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Publisher's Summary

The epic final volume in the Century Trilogy.

As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in an unforgettable tale of passion and conflict during the Cold War.

When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene.

In the United States, George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration, is a fierce supporter of the Civil Rights movement - as is the woman he is in love with, Verena, who works for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boarding a Greyhound bus in Washington to protest against segregation, they begin a fateful journey together.

Russian activist, Tania Dvorkin, narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news sheet. Her actions are made all the more perilous as her brother, Dimka, is a rising star in the heart of the Communist Party in the Kremlin.

From the deep south of America to the vast expanses of Siberia, from the shores of Cuba to the swinging streets of '60s London, Edge of Eternity is a sweeping tale of the fight for individual freedom in a world gripped by the mightiest clash of superpowers anyone has ever known.

©2014 Ken Follett (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Critic Reviews

"The true historical events are probably the most exciting bits to read, because Follett always gives his puppet eye-witnesses an excellent vantage point from which to recount them." ( Private Eye)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too much of a good thing

Loved the first book in the trilogy, still enjoyed the second but the third was a bridge too far

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wowee!

What a fantastic story read by an amazing man. I enjoyed the reading of this book as much as the story. Thank you, just thanks

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

it's very long and didn't really match prequels!

Really struggled to finish this one, had enough of Ken follet for a while.

I have listened to the entire trilogy, characters just repeat themselves over and over under different names and times, it's basically the pillars of the earth on a time machine!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • Fitzroy, Australia
  • 29-07-2015

An adequate finish to the trilogy

I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first two books in the trilogy. Unlike the previous books where the history and storyline felt effortlessly intertwined, it felt a bit "forced" in this final installment. However, I would still recommend it if you've read the first two.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • Carole Park, Australia
  • 18-02-2015

Must read series

The whole series is a must read. It does not get bogged down with too many people so u can alway keep track of who is who but it has enough to develop a comprehensive story of the century

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kay
  • 07-05-2018

Devoured it

Have loved each of these books in the series but this one being close to my time feels so much more poignant.

Gives hope to the reader who feels lost in this current climate. I hope we can be as brave as these well written characters.

A joy to listen to, rich dialogue and narration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book!

3rd book in the series by Ken Follet brilliantly read. Can’t recommend the series enough, it’s the best history lesson you can have.

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extrordinary

absolutely loved it amazing. so many emotions times the ride well worth it speechless fantastic listen

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  • ben
  • 04-11-2017

fantastic!!!

a great series put together with amazing imagination typical of ken follets writing genius. .

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Interesting Trilogy

A good final book in this trilogy covering several families and generations. To be honest I preferred the first one the most but loved the whole saga.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 22-09-2014

A great ending to the trilogy

If you could sum up Edge of Eternity in three words, what would they be?

History comes alive

What did you like best about this story?

The fact that everything is based on true events and has real characters intermixed with the fictional characters make everything real.

What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

He has so many voices and accents to deal with that I had thought there was a few narrators. John Lee does a great job and his voice is historically realistic.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

So many moments that were front page news, are part of this story. The story is the history of the whole world but is about families and individuals.

Any additional comments?

I have been waiting for this third instalment for years. So far it has lived up and beyond all my expectations.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mickfin
  • 29-03-2015

Very political

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I looked forward to this book with great anticipation. I enjoyed the story line and the characters but none hooked me and kept me caring about them as in the prior two books.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending felt rushed and as if the author was just trying to wrap up in a hurry to get on with something else.

What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

John Lee is a great narrator. He adds a depth to the story and proves quite enjoyable to listen to.

Did Edge of Eternity inspire you to do anything?

To look into some historical events that the author claims took place.

Any additional comments?

The author is blatantly biased in his political views. He dislikes Republicans and goes into detail smearing them while singing the praises of Democrats and completely overlooking any of their scandals or events. He even manages to highlight and endear John Kennedy's many affairs and callousness and turn him into a beloved and revered president. I did not enjoy this book as much as the other two but I am glad I read it to tie up the events and families. There were no stand out characters that I fell in love with or became involved with. It was just ho-hum.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Carlos
  • 23-03-2016

good but downhill from the first one.

What made the experience of listening to Edge of Eternity the most enjoyable?

As part of the century trilogy the book continues to put the main characters in the midst of the most important events on the XX century, however the tone and the characters themselves are less alluring than the characters from book 1 or even book 2.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Hearing the context for Martin Luther King's I have a dream speech was awesome, I really enjoyed that part.

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

John Lee gives an amazing performance, be on the lookout for this and other works by him, his female characters are good enough but Fitz in his old age is amazing.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There are several, this is a must read book if you initiated the trilogy and it's a good enough standalone book.

Any additional comments?

It is somewhat sad to see beloved characters pass away from old age, the book could have been more emotional on those parts.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Greg Evans
  • 21-04-2015

Good story but far too long.

Good story but far too long as I found it was rambling at times. Looking forward to the next book though.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brendan
  • 20-04-2015

This should be recommended reading for everyone.

This book is probably one of the best ways to study history. Ken Follet has masterfully painted history through the fictitious story of a few families from around the world. I found myself in tears many times throughout the book, especially in the end.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jussi Korhonen
  • 14-04-2015

3rd best of the trilogy

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone who wants an overview of world events from 1950s onwards might find this interesting. The parts set in Europe seemed to be a bit better.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ken Follett again?

He knows his historical fiction, so I will be interested in his future works.

Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

John Lee is always a great performer, once you get used to his strong accents. I thought he handled this book well, which can't be easy since there are so many different characters.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Edge of Eternity?

None of the American characters were interesting, and only existed to give a voice to the Kennedys and Martin Luther King. For anyone interested in them, I'd suggest reading a better book.

Any additional comments?

