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A Dangerous Fortune [Mass Market Paperback]

Ken Follett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 10.99
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Book Description

Nov. 1 1994
In 1866, tragedy strikes at the  exclusive Windfield School. A young student drowns  in a mysterious accident involving a small circle  of boys. The drowning and its aftermath initiates a  spiraling circle of treachery that will span three  decades and entwine many loves... From the  exclusive men's club and brothels that cater to every  dark desire of London's upper classes to the dazzling  ballrooms and mahogany-paneled suites of the  manipulators of the world's wealth, Ken Follett  conjures up a stunning array of contrasts. This  breathtaking novel portrays a family splintered by lust,  bound by a shared legacy... men and women swept  toward a perilous climax where greed, fed by the  shocking truth of a boy's death, must be stopped, or  not just one man's dreams, but those of a nation,  will die...

Frequently Bought Together

A Dangerous Fortune + Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy + Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy
Price For All Three: CDN$ 43.22

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Product Description

From Kirkus Reviews

Follett (Night Over Water, 1991; The Pillars of The Earth, 1989, etc.) peeks into the naughty world of late Victorian merchant bankers. A tragic misadventure among schoolboys is at the root of the rotten world of the Pilaster family. Weak bully Edward Pilaster and his too-dear South American chum Mickey Miranda cause the death by drowning of a lad from the lower form at their minor public school and then grow up to become as corrupt as one might expect. Mickey murders his way to a sinecure in the London legation of his nitrate-rich Latin American homeland, and, with much help from his gorgeous, manipulative mum Augusta, Edward bumbles his way to a partnership in the immensely important family bank. The only really good Pilaster, aside from discreetly gay Uncle Samuel, is young Hugh, whose father left the family firm, founded his own bank, and then had to commit suicide when the bank foundered. Hugh is a born banker, but since he's so much smarter than cousin Edward, Aunt Augusta hates him and throws constant obstacles in his path. Against Hugh's advice, Mickey and Edward team up on a series of huge loans to Mickey's government--money that goes to the purchase of war materiel and the advancement of Mickey's thuggish father. On this rotten foundation, the Pilaster bank grows to Imperial preeminence and Augusta gets the earldom she wants for the husband she dislikes. Hugh, pining for the Polish-born, Jewish bareback- rider he loved and lost and still nursing his childhood memory of That Day At The Swimming Hole, gets nothing but grief until those shaky South American bonds finally collapse and he's really needed. Interesting financial tips and a sprinkling of naughty bits, but the rest is minor Masterpiece Theatre. (BOM ??) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Political and amorous intrigues,  cold-blooded murders and financial crises...old-fashioned  entertainment!" -- San Francisco  Chronicle.

"Breathlessly plotted...relentlessly  suspensenseful." -- The New York  Times.

"Gripping, complex plot..  sexual intrigue...fascinating characters...you won't be  able to put down this exciting page-turner!"  -- Lexington Herald-Leader.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
ON THE DAY OF THE TRAGEDY, the boys of Windfield School had been confined to their rooms. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read by a master storyteller Oct. 29 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the third Follett book I've read in a row. It all started with Pillars of the Earth, the best book I've ever read. I read A placed Called Freedom right after that and enjoyed that alot as well. And I just got finished with A Dangerous Fortune. I can't possibly say enough good things about Ken Follett. Once again, it's the characters that drive the book. He takes you on a journey with these characters through many years of their lives and you get to see how they encounter, react and truimph over adversity. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but this is another 'must read' in my opinion. His characters are varied and colorful and the relationships, from friendship to love, villainy and hatred are so genuine I couldn't help but wish that these people lived at that point in history. A wonderful read that I will no doubt enjoy again in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
IMPORTANT QUESTION: Why has this book not received the credit that it deserves??? As per Amazon, the aggregate rating is 4.5 which is great and hopefully it is starting to gain a following (after almost 20 years since it was published). I purchased it because of the Amazon rating and it DID NOT LET ME DOWN. When someone mentions Ken Follet, they think of Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, The Eye of the Needle, The Key to Rebecca, or Triple. However this novel trumps them all. Somehow this excellent work got lost in the shuffle however but, in my mind, it should have risen to the top.

