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Place Called Freedom [Mass Market Paperback]

Ken Follett
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 30 1996
Sentenced to a life of misery in the Scottish coal mines, twenty-one-year-old Mack McAsh hungers for escape. His only ally: beautiful high-born Lizzie Hallim, who is trapped in her own kind of hell.

In 1766, from the teeming streets of London to the infernal hold of a slave ship headed for the American colonies to a sprawling Virginia plantation, two restless young people, separated by politics and position, are bound by their search for a place called freedom....

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Place Called Freedom + A Dangerous Fortune + Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy
Price For All Three: CDN$ 29.28

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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 An Engaging Tale Aug. 26 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. None the less this novel was quite captivating, as the plot turned out to be excitingly progressive full of memorable moments that often make the book hard to put down. The character depth as in most of Ken Follet's books was quite rich, which makes reading the novel a lot more attractive.

The story starts off with a young Scottish coal miner strugglling to obtain his right to be free. The book revolves around this personal struggle of his and is easily the main theme of the book. No matter where he is, he seems to find himself being taken advantage of, being kept down by those whom consider themselves better. His inability to accept the idea that being rich makes you above the law and better then the working class makes it possible for Mack to establish a relationship with a young women by the name of Lizzie. As the story progresses their paths become ever more entwined as he can't seem to break away from the Jamisson family, a family Lizzie eventually becomes part of, whom work tirelessly to keep Mack from achieving anything.

The book, as written, is broken up into three sections. Each one is comprised of the locality in which Mack finds himself. The transition from each place is very well done, as certain reoccuring themes and characters are present within each section. All in all the book was quite entertaining and the ending leaves you satisfied as it wraps up quite nicely.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORICAL DRAMA AT ITS BEST Aug. 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 pacing is what sets him apart and what makes his books so much fun to read. A few reviews tied the story to Far and Away (the Cruise/Kidman flick), in my opinion I think that's quite a stretch - this is not a love story first and a quest for freedom second tale - it's a little of both, but it's mainly about the struggles of the classes.
I you already like Ken Follett, then you must read this outing. He keeps the pages turning and his eye on historical accuracy is dead-one (he's been guilty of gross anacronisms in a few of his works).
If you haven't read his books, then give yourself a treat and pick this up, I promise you won't be bummed. After that, read Pillars of the Earth, which is probably one of the best books out there (check out all the reviews - many feel the same).
Enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! July 14 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. I felt like I was right there with Lizie. I have recommended this book to all of my friends. This was the first Follett book that I have read and am now hooked to his books. He doesn't just tell one story, he tells many and interweaves them with each other. It had several twists and turns up to the last page. READ IT, READ IT, READ IT!
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Most recent customer reviews
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 May 1 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. 18 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
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 6 2002 by Jorge Frid
2.0 out of 5 stars The Book That Never Ends
I am a bit disappointed in the author after reading this book. I think he was trying to build on the success that he had with Pillars of the Earth but this book falls far short of... Read more
Published on April 18 2002 by John G. Hilliard
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and exciting
What a very fine writer Ken Follett is! Having read "The eye of the needle" many years ago, and more recently, "Pillars of the earth" and enjoyed them both very... Read more
Published on March 9 2002 by Beverley Strong
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