It is said that anything that happens once will come in twice and is bound to happen the third time around.
Just when I thought I have had enough I’m still at it, for, indeed Gentle Readers, we’ll once more see yet another British chap as this dark alley’s featured Author of the Month. Expect adrenaline-pumping car chases, ingenious heists, devious spies — as well as thieves — on the run, London’s underworld villainy, women in peril, and compelling characters both good and bad as the grandest cathedral is built stone upon stone: such is the prowess of master-storyteller Ken Follett who captured the imagination of readers across the globe with his bestselling thrillers, and, with no amount of surprise whatsoever, is the chosen June 2011 Author of the Month.
I first came across Ken Follett’s name via The Oprah Show when she picked The Pillars of the Earth as her book club 2007 fall selection. Hearing her infectious enthusiasm about the book, how it gave her sleepless nights, how — despite the novel’s apparent thickness — she just couldn’t put it down, and how, as she reached the final pages, didn’t want it end, got me very much intrigued about the book. It was during that time that I first ever heard that there was such a thing as Oprah’s Book Club for I frequently watch her talk show, unless the topic discussed caught my fancy. I didn’t know then but certainly know now, in hindsight, that I’m grabbed at that instant by the “Oprah power.”
Much to my dismay when I saw the doorstopper of a book in a leading bookstore nearby the school a few weeks later not only made me groan with “Hngh!” with its utter bulk, but also with its hefty price tag. What’s a fourth year college student barely even starting to find work to do but put this book-craving in the back burner? But you see, the name Ken Follett will never be erased in my mind and the book as well.
Years passed and, as I’ve now see it clearly, the “Voice,” my ever reliable Book-Muse, has other plans, and I’m quite pleased to trod on the right path by reading Eye of the Needle as my very first Follett novel considered as his first breakout bestseller and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1978 by The Mystery Writers of America.
After reading the novel I come to wonder, what were the other books he wrote before achieving fame with Eye of the Needle? So it was quite a surprise to find a copy of The Modigliani Scandal, one of his earlier books, in a bargian bookstore. Well, I have to admit it has nothing very much special. Then here comes the crazy part: I just began buying and buying some of his books and unconsciously collected some of it — all in Hardcover American First Edition bought for PHP 50 or so in Booksale or in some other secondhand bookstores. And one of my fondest memories of Follett book hunting was when I bought a deluxe edition of The Pillars of the Earth (the one that comes with the Oprah Book Club sticker) for the cheap price of PHP 75. Three more novels, with the addition of the recently released The Fall of the Giants, the first in a planned trilogy under the Century series, and I’m that close to completing much of his work. (Book peeps, you now know what to give me this Christmas! Hahaha! )
Since I have most of them now, I originally plan to tackle his books chronologically but that’s wishful thinking considering how slow of a reader I am (with a day job to boot) and I decided another tack beginning from where I left off by taking Paper Money, his other “earlier caper”, which I’m currently reading; then continuing on with The Key to Rebecca, On the Wings of Eagle and, with any luck, get on The Pillars of the Earth by the third week through the end of this month. I just hope this lofty plan will not fell through — for definitely reading close to a thousand pages in fine print is one ambitious goal! *crossing fingers*
And before I forget I want to greet Ken Follett a Happy Birthday! More blessings and more books to come from you kind sir!
Till then Gentle Readers, let’s read and see if June will cooperate enough with me.
As always, dark nights and creepy wonders!