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Lie Down With Lions (2003)

Lie Down with Lions (2003)

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3.76 of 5 Votes: 4
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0451210468 (ISBN13: 9780451210463)

About book Lie Down With Lions (2003)

I always enjoy Follett. He's got the skill, style and tools that any novelist must have in their quiver to keep the reader engaged and coming back for book after book. This is a good story. With the characters engaged in the, true to life, Afghanistan war it's easy to accept presumptions without having to read the back-story as well as the humanity and psychology of the main characters and the tribal citizens living in a world that is more foreign to the reader than most would acknowledge. Follett utilizes the modern media along with the many perspectives of the modern global citizenry to help build the psychological basis from which any reader can empathize with each of the characters from his or her current opinions of this war torn region and the people who are in constant conflict with one another as well as taking sides and fighting with or against the invader if the day. Some readers brush off what seems to be a simple over told story as merely a vehicle for gratuitous, and unusual, sex scenes and stereotypical story lines instead of picking up on the readily observable struggles of each major character, as well as the minor characters who are local tribal members and leaders. I will agree that of the several Follett novels I've read this one may very well be my least favorite. I've got to think about that a bit more. Was the author's intention to bring me deeper into the conflict, beyond where the highly editorialized and politically biased media reporting had left me, or, perhaps, was it to personalize it for me?The story line may very well be based on a true story or melding of more that one. I felt like I was able to quickly climb on to the camel and begin debating with the perspectives and morals of three main characters who are very different from one another and come from very different vocations and moralities. Their justifications are simple. The raw sexual relationships, written with many more descriptive observations than I've seen Follett present previously, were, at first, more of a surprise than anything. There were just a couple. With a little thought, upon the encounter, I felt it was appropriate to toss the reader for a loop and bring him back to reality when ones perspective and life decisions are reduced, for the average person, from being thoughtful and more thorough to spontaneous human grasps at fulfilling their often and radically shifting immediate situations between reaching for their moral purpose to sheer survival. I think I may have put too much into this but I do believe it was Follett's intention to take us into a familiar spy-drama-thriller to the reality of being thrust into a war zone that has been at war from within and without for thousands of years. Once there, the varied opinions about the war are open for discussion but rapidly lain aside when mere survival or suddenly discovering that people and purposes you trusted your life to, have either collapsed entirely or have been tossed into a twister as the characters struggle to grasp upon the slightest reality or hope therein. Yeah. It's a simple book. I know Follett's skills and have been thrilled as he took me from his spy thrillers to mid evil castles, kingdoms and religious manipulation to the surprisingly and capturing soap opera of Dangerous Fortune. Ken Follett is an outstanding author who utilizes all of the techniques of excellent telling of tales. However, he does not bind himself to one style or template that most authors do. He takes you on his journey. Often places you may have been before. Let go and enjoy the ride. Often times, with Ken Follett, you will find yourself with a smile as you turn the last page and reach for his next one.

Ken Follett tends to be my 'go-to' author when I want some easy-reading entertainment. I had known about this novel for some time, but had never had the chance to read it until recently and I gobbled it up within a few days!Lie Down with Lions takes place in the early 1980's in England and Eastern Afghanistan. Two old acquaintances, each on either side of the proxy-conflict between Russia and the US, find themselves locking horns over the main character: a charming and sharp woman named Jane. Jane is the only female character of note and she really shines as a prudent and driven woman in the face of cruel Afghan misogyny. Follett does an admirable job of both respecting and praising the Afghan people while still addressing the elephant in the room that is their crushing theocracy and vestigial tradition. They are a complex society that provides its own distinct conflicts and joys throughout the novel and the man not only has done his research, he did it well enough to predict the rise of the Taliban and ultimately Al-Qaeda. This novel was written in 1986.Follett's usual word economy is present, and he does an excellent job of describing distinct and interesting terrain without alienating the reader with highfalutin vocabulary or obtuse analogies. Characters think clearly and their emotions are expressed clearly. This leaves no mystery behind motivations or dialogue.Which is part of the problem. I had nothing to do as a reader! I didn't have to explore the characters since everything was displayed so clearly for me. There were zero revelations and only the plot provided suspense and even that was fairly straightforward and predictable. I knew who would be the good guys and who would be the bad guys etc etc etc...That aside, the novel flew by in traditional Follett fashion. There are no overly complex writing mechanics and no windy digressions. Flashbacks are brief, provide character insight or plot propulsion, and as the cover closed I had the satisfied sensation of having accomplished a fun spy novel with a strong female protagonist in a vibrant and challenging setting.

