Larger-than-life characters and an epic plot brimming with the energy of his internationally acclaimed thrillers make Ken Follett's A Place Called Freedom an experience not to be missed. This lush novel, set in 1766 England and America, evokes an era ripe with riot and revolution, from the teeming streets of London to the sprawling grounds of a Virginia plantation. Mack McAsh burns with the desire to escape his life of slavery in Scottish coal mines while Lizzie Hallim is desperate to shed a life of sheltered subjugation to her spineless husband. United in America, their only chance for freedom lies beyond the Western frontier - if they're brave enough to take it. Spanning two continents and bringing together an unforgettable cast of heroes, villains, and rebels, A Place Called Freedom is a magnificent epic of love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Narrator Simon Prebble's masterful use of voice and pacing captures a vivid cast of characters and the powerful destiny that shapes their lives.
i have read all of ken follett's books and have enjoyed every last one.i especially enjoy his 30 and 40 hour epics. these longer stories are packed with information a tribute to the research he must put into each . i find his shorter stories just as engrossing and enjoyable.
which brings me to "freedom" .things happen so quickly in this magnificent novel that the book almost had an abridged feeling about it. i would have loved it, if the author had expanded the story a little. there certainly was ample opportunity to do so . It stands alongside his best efforts , i selfishly wanted more.
70 of 72 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I could not quit listening. It's just another GREAT book by this author.
What did you like best about this story?
The ending. I love justice and I love a book that HAS an ending.
Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?
This narrator is not just a narrator ... he's an actor that gives you a performance that receives a standing ovation from me. This was the first time I've had a book narrated by him and he is one of my favorites now! Each character comes to life and with Follett's descriptive vocabulary, you can see each character in your mind. Of course, the main characters, Mack, Lizzie, Robert, Lenox, were my favorite (didn't like them all, but Prebble did a first-class job!)
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Epic Adventure ... From Scotland to England to Virginia and beyond ...
Any additional comments?
Go ahead and spend your credit, you will not be disappointed. This is an older book from Follett and I saw some relatively negative reviews ... I am so happy I went with the ones who were saying, "Must Read!" ... I'm very happy I didn't miss this great book!
68 of 70 people found this review helpful
I have always enjoyed reading Ken Follett’s books. According to my records I read “A Place Called Freedom” in 1996 but I cannot recall it, so decided to reread it. The book takes place in the 1770s in Scotland. It was customary for a father to pledge his young male child to work in the Lord’s mines for as long as he is able or until death. The protagonist of the story is Malachi (Mack) McAsh who rebels against this practice calling it illegal. In his early twenties he escapes and flees to London, where he gets a job unloading coal from ships. He tries to break the monopoly of the companies that furnish the work crews but is arrested and sentence to travel to the colonies. Mack was sent to Virginia and the government sold him as an indentured servant to the Jamison Mock jock Hall Plantation. Our other protagonist is Lassie Hallim, daughter of an improvised Lord. Lizzie is being forced to marry Jay Jamison from a wealthy aristocratic family. Jay and Lizzie move to Virginia to the Jamison family’s tobacco plantation called Mock Jock Hall. Lizzie, Mack, and Peg run away fleeing to the wilderness to seek freedom.
Follett describes the brutal working conditions of the common man of that age not only in the mines, coal heavers but on the tobacco plantations of the new world. Follett describes their lives as slaves both in Scotland, England but also Virginia. This is a story of social and political realities with a little romance tossed in. The book is well written and researched. The plot twists and turns with intrigue, brutality and some suspense. As far as I am concerned Follett could have toned down the sex a bit. This is a most interesting historical novel that reminds me that we had more than just African slaves working the plantations of the south. Simon Prebble does his usual magnificent job narrating the book. In 2010 Prebble won the coveted Audie Award and over the years he has won 23 Earphone awards for narration of audiobooks.
