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Place Called Freedom Mass Market Paperback – June 30, 1996
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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 Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
First, the story is like something from a Thomas Hardy or Charles Dickens novel. Some reviewers have called it formulaic, corny, or contrived. Sure, like a "Tess of the D'urbervilles" or "A Tale of Two Cities" it jerks the characters through quite a life of suffering and disappointments, but you will care about these characters and cheer them on in their epic journey to find freedom and each other. There is a romantic element to the story, for sure, but it's not Harlequin in nature and it's not as sappy as much of the historical fiction out there.
Second, the writing is easy and enjoyable to read, even though it uses dialect for the Scottish characters. Unlike Hardy and Dickens, Follett is neither laborious in his detail nor overly wordy. This book is a quick read and full of memorable imagery.
Third, and I'm sure somebody will ding me for saying this, you really get a feeling for the American experience-for why people came to this country, for how unprepared they were for the reality of being here back when people were trying to impose the old-world class system on an untamed country full of possibilities, for how determination, hard work, and devotion were the true mark of class.
A Place Called Freedom is more period like A Dangerous Fortune, although not quite as dark as that book. If your first Ken Follett books were about the war and espionage, then you might not like A Place Called Freedom because it is a different type of book for Follett. For those people, I'd recommend Jackdaws or The Key to Rebecca. But, if you like historical fiction, the stories of Hardy and Dickens, or the romantic feeling of adventure in Follett's Hornet Flight, you should give A Place Called Freedom a try.
While not as wonderful as Pillars of the Earth (I still can't get that book out of my head...definetly one of the best if not THE best I've ever read), this is still a great book. The book has rapid fire pacing but doesn't sacrifice on the details and characterization that suck you into the book. And that's what the focal point of the book is, the characters. You feel their pain, their joy, every emotion that they're going through.
From Scotland, to London, to Virginia, the reader is taken on a journey of treachery, deceit, love, loss and triumph. You feel as if you can reach out and touch the characters.
Follett is fast becomming one of my favorite authors and he's edging his way to the top of the list. You won't want to stop reading this book. I could have easily read it in a day but I decided to stretch it out over a couple days and let each section I read sink in. I don't think I've encountered another author who can weave romance, violence, humor, action and great research as effectively as Ken Follett and this book does all that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story line is familiar, as I have read all of the Outlander series, set in Scotland and the Colonies about the same time. Read morePublished 16 hours ago by Gerry
I found the book to be a good story and provided a historic context that was instructive as to issues that later became part of the American revolution
The ending was abrupt... Read more
I would to see a sequel to this story. Would t h eyes settle down and raise a family or would their love for adventure keep them always moving.Published 4 days ago by Carol
I love anything Ken Follett writes! Waiting for another new book by Ken.Published 4 days ago by Norman Glassburn
Not the best book by Ken Follett but an enjoyable read. He does a good job with historical novels and brings the past to life.Published 5 days ago by Wayne Elmer