The epic final volume in the Century Trilogy.
As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in an unforgettable tale of passion and conflict during the Cold War.
When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene.
In the United States, George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration, is a fierce supporter of the Civil Rights movement - as is the woman he is in love with, Verena, who works for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boarding a Greyhound bus in Washington to protest against segregation, they begin a fateful journey together.
Russian activist, Tania Dvorkin, narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news sheet. Her actions are made all the more perilous as her brother, Dimka, is a rising star in the heart of the Communist Party in the Kremlin.
From the deep south of America to the vast expanses of Siberia, from the shores of Cuba to the swinging streets of '60s London, Edge of Eternity is a sweeping tale of the fight for individual freedom in a world gripped by the mightiest clash of superpowers anyone has ever known.
©2014 Ken Follett (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd
"The true historical events are probably the most exciting bits to read, because Follett always gives his puppet eye-witnesses an excellent vantage point from which to recount them." (Private Eye)
Satisfying, engrossing, awesome
Perhaps early on, when George's freedom bus is attacked. It's quite visceral and brings to life the base malice of Southern white violence that somehow got left out of Gone With The Wind. It sets the stage for the struggle the "negros" face in the decades to come.
Yes, nearly 200 hours of Ken Follett books alone! This trilogy plus his middle ages books, Pillars Of The Earth and World Without End. There's a character in this book called John Lee, and I'd dearly love to confirm if he was named after Follett's prolific narrator.
How does it compare? Well, I listened to the earlier installments again recently, and I can say that the narration and character voices remain perfectly aligned, as if they'd come from one, excruciatingly long recording session.
The one negative thing I'd say is that poor Lee got thrown a curveball with this book. If he'd known he'd have to impersonate John and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Richard Nixon, he might have turned it down. But by the third book, it was too late!
A lot can change in half a century.
I finished the nearly 37 hour book in 9 days, which is probably why I'm the first to leave a review! I hope that speaks for how compelling I found it.
I was hooked by the first part of this trilogy, was further entranced by the second and eagerly awaited this final part. The creation of fictional characters followed through successive generations of families in the USA, USSR, East and West Germany and the UK vividly brings to life the impact of two World Wars on people’s lives during the 20th century. The sheer length of these books allows the fictional characters to become so real that I felt sad when their lives were blighted, delighted when things went well and focused my mind on the injustices of segregation in the USA, the helplessness of ordinary people in totalitarian regimes and how unrestrained power corrupts.
This third part of the trilogy was for me the best maybe because it covered my lifetime and reminded me of the momentous events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of Kennedy and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Though most of the events were familiar this didn’t detract from the power of the narrative to keep me listening wanting to know how the lives of the characters were affected. Though these are fictional one can see that some are lightly-veiled facsimiles of actual people such as Solzhenitsyn.
John Lee has done a magnificent job narrating the trilogy comprising over 100 hours of compelling history, which I recommend listening to in chronological order.
This wonderful walk thru history of my youth reminded me of things almost forgotten and prompted me to help my grand daughter as she sits her History IB this coming spring. Beautifully narrated it has kept me up til late in the night. Five stars plus.....
The combination of historical facts interwoven with a clever and imaginative storyline, together with brilliant narration make this series one of the best I have ever read/listened to.
The series of desperate escapes from East Germany.
Injustice in the world
I have listen to all three of these tomes and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
It follows several families of varying nationalities through the generations and I have learnt quite a lot about historical events that are re-lived in this storytelling. It's very long, but it's entertaining, and brilliantly narrated.
Just Fabulous! I thought at the beginning how was this to compare with the two previous epic stories. I enjoyed just like the previous two, perhaps even a little more.
A long-standing gift for my wife, whose enjoyment of literature is legendary!
A book with depth. And a walk in history and others shoes. I felt awed that people endured these tribulations. Freedom, a priceless essential.
Good read, good lessons: great job!
Audible fan since 2011.
Yes, I would want the ending to be less of a sprint. As with his other novels he likes to cover a large number of years and towards the beginning the pace is well set, yet towards the end the years flow by too quickly and you lose all grounding.