54 of 58 people found this review helpful
Follett is not really my cup of tea. Well I think he did his research on 18th-century Scotland England and America, I wasn't really impressed with his historical writing. He seem to miss the mark by portraying characters that seemed out of the 20th century but with 18th-century facts. The worst part was his portrayal of passion. His writing left a lot to be desired. "when first she saw his penis . . . a wrinkled tube"!!! Really - a wrinkled tube??? All in all I did like the story, even though the ending was a bit flat.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful
RIGHT AND WRONG DON'T COUNT MUCH IN THIS WORLD
I did not know that in the 17 hundreds, coal miners were slaves. That there was a church ceremony where they promised their children to be miners for life to a certain mine owner. I did not know that if accused of a crime in London, you were not allowed a lawyer. It was thought that if you needed professional help to defend yourself, you must be guilty. Through character development and a exciting story line, I was entertained and educated more in fifteen hours than any semester of text book history. I could mention several entertaining things that happened, but one of my favorites was where one judge tried 19 cases in one day and sentenced all 19 cases.
This being historical fiction, the fact that it was written in 1995, should not be a factor. This will still be a good book 100 years from now. I will have to agree with one reviewer that the ending is a little flat and seems a little out of character with the rest of the book. It still is not bad and the book as a whole is great. There is a lot of sex, even for me it seemed a little excessive. It also does borders on a Harlequin romance as mentioned by another.
Simon says, this is one really good narrator.
YOUR CLEVER MACK, BUT YOU DON'T KNOW A DAMN THING
50 of 57 people found this review helpful
First, I thoroughly enjoy Ken Follett trilogies. They are among my favorite books. I love how he weave in so much great history around his fictional characters. This is a good book, but not on the same level as his major works. Some of it felt a little too predictable. Some of the coincidences were a stretch. Still, if you like Follett, you'll like this book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
A little slow to get going as Follett developed characters through their actions as opposed to using narratives.
It's an older novel, 1995, but even an average Follett novel is better than most available out there. Good narration and overall recommended.
27 of 31 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of A Place Called Freedom to be better than the print version?
I don't know whether I would or not, but I do consider it a bit disingenuous to promote this as a "featured pre-order" when it was written almost 20 years ago. Nonetheless, the second I saw it I pre-ordered it as I would any book by Ken Follett. I did not realize, until the day I actually received it, that it was written in 1996. After listening to it, I can understand why it had not been previously released as an audio book, namely because it is not up to Follett's standards; however, despite being one of his least impressive books, it was still very, very good. In fact had it been written by another author I might have given it five stars.
What was one of the most memorable moments of A Place Called Freedom?
Discovering that my "new, just released" Ken Follett audio book was written in 1996.
What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?
This is the first book I have listened to that was read by Simon Prebble, but like all of Follett's other audio books, it was extremely well done. Pleasant voice with no egregious mispronunciations.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, I suppose it was that good; however I also think that this could have easily been lengthened into a multi-part series some of Follett's other works.
Any additional comments?
Ken Follett is one of the best fiction writers of his generation. He is an excellent story teller and most of his historical fiction is factual, despite evincing an unmistakable liberal bias.
57 of 68 people found this review helpful
Well. I had higher expectations for this book/ past experience with Ken Follett left me waiting for a sweeping saga; instead I found some sappy romance and an obsession with "sexy" scenes. Not that I'm against sex scenes, but this was a little much. I found myself groaning and eye rolling - ugh. Not again. Also, this story should have been narrated by someone like Davina Porter, who always delivers a great Scottish accent. Entertaining enough, but the ending was predictable and it was definitely not the Ken Follett I've come to expect over the years.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Last year, I read the abridged version of this book when I downloaded "The Ken Follett Value Collection".
At the time I said: Too bad it was abridged!! I thought it was great and I would have loved the story to be filled out a little more. As it stands I felt like I just skimmed the highlights. It reminded me of how much I enjoy books like Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth” and various other stories written by Jeffrey Archer. I am left wanting more.
Well now that I've finally read the unabridged version, I am not surprised to say I loved it! Interesting from start to finish, I enjoyed every moment.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful