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The Hammer of Eden [Mass Market Paperback]

Ken Follett
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 2 1999
The FBI doesn't believe it. The Governor wants the problem to disappear. But agent Judy Maddox knows the threat is real: an extreme group of eco-terrorists has the means and the know-how to set off a massive earthquake of epic proportions. For California, time is running out.

Now Maddox is scrambling to hunt down a petty criminal turned cult leader turned homicidal mastermind. Because Judy knows that the dying has already begun. And soon, the earth will violently shift, bolt, and shake down to its very core. . . .

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From Amazon

The unlikely idea of a bunch of commune-dwelling radicals deliberately setting off an earthquake starts making sense in this unabridged reading of Ken Follett's thriller. Alexander Adams's radio-friendly voice moves smoothly from narrative to dialogue to flashbacks. He's especially terrific when narrating the violent, unspoken thoughts of Priest, the illiterate but charismatic villain, whose plan to save his idyllic commune could ultimately destroy much more nature than it preserves. (Running time: 13 hours, eight cassettes) --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

After 20 years of writing bestselling novels, Follett is enough of a pro to produce a reliable page-turner from a flimsy premise?as he does here. His working out of how a rural, socially radical California commune moves not heaven but earth to stave off the loss of their land to a government dam and the ensuing flood is smartly paced if nearly devoid of inspiration. What distinguishes it is not the communards' weapon, a stolen seismic vibrator generally used by oil companies to sound for liquid gold but also handy for starting earthquakes. Nor is it the mechanical progression of the plot, as the radicals, calling themselves the Hammer of Eden, escalate threats and consequent quakes in order to blackmail the state into halting the dam until the finale finds them about to devastate San Francisco. Nor is it the by-the-book chase of the terrorists by a headstrong female FBI agent who might have walked onstage from any of a dozen other thrillers. What does?other than its efficient telling?raise the novel above mundanity is the depth of characterization of its villains, a Follett forte since his splendid debut in Eye of the Needle. Follett devotes many pages to backstory, creating in Priest, once a smalltime hood and now the commune's leader, in Star, his hippie earth-woman, and in Melanie, a bitter young beauty who throws in with the commune, fully realized outcasts, crazed and desperate idealists whose actions are as believable as they are heinous. All else in the novel, including the perfunctory prose, serve only to push the story quickly through its paces, but Follett's troupe of lost souls makes it dance to a memorable, mournful tune. Agent, Al Zuckerman; major ad/promo; simultaneous Random House audio and large-print edition.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A below par Follett novel June 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This story is good, but certainly not up to Mr. Follett's usual tales of suspense and intrigue. There was too much emphasis on the romantic interest in the story which bogged the plot line. The environmental terrorist concept was chilling and could have been better developed.
It is difficult to believe that a seasoned FBI agent would let her personal feelings intefere with a serious investigation.
Mr. Follett usually writes great stories but this was not one of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ho hum April 13 2003
By Nicole
Format:Mass Market Paperback
not follett at his best. the idea is good but the book didn't develop well-would've liked a slower buildup to let me get into the characters and that would've helped me accept where the story was going - very creative; but got there too fast.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Did Follett Write This?? Jan. 25 2012
By Peter K. Burian TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The caliber of writing of this book is far below Follett's usual standards. He was one of my favorite authors with books like Pillars of the Earth and Lie Down with Lions. (Surprisingly, Pillars of the Earth was first published in the same year as Hammer of Eden.) I find it impossible to believe he wrote this schlock. If I were Follett, I would be embarrassed to see my name on this book.

I am convinced that it was ghost written. At least Clive Cussler puts the co-author's name on his books.

Overall it's not terrible, just run of the mill stuff. We expect more from an author with the excellent books that Follett has written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good reading for vacation June 8 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked the book and would recomend it to others.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Long live the 'Cuda! April 1 2004
Format:School & Library Binding
Ok, so it might not be Follett's best books, but it's not that bad!I enjoyed it, pick up a copy and give it a chance!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Follett's best, I think Dec 27 2003
Format:Audio CD
I see this book has gotten quite a few negative reviews on this forum, but I really liked it. This, along with Jackdaws, I think are my two favorites of Follett's. I can't comment on either the realism of the earthquake scenario or the realism of the FBI office, but only experts will nitpick at that anyway. This was an exciting page turner with interesting characters & especially a villain you love to hate -- the evil psychopathic old hippie, Ricky aka Priest. If you are a Follett fan, definitely give this one a chance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Action and suspense Oct. 11 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I started reading this great book while on the john one day and it riveted me to numbness. I couldn't put it down and then I couldn't stand up. I know, just a little more info than most of you probably needed.
There is plenty of action and suspense. I haven't finished it yet but I can tell that Ken Follett is going to be an author that I will enjoy picking up about any of his books and reading them.
I was given this book by a very strange individual and the moral here is Never Judge a Book by it's Cover! I thought she was giving me some kind of religious book and I don't do those, well wasn't I most pleasantly suprised when I finally started reading it and I am sure that if you like a little mystery, intrigue and a little suspense with lots of action right from the very beginning then this will be a book that you may very well enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate and engaging Nov. 14 2002
By cyane
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book and from page one was enthralled. The obligatory romance(s) could have been left out but in case this is made into a movie they have to be there. It was exciting throughout and delved into the mind of an egotistical maniac.
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