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Place Called Freedom Mass Market Paperback – June 30, 1996
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"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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With action that spans two countries on opposite sides of the Atlantic, making a credible audio version of this epic tale is no small feat. Victor Garber, the talented actor of stage and screen (Sleepless in Seattle, I'll Fly Away, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd), does an admirable job. Garber presents the narrative passages in a clear, confident tone and uses his extensive acting experience to create believable voices for the many diverse characters. Follett has thrown in a confusing array of regional accents and disguised characters, but the range of Garber's voice helps keep things straight while heightening the considerable action and communicating the powerful emotions expressed by the very large cast that gives this drama its grand sweep.
This intriguing novel hinges on the courageous struggles of the hero, an indentured coal miner who declares, "I'll go anywhere that is not Scotland--anywhere a man can be free." Getting anywhere else is easier said than done, especially when he's caught up in an entanglement of familial responsibility, forbidden love, official deceit, trickery, and violence. Even though there are plenty of breathless moments when proper ladies are tempted by bare-chested hunks, this is much more than just another adventure-filled love story. It's also an intriguing journey into the social and political realities of the late 18th century, when the rising influence of the American colonies was first taking hold and the shining glory of the British Empire had begun its long, slow fade. (Running time: four hours, four cassettes) --George Laney --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
From Publishers Weekly
The key to Follett's absorbing new historical novel (after A Dangerous Fortune) lies in words that "made a slave of every Scottish miner's son" in the 1700s: "I pledge this child to work in [the laird's] mines, boy and man, for as long as he is able, or until he die." When young Malachi (Mack) McAsh challenges this practice, citing its illegality, he begins a pattern of rebelling against authority while pursuing justice. Mack's dangerous quest for freedom makes him a fugitive in High Glen, where he is brutally punished by Sir George Jamisson in retaliation for his intention to quit the mines. After escaping to London, Mack confronts injustice again when he tries to break the monopoly of "undertakers," who furnish crews to unload coal from ships; arrested and tried, he is transported to Virginia as an indentured servant. All this time, his fate is intertwined with that of Lizzie Hallim, daughter of the impoverished laird of High Glen, who is as spirited, independent-minded and daring as is Mack himself. (Readers may not quite believe her sexual aggressiveness, but Follett knows how to strike chords with feminists.) But Lizzie is gentry, so she must marry Jay, the younger Jamisson son. Follett adroitly escalates the suspense by mixing intrigue and danger, tinged with ironic complications. He also provides authoritative background detail, including specifics about the brutal working conditions of mine workers and coal heavers and the routine of an American tobacco plantation. History is served by references to real-life English liberal John Wilkes, who challenged the established view that the virtual enslavement of "common" men by aristocrats was God's will, and events in Virginia as the Colonies move toward rebellion. If the dialogue sometimes seems lifted from a bodice-ripper, and if far-fetched coincidences keep flinging Lizzie and Mack together, these flaws are redeemed by Follett's vigorous narrative drive and keen eye for character. BOMC and QPB main selections; Reader's Digest Condensed Book selection; simultaneous Random House audio and large-print editions; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Top customer reviews
His writing is competent but not swoon-worthy. He never makes grammatical errors but simply plows on, paragraph by paragraph. But his only real fault, to my mind, has to do with the way this book ends. The protagonist gets to his goal and it's over. I suppose if all you care about is the plot, then it's okay. But by that time, I had started to care about the characters--and the ending needs to give a kind of emotional satisfaction that was lacking here.
A Place Called Freedom didn't 'do' it for me. A rather tame historical romance with an improbable plot and poorly defined characters I would pass on this one if you are a mature reader who likes a bit of depth to your stories.
There is a big market for such as this so I'm sure Follett didn't lose in the market place but it just wasn't for me!
On the one hand, I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters are enjoyable and dynamic. The locations are really well-defined. The writing is crisp and flows well. The plot is, for the most part, intriguing.
The historical aspect was also a lot of fun. Seeing the emergence of the rights of the people in Britain and the Patriot movement in the 13 colonies was fun. Even George Washington gets a bit of a cameo!
I suppose some parts were too long, like Mack's struggles with the coal undertakers, or the life on Mockjack Plantation, but they weren't boring.
For me though, the ending just felt rushed, especially after such a long book. It was like Ken Follett was up against a deadline or he was just tired of writing and wanted to finish the book.
Simply having Jay and Lennox killed by Indians while Peg and the "fish boy" Indian fall in love was just sort of contrived. After the encounter with Jay and Lennox, the four (Mack, Lizzie, Peg, and Fish boy) all settle in a valley and live happily ever after...oh and there are eagles in the valley too. What?
I was hoping for a better resolution to the story. The Indians were included at the very end for a convenient way to wrap up the story. Surely, there was a better way for Jay and Lennox to meet their ends? Perhaps only Lennox gets killed by Mack and Jay is sent back to his mother with his tail between his legs.
Then an epilogue could have been included that takes place 6-7 years later with Mack and family firmly established in the wilderness as they hear the news about the Revolution and what-not. Perhaps Jay joins the Loyalists and is killed or shamed in battle...who knows.
Okay, enough of my rant about the ending. The novel, while long, is enjoyable. You'll really enjoy it if you love history too!.
Most recent customer reviews
Almost boring boooooo.
Not in his usual settler