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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another great follett historical work
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...
Published on Oct. 22 2003 by Matthew Schiariti

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A predictable but well written yarn.
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...
Published on Feb. 15 2001 by Denise Bentley


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another great follett historical work, Oct. 22 2003
By 
Matthew Schiariti (new jersey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Place Called Freedom (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
By 
Bill Garrison (Oklahoma City, OK USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Place Called Freedom (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
By 
Denise Bentley "Kelsana" (The California Redwoods) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Place Called Freedom (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 (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Place Called Freedom (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting saga of 18th Century Scotland and Virginia, Sept. 18 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Place Called Freedom (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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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad ... but when you think what it COULD have been ..., Sept. 2 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Place Called Freedom (Mass Market Paperback)
A Place Called Freedom could have been a triumph for Ken
Follett. Instead, it's an OK book ... a light, breezy read,
but nothing special. It reads like a Cliff's Notes version
of a great novel ... relationships and histories between
characters are hinted at, alluded to, even stated ... but
not explored. Characters come and go with little reason and
less effect on the plot. Just as an example, the main
character's twin sister ... his rock, his best friend, his
motivation for escaping servitude, is killed. Her death and
its impact is covered off in a few lines. The two
protagonists knew each other as children (we're told) ...
she the blueblood, he the son of the servant ... and yet
this early relationship is unexplored, despite its obvious
resonance through the later meetings. It's like Follett
phoned this one in, doubly disappointing when you read - as
in Pillars of the Earth - what this author is capable of
doing when he sets his mind to it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORICAL DRAMA AT ITS BEST, Aug. 30 2003
This review is from: Place Called Freedom (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 An excellent historical novel of the late 18th century, July 27 1998
By 
Fred Camfield (Vicksburg, MS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Place Called Freedom (Hardcover)
This book was a change of pace for Ken Follett who has carried out some outstanding research into conditions in late 18th century Scotland, England, and the American colonies. The main character, who's ambition is the freedom to go his own way, comes up against the class structure of the times and the limited rights of the working man. This develops into a superb tale as the hero encounters first the conditions of servitude and slavery in Scotland, then the conditions of repression in England, and finally the conditions of bondage in Virginia. While it is historical fiction, the book is especially recommended for readers delving into conditions that brought people to the American colonies. Readers should be forewarned that the book has significant sexual content and some violence that would give it at best a PG-13 rating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and exciting, March 9 2002
By 
Beverley Strong (Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Place Called Freedom (Mass Market Paperback)
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 much,I just finished reading "A place called freedom".It took only 2 days as I couldn't put it down and for 2 nights, read into the small hours.An indentured Scottish coal miner, Mack McAsh, tries to force the hand of the mine owner into treating the down trodden miners with compassion and fairness. He is railroaded by the system and tranported as a convict to Virginia. This is a tale of a mans inhuman treatment and his fight fot freedom in the New World.It's a great read,well written,exciting and unputdownable.It could well have been made into an actioner movie
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good reminder of the value of freedom, May 15 2000
By 
Newt Gingrich (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
("THE")   
This review is from: A Place Called Freedom (Hardcover)
Follett has written a very interesting study of freedom and non-freedom. He reminds us vividly that freedom is much more than the right to vote. By starting with Scottish coalminers who were enslaved to the mine owners if they worked a year and a day in the mines and dramatically communicating the human costs of subservience and the brutalizing aspects of power over others he carries the reader into a variety of experiences far more interesting and thought provoking than the traditional revolutionary era novel. For anyone who would like to think about the nature and value of freedom and the importance of the rule of law, private property and basic human dignity this is an interesting novel that will hold your attention.
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Place Called Freedom
Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett (Mass Market Paperback - June 30 1996)
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