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Lie Down with Lions Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1 1986

4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Open market ed edition (Dec 1 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451163508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451163509
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Follett's new thriller (after Eye of the Needle, The Key to Rebecca) involves cut-throat treachery and mixed-up romances. Jane and Ellis, Americans in Paris, are lovers, but she breaks with him when she learns he's a CIA agent, informing on terrorists. Ellis goes back to the U.S.; Jane marries Jean-Pierre Debout, a French physician, and goes with him to Afghanistan to care for rebel families holding out against the Russian army. Here is where the novel's real action, and its knife-edge tension, begin. After the birth of her baby, Jane discovers that Jean-Pierre is himself spying for the Russians and has caused a massacre of guerrilla fighters who were trapped at the foot of the mountains. Then Ellis reappears, bearing offers of American aid for Afghan leader Masud if the latter can unite his country's quarreling tribes. While Jean-Pierre is conspiring with the S oviet intruders to kill Masud, Ellis, Jane and even the infant girl, the story races to an explosive climax. 200,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; author tour. Foreign rights: Writers House. January 31
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In his newest thriller, Follett updates the elements of his popular Eye of the Needle a spy fleeing desperately across a hostile landscape; a woman who must decide between her husband and her lover, opponents in a deadly struggleto contemporary Afghanistan. Jane Lambert discovers that her French doctor husband is really a KGB agent plotting to entrap a rebel leader. Ellis Thaler, spurned by Jane when she learned he was a CIA operative, arrives to conclude a treaty with that same leader. Soon Ellis, Jane, and her infant daughter are fleeing for their lives through treacherous mountain terrain, closely pursued by Russian patrols. As with Eye of the Needle , the implausibilities, the factual errors, and the sometimes trite writing do not slow the forward propulsion of the story. A page-turning escapist adventure that is sure to be a success.BOMC main selection. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio Cassette
I purchased this book because the setting -- Afghanistan -- sounded interesting, I like spy stories, and I'd just read Jackdaws by Follett which I'd thoroughly enjoyed. This book exceeded my expectations.
Three characters are the main focus of the story -- Ellis, a CIA agent, Jane, the woman he loves and wants to marry (although she doesn't know it), and Jean-Pierre, the man who also wants Jane for himself.
From the beginning Jane and Ellis's relationship is rocky because she doesn't know he's a spy and some of his actions have her puzzled. She wants more of a commitment and he doesn't seem willing to cooperate. On the day he decides to come clean about what he does for a living and how he feels about her, all hell breaks loose. The next thing Ellis knows, Jane is gone and so is Jean-Pierre.
Ellis later accepts an assignment to Afghanistan and their paths cross again. The fact that Jane now has a child doesn't change the way he feels. He's still in love with her, but he expects no love in return. Aside from that, his mission could get him killed and he doesn't want to bring harm to her or her child. Besides that, Jean-Pierre, who's always been jealous of him, has no intention on losing Jane to a past rival.
What follows is a roller-coaster ride of action, danger, romance, and suspense. I listened to the unabridged audiobook version of this book and the cast of six readers were excellent. They changed their tone and pace to fit the scenes that they read. As a result, the characters seemed to come alive. Follett does a pretty good job of giving you enough of a description to help you envision the scenery and the dialog was good. To top it off, the action made sense and was interesting.
I don't know if the book accurately portrays the people of Afghanistan, so I didn't accept some of the characters' observations about how they are as a people. I mainly listened to the book to be entertained and it did that superbly.
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By A Customer on Feb. 13 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was excellent reading in terms of FICTION. It should by no means, however be used as a basis for learning about the Afghan people. My main objections are with regard to his character's sweeping statements about the "cruelty" of the Afghans and how almost all of the men are portrayed as chauvanists and almost all of the women as weak and subservient. Also, if one is going to borrow the persona of a real man to use as one of his characters, he could at least have researched the man's character a little more. Ahmed Shah Masud was by no means the cruel, impassive commander who would order the casual execution of a Russian captive. In fact there were several young Russian fighters who actually ended up joining his forces.
I could go on and on about the depth of character of Masud and the Afghans that were missing from this book, but I realize that the purpose of this book was mainly for entertainment.
For a real taste of Afghanistan and her people, there are many other great books out there. ...
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By A Customer on May 19 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lie Down with Lions contains an excellent plot, employing an array of techniques that keeps the readers interest right from the start. From the beginning, the book is filled with scenes of passion, deceit, treachery, and action. These characteristics are all coupled together making for a page turner from start to finish.
The author keeps the readers interest through the first few chapters by detailing the end of the relationship between Jane and Ellis. Their relationship comes to a climatic end, which is a story in itself, but it gets better. After Jane weds the clear antagonist (Jean-Pierre) and the couple embarks on a volunteer mission to Afghanistan, Ellis heads to Afghanistan on a covert operation for the CIA. Soon Jane discovers Jean-Pierre is working for the KGB pitting them against each other, and Jane finds herself on Ellis's side working against her husband, this is where the book really takes off. The Cold War rivals are in a fight for Jane's heart, Afghanistan, and world supremacy. Follett takes the reader all over Afghanistan giving accurate descriptions of the people and landscape.
A great read, Follett will put you in a trance.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the 15th novel by Ken Follett that I have read in the past year, so you might say that I'm a fan of his writing! "Lie Down With Lions" is not, I believe, as interesting or as significant as his best writing to date such as "Pillars of the Earth", "World Without End", "Fall of Giants", and "Winter of the World". But those novels are much longer, much more complex, and truly worthy of 5 star rating. Nevertheless, "LDWL" has the typical features of Follett's writing: interesting, quite well-developed characters that the reader can care about & can understand their motivations, important female protagonists that are reasonably intelligent and stong, a vividly described setting that is important to the particular action of the story, and the consideration of moral issues that are significant and central to the story's development. Follett's depiction of Afghanistan during the Russian invasion of 1979 with the added complications of guerilla resistance and CIA involvement is sufficiently detailed and believable and an integral aspect of the story. As is the "hot" sex scene between Ellis and Jane! I have never found Follett's inclusion of sexual encounters in his novels to be gratuitous or unrelated to the emotions, needs, and developing relationships among the characters. I greatly enjoyed "LDWL" & would recommend it even to the prudish and unworldly (who might learn from it).
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