THE FACT: if you like Ken Follet, you will love this book. Set in ~1870, the story focuses on the Pilaster's, one of the richest banking family's in England. Over the course of the book, secrets are revealed, people are blackmailed, fortunes are gained and lost, and alliances are built and then broken. Both good and bad men and women rise and fall.

CONCLUSION: this is a superb read. The characters are vivid and extremely entertaining. The plot is tight, unique, and perfectly paced: fast, but not too fast. A great combination of drama, history, action, business, and romance. It did definitely remind me of Pillars of the Earth, except that it wasn't quite as depressing (Yay!) and the story moved a lot better.

Great job Ken. A MUST READ for any historical fiction fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Follett intrigue March 24 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had read Eye of the Needle years ago. Then suddenly (30 years later) along comes Pillars of the Earth. Well, that started a new round of "Follett Followers". I went back to the store and bought most of his previous books. They are all wonderfully written books. A Dangerous Fortune was just another typical Follett. You just never knew where you would end up. He is by far one of my favourite authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, too much sleaze July 23 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Follett is a great writer and gives a great feeling of the times. This story is no different with great character development and an imaginative plot. My only complaint is that Follett focuses way too much on sex. In fact he does in most of his novels, but this one just has too many details. This book would've been 5 stars without the ....
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great saga ! June 23 2014
By Arianne
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written and great character development. Typical Follett fare. You can read it for hours on end and are sorry when you are finished that there is no more to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written May 17 2014
By W. VanB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic Story. Follett writes incredibly well. One wonders if his fundamental belief is that sex makes the world go round though. It seems to factor into almost all of his books. The historical fiction though is so well written. Great story overall and this one is just really, really good. I could read a next installment of this one too. Follett draws you in quickly to the story and even though it is a long book - it is really hard to put it down. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! April 2 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ken Follett doesn't disappoint. His books do a fabulous job of establishing a time period and living in that time. His cast of characters always surprises and the arcs may be long, but so well worth the setups! I am a fan!
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5.0 out of 5 stars could not put it down Jan. 7 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As usual Follet's characters come to life immediately. He lures us in and before long we know them intimately, care for them or love to hate them.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Both good and bad....
I read plenty of Follet books which I highly enjoy since he is an incredible writer, and that is not to say this book is not another well-written and incredibly interweaved story. Read more
Published 5 months ago by TG
5.0 out of 5 stars Ken Follett does it again.
Great read. Ken Follett writes another page turner to keep his fans reading. Love, betrayal, deciept, murder mystery along with a great description of the times. I am a fan...
Published 9 months ago by Acadian Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved this book.
The character development is very good. There are many sub plots that work their way to a great ending. Anyone who likes historic fiction will like this.
Published 10 months ago by Margie Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD READING
Very interesting and easy to read and follow the intrigue.. Kept me up at night. Enjoy Ken Follett. It's been a while since I read the book so I don't remember the details. Read more
Published 10 months ago by carl neugebauer
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the development of the characters and historical information
I enjoyed this book because of the details Ken Follet adds to the period, the characters and historical facts. It is so interesting and I don't want the book to end.
Published 12 months ago by birgit broadbent
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Follett book
He did it again - this is my favourite author.

He knows how to make things happen and I love how he blends everything in
Published 13 months ago by Halo
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
Ken has written one good book-"The Needle" which is a major achievement given the fact that the last great writer was Graham Greene who wrote a number of fine novels . Read more
Published 14 months ago by Frank Hawkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel
I am enjoying this book so much that I can hardly put it down, it's a good story to read.
Published 16 months ago by Miche
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dangerous Fortune
"A Dangerous Fortune" by Ken Follett was a good read. Follett is a master storyteller.It was exciting. The characters were individualistic.
Published 17 months ago by Charles H. Houston
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