Rate this book

Edge Of Eternity (2014)

by Ken Follett(Favorite Author)
4.01 of 5 Votes: 5
0525953094 (ISBN13: 9780525953098)
Dutton Adult
The Century Trilogy
review 1: I feel as if I have accomplished a life goal, having completed the Ken Follett trilogy that he calls “The Century Trilogy.” “The Edge of Eternity” does not close out the century—it stops in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall—but it is a pretty comprehensive, if digested summary of events between 1961, when the Wall went up, and 1989. Reading this 1098-page monster provides, as do other Follett books, an odd sensation: you know by the heft of the books that you are reading a lot of pages, but the stories flow quickly and only if you stop to think about it do you realize that you are engaged in skimming history. Follett’s real characters—in this case JFK, Nixon, Gorbachev and others—allow him to do the skimming because you know most of the significant ba... moreckstory. You might get a bit uneasy with some of the plot elements—Maria Summers, the beautiful (all lead women in Follett novels are “beautiful,” “lovely,” “stunning,” or variations of luscious) black woman who moves into the White House as a token black woman and finds her way into the presidential bed with a startling frequency is an example. You realize frequently if you read carefully that Follett uses the same techniques to capture character pictures with nearly every other historical character. The smoothness with which real characters and Follett’s creations move into each other’s lives is startling until you get used to the fact that famous historical characters, in Follett’s world, easily mix with the bourgeoisie. Follett’s politics are front and center and, while he disapproves of JFK’s dalliances, he has little to fault him with but with Reagan and Bush I, he is merciless. Reagan’s ability to con the public and wander through the events of the 70s and 80s with impunity is frequently frustrating to the author and as for W, he has little good to say at all. This is particularly true in his portrayal of the fall of the Communist Party in the late 80s. He stresses the role that the Communist philosophy sewed the seeds of its own demise and that Reagan’s showboating “…tear down this wall” had no impact on the Communist mind at all. I have not yet entirely figured out how Follett does it, but he makes what looks like heavy reading very light and the 1098 pages fly by. Perhaps he adopted this style in the knowledge that most readers’ arms would tire from hefting the books so he made it possible to read them quickly. There is a lot of sex in this volume. There are the usual confused births and bloodlines, lots of divorces and intermarriage and the characters can get a bit confusing in their number, but it is fairly easy to keep track of them, especially when they branch out into politics on the one hand and popular entertainment on the other. If you have read Follett before, this will be a nice wrap-up to the 20th century. If you have NOT read Follett, especially in this trilogy, I strongly suggest you go back to Fall of Giants and Winter of the World to get a sense of the way Follett sees the world and his style. It will take less time than you might imagine to catch up.
review 2: Many reviews criticize this book for its liberal politics - yes, follett's politics are no secret here but don't most authors have a point of view? (Never heard that argument used against Ann Rand.). What bothered me more was the character development (or lack thereof). Where in the previous two century trilogy novels, the characters came first and the history provided a wonderfully rich backdrop, the characters in this book fell flat and really just seemed like vehicles to tell the history. As such, I didn't really care about any of them , didn't buy into the romances, the losses or joys. It was all a bit far fetched (Beatlesesque pop star, Kennedys mistress, famous actress, news anchor, congressman... ) and uninspiring. bummer. less
Reviews (see all)
rich in historical reference, but Wordy....found myself speed reading, which I hate to do!
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)