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The Man from St. Petersburg Mass Market Paperback – May 1 1983

4.1 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (May 1 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451163516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451163516
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.8 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Ken Follett has done it once more...goes down with the ease and impact of a well-prepared martini." -New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ken Follett was twenty-seven when he wrote EYE OF THE NEEDLE, an award-winning thriller that became an international bestseller. After writing several more successful thrillers he surprised everyone with THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages, which continues to captivate millions of readers all over the world. The long-awaited sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, a number one bestseller in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and France. FALL OF GIANTS is his most recent book. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book

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It was a slow Sunday afternoon, the kind Walden loved. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Now, first of all, I would like to say that, although I haven't read "a lot" of books by Ken Follett, I have now read three. And all three have been worth the time and worth the money. For sure. The Man from St. Petersburg is set mostly in England in the pre-WWII era. The plot of the story is that Feliks, "the man from st. petersburg", is planning to kill a Russian prince who is in the middle of treaty talks with England. Feliks beleives that the murder of the prince will bring about a break in a possible alliance to Russia. Throughout the story, many connections between Feliks and the English family housing the prince, are revieled, making the story very ironic, but I think the connections give a certain sense of suspense from wondering what might be revieled next.
Overall, it was a very gripping, suspensful, and entertaining book that had a very good bit of storytelling wrapped in.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the 4th Follet book I've read and I would have to say that it is definitely the weakest. The other 3 (Pillars of the Earth, A Dangerous Fortune, Eye of the Needle) were well written and very entertaining. Historical fiction at it's best! However, it cannot be said so for The Man from St. Petersburg.

THE BEGINNING: the novel started off well. It was interesting, a unique setting was given, and an entertaining plot developed. I mean, who doesn't like 1910ish historical fiction. The world is on the brink of war, countries are beginning to modernize, and elite nobility still rule the world (which for a story, is entertaining).

THE MIDDLE: the novel fell apart. The antagonist was supposed to be an elite assassin but instead I found him to be a bumbling idiot. I honestly couldn't stop thinking comparing him to the Coyote who was always trying to kill the Road Roadrunner. Some parts were so silly that I was shaking my head in disbelief. It was also extremely coincidental.

THE END: the novel did partially redeem itself. The ending, and when I say ending I mean the last 10 pages, was unique and satisfactory.

THE CONCLUSION: this novel was an OK read. Definitely not Follet's best.

Sorry Ken. It was definitely your weakest novel I've read. All other novels have been superb (especially A Dangerous Fortune!).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story is set London in early 1914 as Germany was mobilizing and war was inevitable to those that history would prove astute. France was in peril even if England assisted, and the British Empire itself would be at risk if the Germans prevailed. So, The First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr. Winston Churchill of the Liberal government, armed with a note from King George, convinces The (conservative) Earl of Walden to negotiate a secret treaty with his wife's nephew, Alex Orlov, also nephew to the Czar, for Russia to enter into the fray. The anarchists learn of this plot however, and Feliks, The Man from St. Petersburg, has five pounds sterling and a determination to assassinate Alex Orlov on English soil.
This story is rich with the history that bored us in school, that stuff about Victorian pomp and starving Russian peasants floundering for a new political order, the prelude to communism. Follett gives us a sense of the debauchery bred from wealth and privilege, and the desperation born of inhumanities in an era gone by. He introduces us to men threatened by women's suffrage, others terrorized of government, and through them, we better understand why society changed, or perhaps mutated. That stuff is woven seamlessly into a story of intrigue without long speeches or tedious lectures. We get our lesson without having to take notes.
My only quarrel is Follett's propensity to interrupt with back-story, once with back-story within back-story if I'm not mistaken. It's a minor irritation though, one scratch and it's gone, because we are more worried about how his characters are going to sort out the mess they're in. And in the end, you're going to believe The Man from St. Petersburg might have been.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
he does tell a good story - having read 5 books of his including this one (6 if you count reading Pillars of the Earth twice). The one draw back with his stories, with the exception of Pillars of the Earth and Earth Without End, is the fact that he wraps up his stories as a "happy love story" ending. If I wanted a love story I would buy a harlequin romance, but don't! In a spy novel it is alright to put in some personal drama between characters to an extent since life happens, but a spy/ suspense and a romance novel should be just that, but both separate. I am not looking for a mushy/ sappy ending which a couple of his books ended up as
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here we have a novel of the turn of the century into the first world war to the reign of winston churchill. I should make a point and its woth looking at although Churchill played a part in leading the war effort, and is regaled as few are in english history, many in the country didnt particularly wanted to reelect him afte rthe war. Here we have many trouble stirring, policemen in LOndon, the newspapers, an assasination the royal and noble family structure in RUssia, imperial Russia, and the female characters of Lydia ,and Stephen. We also have Lydia's marriage and and her attempts to detach herself from her father, and sees a spouse as an escape..and this romantic subplot surprisingly is dovetailed with realism, believability and interest and it almost plays like a social drama. The sufferagettes, the emancipation of women, plays as a backdrop, emerging feminism and attempts for people in the old order to form a new identity. The writer is able to realize the ancient religious order, as we can see from the tomes Pillars of the Earth and World without End, and he is faithful to the values of the old order. Almost like he's uncomfortable with whats popping up..like daisies or weeds. Thats for the reader to draw from.as any order changes some things are lost and new spring up, and the changes are witnessed through the character of Lydia an interesting character. Does he really like any of the characters as we read through this tale as we read each suspenseful page as we move toward the main action the assassination..and the subplot of Lydia as she escapes from her claustrophobic life toward..not anything near a new woman in a new age a common facet of post world war 1 novels..she's a prisone rof her own past..trapped in youth..Read more ›
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