    Lisa Petersburg, VA, USA 07-08-09 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book, terrible narrator"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Carmel, IN, United States 09-08-08
    Becky Carmel, IN, United States 09-08-08
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    "One of the best"

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 06-11-08
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 06-11-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the early Ken Follett"

    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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandyjean Wilton, CA, United States 07-14-12
    Sandyjean Wilton, CA, United States 07-14-12 Member Since 2005
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    "This was Follet? NO!!"
    Would you try another book from Ken Follett and/or Tom Casaletto?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ken Follett again?

    Of course. Pillers of the Earth was unsurpassed.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    No interest in what he was reading.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Night over Water?

    All the sex scenes. Someone said it was like sex of their grandmother. Yep!


    Any additional comments?

    Come on Mr. Follet. Please do what we know you can do.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Champaign, IL, United States 09-18-10
    Robert Champaign, IL, United States 09-18-10 Member Since 2001
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    "Surprised by this trash"

    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!

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Hippy PA 01-03-09
    Old Hippy PA 01-03-09 Member Since 2013
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    "It's not the narrator that's bad - it's the story"

    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.)

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
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