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Place Called Freedom [Mass Market Paperback]

Ken Follett
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 30 1996
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
Scotland, 1766. Sentenced to a life of misery in the brutal coal mines, twenty-one-year-old Mack McAsh hungers for escape. His only ally: the beautiful, highborn Lizzie Hallim, who is trapped in her own kind of hell. Though separated by politics and position, these two restless young people are bound by their passionate search for a place called freedom.
 
From the teeming streets of London to the infernal hold of a slave ship to a sprawling Virginia plantation, Ken Follett’s turbulent, unforgettable novel of liberty and revolution brings together a vivid cast of heroes and villains, lovers and rebels, hypocrites and hell-raisers—all propelled by destiny toward an epic struggle that will change their lives forever.
 
Praise for A Place Called Freedom
 
“Gripping . . . a very entertaining tale.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Compelling.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Quick-paced.”—New York Daily News
 
“An altogether entertaining reading experience.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Product Description

From Amazon

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another great follett historical work Oct. 22 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second Follett book I've read, the first being Pillars of the Earth. Actually, this is only the third review I've written out of the 60 to 70 books I've read over the past couple years but I find myself wanting to express my opinions more and more when I get done with a great read and maybe helping people get exposed to great books they otherwise wouldn't have tried or known about.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Follett, Great Characters and Story Oct. 28 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After one chapter, I knew how the story would end, but that didn't change my enjoyment of A Place Called Freedom. Follett explores the life of lowly coal miner Mac who longs to be free and free-spirited Lizzie who has a disdain for the social classes of her time.
Still she marries Jay Jamison and she truly loves him. Jay Jamison is an interesting Follett character. This book compares with a Dangerous Fortune in plot and scope, but that book had clearly defined good and evil characters. Jay and Lizzie were in love, and through actions of their family, their love was destroyed. Still, to the end Jay always cared for Lizzie. Still, his devotion to power and greed and to please his family mattered more.
Follett is great at developing characters and educating the reader on the certain time period. Follett details the day to day life and the character's interaction with social norms very well.
I haven't read too many of Follet's WWII novels or spy novels and look forward to moving on to those. I've read six Follett books, and only the Third Twin was bad.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A predictable but well written yarn. Feb. 15 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A historical novel that takes the reader from the coal mines of 18th century Scotland, where a male child is promised to the Lord of the land for 10 pounds at birth. He will then find himself a slave to the mines till he dies of the black lung or some mishap. It is Mack McAsh that stands up for his rights along with the rights of his fellow workers. A struggle that brings on a lifetime of hardship from the first pages of this book till the very end.
From the moment Mack meets Lizzie, the privileged daughter of a once wealthy landowner we know they are meant to be together, hence the predictability, but a good story none-the-less. This book seemed to span a lifetime as we moved from Scotland to London, then to a convict ship that leads us to a plantation in Virginia, and finally to the uncharted wilderness that existed west of the Cumberland Gap. The search for freedom is elusive but there for the taking if only one tries hard enough to overcome the obstacles.
This is my first book by Follett. I would give it 3 stars if the option was available to me. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed covering so much territory. The author was knowledgeable and presented the material in an interesting manner that kept me reading on. It was just a bit too predictable for me. 2/14/01
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3.0 out of 5 stars Different Aug. 12 2000
By Lissa
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I would have liked to give this book three and a half stars, but that option was not available.
A Place Calles Freedom follows the converging lives of Mack McAsh, a Scottish coal worker who seems to always irritate the wrong people, and Lizze Hallim, a igh born lady who would prefer to act like a man.
It is a tried and true fomula, and I enjoyed this book immensely, despite its predicatable plot. I particularly liked the introduction to the book, and the way that the story was introduced. I mainly gave this book three stars because it is very different from the other Ken Follett books that I have read. I've read Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping intricate novel, and Night Over Water, which I thought had an interesting an enjoyable plot.
I knew how this book was going to end before it even started. The characters are fairly stereotypical. There are scenes that are reminiscent of a steamy romance novel. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it's nothing to write home about.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fast paced saga of life in 1700's Scotland and Virginia. Ken
Follett again does a masterful job of interweaving historical
fact with fictional characters. The story encompasses all
strata of family life, both rich and poor.

The tale starts out in Scotland where an indentured servant toils
in the coal mines yearning for freedom. His interactions
among his peers and the landed gentry vividly evoke the harsh life of the eighteenth century Scotland. His relationship with the mistress of the castle moves from Scotland, to London, to Virginia and finally to their freedom.

Follett evokes eighteenth century life and makes you feel that you are there. He skillfully details life in small town Scotland, the City of London, and the Virginia frontier.

The book provides an enjoyable, fast paced read in a historical setting. Over the years Follett has broadened his range from spy/mystery novels to historical sages mixing fact with fiction. The book moves right along and you won1t want to put the book down until you are finished.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story
If there is one fault in the writings of Follett it is that the story ends. I am not sure that I am happy with an ending like this one. Read more
Published 3 months ago by W. VanB
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This book did not fail my expectations. Another page turner, never wanted it to end .
Not much more to say. Loved it.
Published 3 months ago by Carol Green
4.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Tale
For anyone who has given this book five stars, you either haven not read enough or have not read any of Ken Follets true masterpieces. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2008 by David Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORICAL DRAMA AT ITS BEST
If you enjoyed Pillars of the Earth as much as I did, then you're going to enjoy this book as well. As with Pillars, the action starts from page one and keeps going - his focus on... Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
What an excellent book! I read this in less than a week. I couldn't seem to put it down. Ken Follett does such an excellent job with describing all of his characters and scenes. Read more
Published on July 14 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD BOOK
This is another good book by Follet. Though not in the league of "the pillars of the earth","night over water"etc....
it still holds you.A story from a bye gone era.. Read more
Published on April 30 2003 by sanjeev sood
3.0 out of 5 stars Middle of the Road Follett
I have read several of Follett's works and generally cannot get enough of them. This one is historical in nature yet the story is not as compelling as some of Follett's other... Read more
Published on Oct. 8 2002 by Michael A. Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining epic romantic adventure
Well-plotted, well-written and evocative. Good characters. I promise you will be hooked. Brings to mind the film "Far and Away" with a dash of "The Patriot".
Published on Aug. 17 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant Fan
I read this book when i was 17 a little while ago.
I had never read his masterpieces, but i had a friend who raved about him, so i went to the book store, and found this one. Read more
Published on July 12 2002 by Robert N. Schroeter
4.0 out of 5 stars Fight for your ideas
It is a story to relax and read, is not the best of Ken Follet but is not a bad story, with this book you will learn how some people want their freedom at any price and some people... Read more
Published on May 15 2002 by Jorge Frid
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