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The Evening And The Morning, Ken Follett.

Whining Civvy

War Hero
This book proclaims itself the prequel to Mr Follett's Pillars of the Earth trilogy and has a plot and characters so indistinguishable from the others that it may as well have not been written at all. We have the lowly peasant with a surprising talent for building things, the woman struggling to hold her own against powerful patriarchal social systems, the ambitious and ruthless Churchman, the grotesquely abusive husband, the good priest who wants to expand his holdings etc etc etc, all set in motion against a backdrop of an ancient and violent historical era. The author pumped this out during lockdown in 2020 and I can only assume that he reached for the same self-written how to knock out a historical novel template used for the previous three as, honestly, the deja vu is overpowering. Instead of, God forbid, buying this, just reread any of the three on your bookshelf and save yourself a few quid, you'll have exactly the same experience without the having to quizzically wonder precisely why you paid for this about quarter of the way in. The story is unoriginal, the ending is incredibly lazy, with natural causes solving half of the problems and the king rolling up to royally wave away the rest ("That many pages already? Time to wrap this up, I think"). Uppences are comed and happilies are ever aftered. I did particularly enjoy how the peasant is packed off to become a Lord in France with his always-a-noble wife, I'm sure that would have gone down spectacularly in an era in which women were used as methods of creating and maintaining alliances between aristocratic houses. "Penelope, darling, what a delightful surprise, who is this you've brought with you?" "Hello mother (mwah mwah), this is Wayne, my new husband. He's an awfully good builder, you know." Oh to be a fly on the wall. If Ken Follett was half as good an author as people make him out to be then he'd have included that as a postscript, watching the presumptuous pleb being flogged to death whilst the girl is packed off to a nunnery would be a far more satisfying ending than the one we're given.

Apparently research about the era was done (allegedly) although you wouldn't guess it. The social norms and behaviour of nobles are basically the same in both this book and Pillars of the Earth, despite that teeny tiny minor detail called the Norman Invasion taking place between them. There is, obviously, a very limited amount of information available to us regarding the tail end of the dark ages, and Follett (I'm dropping the Mr now, stuff him) does confess to taking liberties with the expert research he was provided with, and by 'liberties' I assume he meant 'ignored it because who the hell is going to know any different'. He also tosses in a little of what a far better man than I would have described as blatant poofery and one or two little touches of sisters are doing it for themselves, because this is the 21st Century and all the cool kids are doing it, or something.

Anyway, I'm done. It's repetitive bolleaux, it's been done three times already and he's just taking the piss now, don't buy it. This wine is excellent, by the way.
 
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A fair assessment ,I listened to it on audible and it didn’t take long to work out the well worn path the story was going to tread it’s only redeeming feature being they go to beat the Welsh up every now and then.
 
I tried to read his book about the stonemason building a cathedral as I’m interested in cathedrals in general.

Couldn’t finish it - load of tripe. Don’t know haw he gets away with it.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
Well if you, or anybody else, paid money for the book you tried to read - that's how he gets away with it. As long as somebody somewhere is willing to carry on handing over the cash, his publisher will be happy for him to continue churning them out.

Also thank you @Whining Civvy for a chuckle this morning and I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews.
 
Well if you, or anybody else, paid money for the book you tried to read - that's how he gets away with it. As long as somebody somewhere is willing to carry on handing over the cash, his publisher will be happy for him to continue churning them out.

Also thank you @Whining Civvy for a chuckle this morning and I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews.
To be honest the book was given to me by a relative. As she handed it over she said “good luck, I couldn’t finish it”
 
This book proclaims itself the prequel to Mr Follett's Pillars of the Earth trilogy and has a plot and characters so indistinguishable from the others that it may as well have not been written at all. We have the lowly peasant with a surprising talent for building things, the woman struggling to hold her own against powerful patriarchal social systems, the ambitious and ruthless Churchman, the grotesquely abusive husband, the good priest who wants to expand his holdings etc etc etc, all set in motion against a backdrop of an ancient and violent historical era. The author pumped this out during lockdown in 2020 and I can only assume that he reached for the same self-written how to knock out a historical novel template used for the previous three as, honestly, the deja vu is overpowering. Instead of, God forbid, buying this, just reread any of the three on your bookshelf and save yourself a few quid, you'll have exactly the same experience without the having to quizzically wonder precisely why you paid for this about quarter of the way in. The story is unoriginal, the ending is incredibly lazy, with natural causes solving half of the problems and the king rolling up to royally wave away the rest ("That many pages already? Time to wrap this up, I think"). Uppences are comed and happilies are ever aftered. I did particularly enjoy how the peasant is packed off to become a Lord in France with his always-a-noble wife, I'm sure that would have gone down spectacularly in an era in which women were used as methods of creating and maintaining alliances between aristocratic houses. "Penelope, darling, what a delightful surprise, who is this you've brought with you?" "Hello mother (mwah mwah), this is Wayne, my new husband. He's an awfully good builder, you know." Oh to be a fly on the wall. If Ken Follett was half as good an author as people make him out to be then he'd have included that as a postscript, watching the presumptuous pleb being flogged to death whilst the girl is packed off to a nunnery would be a far more satisfying ending than the one we're given.