I liked learning about a period in history that I hadn't much interest in before.
Probably the majority of chapters revolving around the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Learn more about the Cold War, but not much other than that.
If you've read the first two you will want to finish the series but I can think of plenty better books!
"A great ending to the trilogy"
History comes alive
The fact that everything is based on true events and has real characters intermixed with the fictional characters make everything real.
He has so many voices and accents to deal with that I had thought there was a few narrators. John Lee does a great job and his voice is historically realistic.
So many moments that were front page news, are part of this story. The story is the history of the whole world but is about families and individuals.
I have been waiting for this third instalment for years. So far it has lived up and beyond all my expectations.
"good but downhill from the first one."
As part of the century trilogy the book continues to put the main characters in the midst of the most important events on the XX century, however the tone and the characters themselves are less alluring than the characters from book 1 or even book 2.
Hearing the context for Martin Luther King's I have a dream speech was awesome, I really enjoyed that part.
John Lee gives an amazing performance, be on the lookout for this and other works by him, his female characters are good enough but Fitz in his old age is amazing.
There are several, this is a must read book if you initiated the trilogy and it's a good enough standalone book.
It is somewhat sad to see beloved characters pass away from old age, the book could have been more emotional on those parts.
"Good story but far too long."
Good story but far too long as I found it was rambling at times. Looking forward to the next book though.
"This should be recommended reading for everyone."
This book is probably one of the best ways to study history. Ken Follet has masterfully painted history through the fictitious story of a few families from around the world. I found myself in tears many times throughout the book, especially in the end.
"3rd best of the trilogy"
Anyone who wants an overview of world events from 1950s onwards might find this interesting. The parts set in Europe seemed to be a bit better.
He knows his historical fiction, so I will be interested in his future works.
John Lee is always a great performer, once you get used to his strong accents. I thought he handled this book well, which can't be easy since there are so many different characters.
None of the American characters were interesting, and only existed to give a voice to the Kennedys and Martin Luther King. For anyone interested in them, I'd suggest reading a better book.
The biggest flaw in the book was the characters who are completely wooden, and only exist to listen and comment to speeches made by political figures. There was very little continuity from the first two, I barely remembered who was related to who.
This was excellent, "lighter" than the previous books! This book close the circle, and although there was still loose ends, the story worked for me.
"Very well done but preferred the first two!"
This is really heavy going on the civil rights movement, otherwise extremely interesting!I Enjoyed it and would recommend it!
I looked forward to this book with great anticipation. I enjoyed the story line and the characters but none hooked me and kept me caring about them as in the prior two books.
The ending felt rushed and as if the author was just trying to wrap up in a hurry to get on with something else.
John Lee is a great narrator. He adds a depth to the story and proves quite enjoyable to listen to.
To look into some historical events that the author claims took place.
The author is blatantly biased in his political views. He dislikes Republicans and goes into detail smearing them while singing the praises of Democrats and completely overlooking any of their scandals or events. He even manages to highlight and endear John Kennedy's many affairs and callousness and turn him into a beloved and revered president. I did not enjoy this book as much as the other two but I am glad I read it to tie up the events and families. There were no stand out characters that I fell in love with or became involved with. It was just ho-hum.
"A Historical Journey"
The historical information in this book is amazing. Folet has weaved realistic characters into the historical events in a believable way. It covers the cold war, civil rights movement in the US, Vietnam war, and the creation and eventual downfall of the Berlin wall. The characters in the story experiencing these passages in time, were interwoven nicely.
The story was a journey in time, rather than an 'edge of your seat' type story. For me the interest was in the historical events themselves. I had some knowledge of them, so had an overall appreciation of what was going to happen, but I didn't know all the details so found that fascinating.
too hard to choose - it covers so many events, they were all unique.
There were a lot of sex scenes in the later half of the book. Seemed like everyone was finding a new partner - some of them didn't overly contribute to the story and could've been left out (in my opinion).
How he does it I will never know, weaving all the threads into an audio Beyeux. I great pleasure.
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