Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Edge of Eternity

by Ken Follett
1098 pgs  (The Century trilogy #3)

Throughout Ken Follett's The Century trilogy the lives of five different families were followed throughout the 20th century. The families were each from different countries: the U.S., England, Germany, France, and Wales, and each book focused on subsequent generations of those families as they experienced, and many times, influenced the historical events that took place during their lifetimes.

In book one, Fall of Giants they were the events leading up to and including the First World War that Follett chronicles. In book two Winter of the World, they were the events leading up to and including the Second World War. In this concluding installment, the third generation of each family witnesses and experiences each of the major events in the last half of the century. Those events include the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Wall, the civil rights movement, and the assassinations of JFK, his brother "Bobby" and Martin Luther King Jr.

These were the first books by Ken Follett that I read and what I was most impressed with was the expert way in which he mapped out the lives of three generations of his five families and used their lives to tell the story of arguably the most eventful and influential century to date. He seamlessly intertwines the lives of his fictitious characters with the lives of the historical figures of their time. It really was an impressive feat that I doubt many other writers could have pulled off.

Now I have more than just glowing praise for the trilogy and this final book in particular. I do have a gripe that's worth mentioning--the sex. This final book was almost 1100 pages long, and I'm guessing that about 200 of those pages detailed the sexual activities of the characters. Now I don't think I would be considered a prude when it comes to the books I read by any one's standards, but the amount of sex in this book was a little ridiculous. It got to the point when I read 50 or so pages without a sex scene that I knew one must be coming shortly.

That being said, the book, and the series as a whole, is fantastic. It's entertaining and informative. By the time I finished it, I felt like I had a deeper appreciation for the events of the century I grew up in and it made me wish I had paid a little more attention during the World History classes I took in school.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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