Apparently research about the era was done (allegedly) although you wouldn't guess it. The social norms and behaviour of nobles are basically the same in both this book and Pillars of the Earth, despite that teeny tiny minor detail called the Norman Invasion taking place between them. There is, obviously, a very limited amount of information available to us regarding the tail end of the dark ages, and Follett (I'm dropping the Mr now, stuff him) does confess to taking liberties with the expert research he was provided with, and by 'liberties' I assume he meant 'ignored it because who the hell is going to know any different'. He also tosses in a little of what a far better man than I would have described as blatant poofery and one or two little touches of sisters are doing it for themselves, because this is the 21st Century and all the cool kids are doing it, or something.

Anyway, I'm done. It's repetitive bolleaux, it's been done three times already and he's just taking the piss now, don't buy it. This wine is excellent, by the way.
I would guess the quality of the writing of the review surpasses that of the subject. Do more please.
 
This book proclaims itself the prequel to Mr Follett's Pillars of the Earth trilogy and has a plot and characters so indistinguishable from the others that it may as well have not been written at all. We have the lowly peasant with a surprising talent for building things, the woman struggling to hold her own against powerful patriarchal social systems, the ambitious and ruthless Churchman, the grotesquely abusive husband, the good priest who wants to expand his holdings etc etc etc, all set in motion against a backdrop of an ancient and violent historical era. The author pumped this out during lockdown in 2020 and I can only assume that he reached for the same self-written how to knock out a historical novel template used for the previous three as, honestly, the deja vu is overpowering. Instead of, God forbid, buying this, just reread any of the three on your bookshelf and save yourself a few quid, you'll have exactly the same experience without the having to quizzically wonder precisely why you paid for this about quarter of the way in. The story is unoriginal, the ending is incredibly lazy, with natural causes solving half of the problems and the king rolling up to royally wave away the rest ("That many pages already? Time to wrap this up, I think"). Uppences are comed and happilies are ever aftered. I did particularly enjoy how the peasant is packed off to become a Lord in France with his always-a-noble wife, I'm sure that would have gone down spectacularly in an era in which women were used as methods of creating and maintaining alliances between aristocratic houses. "Penelope, darling, what a delightful surprise, who is this you've brought with you?" "Hello mother (mwah mwah), this is Wayne, my new husband. He's an awfully good builder, you know." Oh to be a fly on the wall. If Ken Follett was half as good an author as people make him out to be then he'd have included that as a postscript, watching the presumptuous pleb being flogged to death whilst the girl is packed off to a nunnery would be a far more satisfying ending than the one we're given.

Apparently research about the era was done (allegedly) although you wouldn't guess it. The social norms and behaviour of nobles are basically the same in both this book and Pillars of the Earth, despite that teeny tiny minor detail called the Norman Invasion taking place between them. There is, obviously, a very limited amount of information available to us regarding the tail end of the dark ages, and Follett (I'm dropping the Mr now, stuff him) does confess to taking liberties with the expert research he was provided with, and by 'liberties' I assume he meant 'ignored it because who the hell is going to know any different'. He also tosses in a little of what a far better man than I would have described as blatant poofery and one or two little touches of sisters are doing it for themselves, because this is the 21st Century and all the cool kids are doing it, or something.

Anyway, I'm done. It's repetitive bolleaux, it's been done three times already and he's just taking the piss now, don't buy it. This wine is excellent, by the way.

Thanks for the review. I just wish you'd written it a couple of weeks ago, before I shelled out for this as a pressie for Mrs S.O.'s birthday.
 
Wish I could give funny and excellent for this review, please do Bernard Cornwall I feel a slight rewrite of this might do :)
 
I too read a Ken Follett book years ago.
I think it had something to do with an RAF technical type flying to Afghanistan and removing some bit of kit from a downed Russian aircraft as obviously the SAS couldn't be trusted with a screwdriver.
Much more than that I cant remember as the book was very putdownable.
Follett is shit.
 
I too read a Ken Follett book years ago.
I think it had something to do with an RAF technical type flying to Afghanistan and removing some bit of kit from a downed Russian aircraft as obviously the SAS couldn't be trusted with a screwdriver.
Much more than that I cant remember as the book was very putdownable.
Follett is shit.



My bold especially as he allows his politics to colour his views of history, from Wike ... "He won admission in 1967 to University College London, where he studied philosophy and became involved in centre-left politics"
& "He has also donated £25,000 to the Yvette Cooper campaign in the 2015 Labour Party (UK) leadership election,[23] as well as another £25,000 from his wife Barbara Follett[
Follett became involved, during the late 1970s, in the activities of Britain's Labour Party. In the course of his political activities, he met Barbara Broer, a Labour Party official, who became his second wife in 1984. She was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997, representing Stevenage. She was re-elected in both 2001 and 2005, but did not stand in the 2010 general election.[30] Follett himself remains a prominent Labour supporter and fundraiser as well as a prominent Blairite. In 2010, he was the largest donor to Ed Balls's campaign to become leader of the Labour Party"
 

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