A Dangerous Fortune

A Dangerous Fortune

3.8 472
by Ken Follett
     
 

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In his extraordinary new novel, master storyteller Ken Follett weaves a breath-taking tale set amid the wealth and decadence of Victorian England. In 1866, tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School. A young student drowns in a mysterious accident involving a small circle of boys. Among them are scrappy Hugh Pilaster; his older cousin Edward, the weak,… See more details below

Overview

In his extraordinary new novel, master storyteller Ken Follett weaves a breath-taking tale set amid the wealth and decadence of Victorian England. In 1866, tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School. A young student drowns in a mysterious accident involving a small circle of boys. Among them are scrappy Hugh Pilaster; his older cousin Edward, the weak, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the darkly handsome son of a brutal South American landowner. The drowning and its aftermath initiate a spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives... Caught in the maelstrom are Augusta Pilaster, the raven-haired matriarch, strong-willed and sly, ever plotting to advance herself or her spoiled son, Edward, and gain control of Pilasters, the mighty bank that bears their name...Solly Greenbourne, the rich Jewish heir to Greenbournes - the only bank to rival Pilasters in power and prestige - who must battle the dirty stain of anti-Semitism in a still-intolerant nation...Maise Robinson, the beautiful and daring slum girl determined to be rich...Micky Miranda, the sinister hanger-on orchestrating an alliance of blackmail and murder to finance his family's takeover of a nation's government - a move that could rock the very foundation of Britain's economy. Over them all hands the shadow of the old tragedy, which threatens to shatter lives with the disclosure of a long-buried secret. From the exclusive men's clubs and brothels that cater to every dark desire of London's upper classes to the dazzling ballrooms and mahogany-paneled suites of the manipulators of the world's wealth, Ken Follett conjures up a stunning array of contrasts. Spanning the years when the British Empire tightened its grip on faraway worlds and revolution begot a tide of violent change, A Dangerous Fortune portrays a family splintered by lust yet bound inexorably by a shared legacy; and brings us men and women swept toward a perilous clima

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Editorial Reviews

Bill Kent
Like The Pillars of the Earth, Mr. Follett's intricate saga about the construction of a medieval cathedral, A Dangerous Fortune reads more like an exercise in which the author applies the conventions of the plot-driven thriller to the historical novel. He delivers a silly, good-time read that for all its giddy leaps and bounds shows us little about the Victorians and the vital era they inhabited. -- New York Times
Library Journal
A mysterious drowning at a school in England in 1866 enmeshes the lives of several young boys in a web of treachery and greed. Set among late-19th-century British aristocracy, the novel follows Hugh Pilaster and his cousin Edward as they battle for control of various enterprises, including the family bank; Maisie Robinson, the beautiful and willful Jewish immigrant; and Michy Miranda, the smooth and manipulative heir of a brutal South American family. Follett, using the same basic formula that he employs in The Pillars of the Earth (Morrow, 1989), quickly gains the listener's interest in the characters and-by drawing upon personal experience-the world of British banking. Reader Michael Page has an excellent voice, even if he can't immitate South American accents. Recommended for public libraries.-Mark Watson, Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale
Emily Melton
Follett's new novel isn't an espionage thriller; it's a historical melodrama with more than a little romance. But the author's fans shouldn't worry; they won't be able to put it down any easier than they could any of those spy sagas. The story is set in late-nineteenth-century Britain and tells of four boys involved in a brutal crime during their days at boarding school. Mickey Miranda, the cruel, slick, flamboyant son of a cold-hearted, hot-headed South American politician, has one overriding ambition: to make his papa respect him. Edward Pilaster, the weak, stupid, and easily led son of a respected banking family, has a taste for good booze and good times. Hugh Pilaster, Edward's cousin, is ambitious and principled, but his father's bankruptcy and suicide have left scars that may never heal. Antonio Silva is a compatriot of Mickey Miranda, but his family is less influential, and Tonio always takes a back seat to the flashier Mickey. Follett's story follows the four as they become adults, with their lives taking, as expected, quite divergent paths. But the four are always linked by the terrible secret they share from their school days, a secret that has the power to destroy them all. While many authors fail miserably when they ignore the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Follett is one of those rare exceptions who seems destined to succeed no matter what he chooses to write about. In this case, an authentic sense of history, a wonderfully complex and fascinating plot, mesmerizing characters, and a thoroughly entertaining story practically guarantee that A Dangerous Fortune will head to the top of the best-seller lists.
From the Publisher
“A terrific page-turner.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Political and amorous intrigues, cold-blooded murder, and financial crises . . . old-fashioned entertainment.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Breathlessly plotted . . . relentlessly suspenseful.”The New York Times
 
“Gripping, complex plot . . . sexual intrigue . . . fascinating characters . . . You won’t be able to put down this exciting page-turner.”Lexington Herald-Leader

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385311885
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1993
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
896

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