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My first Ken Follett novel. Wow! I think I was in high school on vacation with friends. I had no idea the power of a great story. Of the impact it could have on me. Of the connection I could feel to struggles of the characters and my desire to be one of those characters!In hindsight, I don't want to know if this was a great book or not. I want to remember the man and woman struggling to cross the mountains in Afghanistan to get to freedom. I want to remember the passion I had never, never known of before. I want to remember how I felt turning the pages with the danger and sexual desire of the couple as they moved onward.If you've read Follett, you know what he can do with characters and a story and an amazing backdrop. This book taught me.I highly recommend!!
—Donna Crupi

I feel like a hypocrite. I mean really, why do I keep reading Ken Follett (and for that matter Stephen King) and then giving the books a 2 star rating? I know the book is shitty; I know this before I read it; yet I still pick it up and devour it in 2 days. The best excuse I can muster is that it makes me ponder the purpose of literature. Is it to hold up a mirror in which we can see ourselves reflected (great quote by James Fennimore Cooper on that, by the way that was the epigraph for Monsters of Templeton) or is it simply to entertain? My answer (as is obvious by my reviews and ratings and general choice of book) is it should act as a mirror and present the reader with something profound. And yet, sometimes it is fun to just read something silly and munch on puppy chow and be entertained. At least I don't watch TV.So, that aside, this book was as expected. I plowed through the 400+ kindle pages in less than 48 hours (despite playing a 5 hour game of Risk with my sick kid and keeping up with work) because it is simply that readable. It is not all that interesting and the plot twists are very contrived and oftentimes unbelievable, but boy is this shit easy to page through.None of the characters were real: super spy Ellis; psycho doctor Jean-Pierre; and gullible, yet brilliant and tough and beautiful Jane. I didn't learn anything about Russia and Afghanistan (which was slightly disappointing, usually Follett throws in some real history, but here it was all sort of surface scratch). And the character's actions weren't even internally consistent (Jean-Pierre starts off as a doctor who is unsure if he can actually harm his arch enemy Ellis and by the end is hoping to get to kill someone with his bare hands).I also found myself wishing that the editors had cut some of the repetition. We had to be reminded several times that Jane found breast feeding erotic; Anatoly was Oriental; and that the Hind copters look like bugs (there are probably more but these three were the most egregious for me).Overall it is certainly entertaining and recommended as a guilty pleasure. Not good for much else.

داستانی عالی وجذاب .رمانی با شخصیت های ساخته شده که به بهترین نحو پرداخت شده اند .فالت با چیره دستی توانست مکان های متفاوتی را در داستان ترسیم کند واز دل این تفاوت ها داستان فوق العاده هیجان انگیزی را به وجود اورد .داستانی که از دل اروپای مدرن به بدوی ترین مکان ممکن یعنی افغانستان درگیر با جنگ کمونیست کشیده میشود وزنی با اراده که در مواجه با موقعیت های سخت راه حل های مخصوص به خودش را پیدا میکند .در کنار شیرهااستعاره ای به مکان وقوع حوادث داستان که همان دره پنج شیرافغانستان است دره پنج شیر محل تولد دلاور شهید افغانستان احمد شاه مسعود است که فالت به خوبی توانسته با این دستمایه داستان خواندنی را بیافریند
—Shahr Baran

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