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Paper Money (1987)

Paper Money (1987)

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3.23 of 5 Votes: 3
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0451167309 (ISBN13: 9780451167309)

About book Paper Money (1987)

You Win Some, You Lose Some(A Book Review of Paper Money by Ken Follett)What links the lives of a ruthless gangster, a sneaky businessman, an adulterous minister, and a young journalist, each a stranger to another, together?Power…Ambition…Paper money…Formerly published under the pseudonym Zachary Stone, Paper Money, one of Ken Follett’s early caper reissued to quench the curiosity of hard-core fans interested about his earlier works prior his rise to fame, tells an intriguing plot concerning seemingly unrelated incidents about the conferring of an oil drilling license, a blackmailed politician, and a bank car heist. Yet what appears to be an ordinary day begins to turn odd as suspicious circumstances tie the events at once when a London evening news reporter fills and fits the pieces of a puzzle: a conspiracy that will rock Threadneedle Street.In the reprinted book’s Introduction, Follett said outright that this is “one of his best unsuccessful books” and reading it quite makes it plain at first sight. The novel lacks a central or primary character and — as was Follett’s wont during this time when he’s just learning the ropes of writing — they’re sketchy at best. I think one of the trump cards of this “interesting little thriller” is its plot and structure (one of the cleverest the author has devised as he professed). Indeed, the chapter designed in an hour to hour fashion calls for brisk action but leaves the reader in a tumble of confusion as the character’s lives begin to overlap coupled by the fact that so much is happening right under the reader’s nose, lost in the story’s comings and goings that one tends to easily forget what transpired during the previous sections.Paper Money’s premise, I admit, is a tad promising only if the author could’ve had the time to elaborate it plot and character-wise. Really, it’s not as bad as it sounds. As someone who has his share of reading Follett’s books, I can see here his budding ability to build and mount suspense in particular scenes quite delighting. For what it’s worth those edge-of-your-seat moments are pretty much thrilling though it only lasts up quick as blink.I, along with others, agree that the ending is a little anti-climactic; nonetheless, for me it’s a good poetic justice of sorts for the book’s villains who smugly thought victory is close at hand when in the end it caught them unawares and cost them dearly.Hold in the same regard with his other early caper, The Modigliani Scandal, Paper Money is still one nice read despite it being dated, will grab your interest if only for a foothold, and gives a fleeting glimpse of London during the 70s as well as the writing of a young Ken Follett._________________________Book Details: Book #20 for 2011Published by Signet Books(Mass Market Paperback, 1987 First Printing)253 pagesStarted: June 2, 2011Finished: June 5, 2011My Rating:★★★[See this review on my book blog Dark Chest of Wonders and for many others.]

The greatest recommendation for this book is as an instruction in the art of writing—in good part, how not to do it. Follett states this is the best of his unsuccessful books.I bought it on Amazon when it was advertised a couple of weeks ago, thinking it was a new book, only to find it was first printed in 1976. All that is in the preface, but you'd need to buy the book first. I felt a little cheated at the misrepresentation.Because I generally enjoy Ken Follett's writing, I gave Paper Money the benefit of the doubt.Some of the stuff in it is a (presumably unintended) hoot, again mainly in the early part.There's a bit where Tony is sweating because he has on a warm coat. He's walking his dog. "The dog was sweating too."Somewhere else there are riders, "each of them handcuffed hand and foot."But the best is the 'long-firm' con. Once again Tony Cox is the star. He starts off with five grand and ends up with three. Nice work, Tone!Later in his career, Follett always used to thank a US company called 'Research for writers', which I guess also reviewed those kinds of issues, and no doubt helped clarify that dogs maintain thermal equilibrium by panting, although they do sweat through their pads.When I was writing The India Road it was positively painful to cross-check such details. In an early version I had sailors dying of hunger and thirst in the storms off the Cape of Good Hope—someone pointed out they just had to lick the mast and they'd get plenty of water!And it took me a while to establish that plane trees could have existed in downtown Lisbon in the fifteenth century. Research of this kind prior to the days of the internet will have been laborious indeed.You'll also notice that Follett often lists the names of totally irrelevant characters, people that appear on one line, never to be seen again. And as he himself states, there are too many characters; it dilutes the identification of the reader with a hero or heroine.If you write, or want to write, read Paper Money as a manual. You'll find the quality of the writing improves visibly as you progress through the book, a sign of a writer in the making—it's like watching evolution in action. The random sex scenes are great as well. Most of all, this book is a case study of craft.

Do You like book Paper Money (1987)?

I am a confessed Ken Follett fan. Having said this, Paper Money is the least liked of the KF books I have so far read. He claims this is his best failed novel and I am willing to agree with him for now.This book shows how the print media has it's finger on the pulse of the Business world the wheeling and dealing of the Share market and acquisitions and takeovers hostile or otherwise. However, there are too many characters and the ending is disappointing. A good read for a plane or ship journey, but do read it in one go as it is difficult to pick up the story if left for any length of time
—Pete Loveday

Not his best novel, but one of his first. We are introduced to a group of cartoonish characters as we follow the events occurring over a 24 hour period. These include 3 interwoven stories whose connection gradually unfolds through the eye of a young investigative journalist. They involve a married politician seduced by a prostitute, arranged by a crime boss ,Laski,who blackmails him into releasing privy info re. the awarding of a license to exploit an oilfield off Scotland, which he will use to purchase a failing business which is likely to get the license, and then will rise in value, turning a quick profit. The drawback is the lack of necessary funds(1 million pounds)which is required quickly. Laski owns the London branch of a small offshore bank on which he will draw the funds that aren't there & thus will not be approved by the Bank of England, unless the funds are deposited to cover the cheque. This is done in conjunction with Cox, a criminal who arranges the heist of a van containing 1 million pounds of used paper money slated for destruction. This will be deposited in the offshore bank, and allow the payment to go through. The owner Hamilton who is receiving this sum for his business, has had a failing marriage & neglected health, and his neglected wife has had a passionate affair with Laski,who bought the business. Hamilton seems rejuvenated with this load off his shoulders, and his wife realizes that she loves him, and turns down Laski's offer of marriage.An oversimplistic plot, shallow characters who evoke no sympathy, and a mediocre novel.

Tim Fitzpeterson is a politician. Felix Laski is a corporate raider preying on the weak. Arthur Cole is deputy news editor at the Evening Post. Tony Cox runs a gang of thieves. Derek Hamilton owns the controlling interest in a conglomerate that is in trouble. One day in London, these five men unwittingly fall into the same pot of soup. They stew from six in the morning until near five in the evening. There is no recipe, no chef either, and without someone to stir the brew, some of the ingredients will burn. No one knows until Ken Follett finishes cooking.In the introduction, Ken Follett wrote, "The plot of PAPER MONEY is the cleverest I have ever devised..." and that the novel " the best of my unsuccessful books." The plot is intricate. The structure of the novel without a protagonist and divided into the hour-by-hour evolving collision is clever. Overall, it's a good read.
—Greg Bascom

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