The biggest flaw in the book was the characters who are completely wooden, and only exist to listen and comment to speeches made by political figures. There was very little continuity from the first two, I barely remembered who was related to who.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anneke
  • 12-04-2015

Excellent

This was excellent, "lighter" than the previous books! This book close the circle, and although there was still loose ends, the story worked for me.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A Jennings
  • 30-03-2015

Very well done but preferred the first two!

This is really heavy going on the civil rights movement, otherwise extremely interesting!I Enjoyed it and would recommend it!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris S
  • 09-01-2015

A Historical Journey

What did you love best about Edge of Eternity?

The historical information in this book is amazing. Folet has weaved realistic characters into the historical events in a believable way. It covers the cold war, civil rights movement in the US, Vietnam war, and the creation and eventual downfall of the Berlin wall. The characters in the story experiencing these passages in time, were interwoven nicely.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The story was a journey in time, rather than an 'edge of your seat' type story. For me the interest was in the historical events themselves. I had some knowledge of them, so had an overall appreciation of what was going to happen, but I didn't know all the details so found that fascinating.

Which scene was your favorite?

too hard to choose - it covers so many events, they were all unique.

Any additional comments?

There were a lot of sex scenes in the later half of the book. Seemed like everyone was finding a new partner - some of them didn't overly contribute to the story and could've been left out (in my opinion).

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brodie
  • 18-12-2014

Classic Follett

How he does it I will never know, weaving all the threads into an audio Beyeux. I great pleasure.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-09-2014

Best in series

If you could sum up Edge of Eternity in three words, what would they be?

Satisfying, engrossing, awesome

What was one of the most memorable moments of Edge of Eternity?

Perhaps early on, when George's freedom bus is attacked. It's quite visceral and brings to life the base malice of Southern white violence that somehow got left out of Gone With The Wind. It sets the stage for the struggle the "negros" face in the decades to come.

Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes, nearly 200 hours of Ken Follett books alone! This trilogy plus his middle ages books, Pillars Of The Earth and World Without End. There's a character in this book called John Lee, and I'd dearly love to confirm if he was named after Follett's prolific narrator.

How does it compare? Well, I listened to the earlier installments again recently, and I can say that the narration and character voices remain perfectly aligned, as if they'd come from one, excruciatingly long recording session.

The one negative thing I'd say is that poor Lee got thrown a curveball with this book. If he'd known he'd have to impersonate John and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Richard Nixon, he might have turned it down. But by the third book, it was too late!

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A lot can change in half a century.

Any additional comments?

I finished the nearly 37 hour book in 9 days, which is probably why I'm the first to leave a review! I hope that speaks for how compelling I found it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirstine
  • 14-10-2014

An enthralling final part to the trilogy

I was hooked by the first part of this trilogy, was further entranced by the second and eagerly awaited this final part. The creation of fictional characters followed through successive generations of families in the USA, USSR, East and West Germany and the UK vividly brings to life the impact of two World Wars on people’s lives during the 20th century. The sheer length of these books allows the fictional characters to become so real that I felt sad when their lives were blighted, delighted when things went well and focused my mind on the injustices of segregation in the USA, the helplessness of ordinary people in totalitarian regimes and how unrestrained power corrupts.

This third part of the trilogy was for me the best maybe because it covered my lifetime and reminded me of the momentous events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of Kennedy and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Though most of the events were familiar this didn’t detract from the power of the narrative to keep me listening wanting to know how the lives of the characters were affected. Though these are fictional one can see that some are lightly-veiled facsimiles of actual people such as Solzhenitsyn.

John Lee has done a magnificent job narrating the trilogy comprising over 100 hours of compelling history, which I recommend listening to in chronological order.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-02-2015

Had to finish the Trilogy!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes, I would want the ending to be less of a sprint. As with his other novels he likes to cover a large number of years and towards the beginning the pace is well set, yet towards the end the years flow by too quickly and you lose all grounding.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked learning about a period in history that I hadn't much interest in before.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Probably the majority of chapters revolving around the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Did Edge of Eternity inspire you to do anything?

Learn more about the Cold War, but not much other than that.

Any additional comments?

If you've read the first two you will want to finish the series but I can think of plenty better books!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S
  • 13-02-2016

Century Trilogy

I have loved the entire Century trilogy. Beautifully researched, set out and narrated. Wonderful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan
  • 01-12-2015

compulsive

What made the experience of listening to Edge of Eternity the most enjoyable?

The combination of historical facts interwoven with a clever and imaginative storyline, together with brilliant narration make this series one of the best I have ever read/listened to.
Excellent.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Edge of Eternity?

The series of desperate escapes from East Germany.

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favourite?

George Jakes

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Injustice in the world

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Janice
  • 21-10-2015

A history lesson in a novel

I have listen to all three of these tomes and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
It follows several families of varying nationalities through the generations and I have learnt quite a lot about historical events that are re-lived in this storytelling. It's very long, but it's entertaining, and brilliantly narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GAs Amazon
  • 03-10-2015

GMA

Just Fabulous! I thought at the beginning how was this to compare with the two previous epic stories. I enjoyed just like the previous two, perhaps even a little more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr G A Wicks
  • 28-09-2015

Historical enlightenment

A book with depth. And a walk in history and others shoes. I felt awed that people endured these tribulations. Freedom, a priceless essential.

Good read, good lessons: great job!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Swilly
  • 21-03-2018

Superb from start to finish

This trilogy has it all. Superb. Gutted it has ended after 100+ hours of listening!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian Pidgen
  • 27-02-2018

Exceĺlent. I learnt the lessons of history .

Well worth a listen. It put things in context for me in respect of the events that I witnessed as a young man. It was educational whilst at the same time thoroughly entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful