There aren’t many writers whose careers have been as prolific and profitable as Ken Follett. He has sold many millions of books and his wallet is likely much thicker than the most profuse of those books. Our host for this meeting selected Follett’s A Dangerous Fortune for examination. He had enjoyed the book many years ago. While familiar with the name Ken Follett, of our assemblage, only this humble scribe was unfamiliar with the writings of Ken Follett. Time for enlightenment.
Due to a last minute conflict, I missed most of the scheduled discussion and upon arrival was hit with a “What did you think?” Well, to be honest, the writing was terrible. Simplistic and tediously repetitive. Tonio is intimidated by Mickey Miranda…I know Ken, you told me ten times. Augusta knows nothing of banking…I KNOW ALREADY!!! And the plots and schemes of the story’s antagonists? They go off without a hitch and even more quickly and effectively than even the plotters could have dreamed. Am I being harsh on Ken? Ken, who had the audacity to remark about J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace, a Man Booker prize winner & my last book pick, that the book was “very poor … terrible.” Incredible. Shameless. The world turned upside down.
That said, I, like everyone else, enjoyed A Dangerous Fortune. Despite the writing, it was as riveting and a 1980s episode of Dynasty or Dallas. Devious villains pulling the strings of sympathetic characters. Ken Follett is McDonalds. We all eat at McDonalds sometimes.