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Editorial Reviews

Among the most eponymous authors of the thriller genre, Ken Follett started off humbly enough: He began writing, he says, so he could raise money to fix his car. A steward of suspense since his 1978 breakthrough, Eye of the Needle, Follett here offers a clinical dissection of the thriller genre. A successful thriller, notes Follett, produces fear and anxiety - emotions that demand resolution, and thereby maintain audiences’ interest. The best-selling author explores the history of the genre, pointing to Erskine Childers’ little-known 1903 work, The Riddle of the Sands, as the progenitor of the modern suspense story. Follett traces women’s shifting role in suspense fiction, examining how a genre originally geared toward men has evolved to include female heroes and villains, authors and audiences.

Publisher's Summary

Ken Follett uses his gift for storytelling to present a detailed account of the thriller's place in history and literature. Follett is the author of more than a dozen best-selling novels, including Eye of the Needle, The Pillars of the Earth, and Whiteout. He is also president of the Dyslexia Institute, a member of the National Literacy Trust, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

This event took place on October 21, 2005.

Don't miss any of Ken Follett's thrillers.
© and (P)2005 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Guthridge
  • Tomball, TX, United States
  • 09-17-11

Great Background for any thriller lover

What made the experience of listening to Ken Follett the most enjoyable?

I didn't know what to expect with this audio, but it was Ken Follett and I thought it might be interesting. It was great! Most of the books he mentioned I had already read, but the ones I hadn't I noted down, and got them on Audible.com! His speaking style is very entertaining and the discussion was very interesting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, this is something you want to listen to in one sitting; however, I listened on my commute to work, so it took me a couple of days.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Terry
  • Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
  • 05-11-08

Use as a preamble to Pillars of the Earth

It was great to prepare one for listening to Pillars of the Earth which is one of the best listeNS I've had on Audible. It gives great insight on how and why this author writes. Comparable to Stephen Kings book On Writing.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pleasing Discussion

Another in the highly entertaining 92Y series, this features popular novelist Follett discussing the essential ingredients of a "thriller". Plainly, Follett is very well read and researched and his part-time lecturing comes in handy, here. He is easy to listen to, has an interesting thesis and responds well to questions from the audience.
This is another worthwhile listen in this usually very consistent series and won't eat into much more than a lunch hour (if such things still exist).

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An excellent lecture

Any additional comments?

This short lecture portray some of the key moments of the history of the thriller/suspense. It is an informative and pleasurable listening.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Casto
  • 01-08-15

Entertaining lectures - can't hear the questions

Ken Follet gives an entertaining history of the thriller, full of sage and funny comments.

Unfortunately, we can't see his slides or hear the questions at the end. I don't know what the producers could have done with that.

However, for fans of thrillers or Ken Follet or both, it's worth listening!