“Never”. The latest novel from Ken Follett

Ken Follett must be writing 24/7 or he’s got some kind of an army at his beck and call.

I don’t know of another author who’s written more novels, each in neighborhood of 1,000 pages … but I e read them all.

  1. The Evening and the Morning = 936 pages
  2. Kingsbridge Series
    • Pillars of the Earth = 943 pages
    • World Without End = 1,130 pages
    • Column of Fire = 928 pages

If you’ve never read any of his novels, Pillars of the Earth is his most popular and the first novel I typically recommend to anyone looking for a novel to read. Close to 30 million copies of his historical masterpiece have been sold.

So, it’s no surprise that his latest thriller, Never, is beefy, although only a meager 816 pages.

“A compelling story, and only too realistic.” —Lawrence H. Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary“ Every catastrophe begins with a little problem that doesn’t get fixed.” So says Pauline Green, president of the United States, in Follett’s nerve-racking drama of international tension.A shrinking oasis in the Sahara Desert; a stolen US Army drone; an uninhabited Japanese island; and one country’s secret stash of deadly chemical poisons: all these play roles in a relentlessly escalating crisis.Struggling to prevent the outbreak of world war are a young woman intelligence officer; a spy working undercover with jihadists; a brilliant Chinese spymaster; and Pauline herself, beleaguered by a populist rival for the next president election.Never is an extraordinary novel, full of heroines and villains, false prophets and elite warriors, jaded politicians and opportunistic revolutionaries. It brims with cautionary wisdom for our times, and delivers a visceral, heart-pounding read that transports readers to the brink of the unimaginable. [Amazon]

Follett is a great storyteller, with compelling characters and scenes set worlds apart, in what I think of as the Robert Ludlum tradition. When you think about the witch’s brew of geopolitical conflicts in Southeast Asia, this novel paints a vivid picture of how the world could be drawn into a war no one wants.

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