I couldn’t wait anymore… I decided that for a while I’d leave the pastures green (but gloomy) where Noah is growing up in A time for everything, I didn’t want to keep A column of fire on ice any longer. I’ve just read some twenty pages, but I’d say Ken Follett is back to his best self – I had worried a little that it may be like his previous novel, Edge of eternity, which frankly was as exciting as a pile of potato peels.
I really can’t say why A time for everything is such a slow read… it is good, great, actually: deep and imaginative, surprising in plot and characters, technically complex, but I cannot read more than a few pages a day, and it is longish.
I will have to write seriously about it, sooner or later. Now is the time for A column of fire.
One last thing: I have got to page 220 of A column of fire, more or less, and I haven’t yet found one of those rather detailed sexual encounters that were inevitably there, every fifty pages or so, in all previous historical novels by Ken Follett I have read: not only in the Kingsbridge novels, but also the Millennium trilogy and A place called freedom. I have nothing against sex in literature, and it was never vulgar, but it was a little too much, and the clockwork regularity made the feature a little comical. I like it better this way: the characters do have their sex life but mostly we “see” them only before or after their private moments.
ps: I have got to a sex episode around page 320, which, unfortunately for the poor character, Margery, is actually rape.