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The tension ratchets up quickly in this abridged reading of Ken Follett's thriller. Actor Anthony Heald--a movie (The Client, The Silence of the Lambs) and audiobook (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) veteran--uses a breathy, urgent delivery to spin the tale of ecoterrorist cultists and the unlikely heroes who must stop them before they hammer California with a major man-made earthquake. Follett has real contempt for his aging-hippie villains, which Heald gleefully communicates through lines of faux sagacity like, "Money makes you poor" and "Marriage is the greatest infidelity," and by having the head bad guy clear his conscience of a cold-blooded murder by reciting a nursery rhyme. (Running time: four hours, three cassettes) --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 25 2012 by Peter K. Burian
THis is a slight departure from Follett's other books. It's not about a particular event in history, it's not a spy novel. Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by Matthew Schiariti
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!Published on April 1 2004 by T. A Molina
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. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2003 by Suzanne G. Bowles
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. Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2003
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... Read morePublished on April 13 2003 by Nicole