Last week, when Sandy struck and we lost power, you could say that I had a bit of time on my hands.
I decided to tackle my third Ken Follett novel – and his MO is writing, at a minimum of 975 pages. Per novel.
The plot of The Pillars of the Earth hinges on the construction of a cathedral, the people who live in the surrounding area and how their lives intersect. Jack is my favorite character. You should read it – it took me a few weeks because my power wasn’t out and I had less time on my hands, but of the three, this one is still my favorite.
World Without End takes place in the same town but two hundred years later. I supposed you could read them in either order because of this, but you would miss some of the backstory. So read this one second.
Fall of the Giants is different from the other two books in that it’s set just before and during WWI. (Think Downton Abbey, Season 2.) I loved the story, the time in history and many of the characters, but something about it just seemed off.
A few years ago, I took a creative writing class and I think the hardest short story I wrote was the one intended to highlight dialogue. Dialogue isn’t something the reader is supposed to even notice, and crafting conversation in writing that reads and feels like real, genuine conversation is actually quite difficult. Throughout Fall of the Giants, I kept thinking some of the characters lines were just a bit contrived. It’s when you notice that the character is talking, that it’s distracting.
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed most of the 985 pages, and I plan to read the next book, it just struck me as interesting how much I noticed the author writing the dialogue.
And although it would be a hard thing to imagine saying – one of my favorite characters in the book (Maud) quoted one of my favorite passages – “Whither thou goest I will go…”