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Loved it thoroughly
As a fan of World War Two based literature, I find Mr. Follett's book, Jackdaws, to be an excellent piece of writing that adequately represents France and its Nazi occupation in the 1940s. I am extremely impressed with this book and it has quickly become a favorite of mine. The characters are ones that are easy to relate to, and are ones that will cause you to laugh in select areas or shed a tear. I have felt many emotions reading this book, which include anger, amazement and pride. After reading the book several times I find more and more that I did not originally notice. This book is inspiring and gives its reader the feeling that they too were in occupied France before D-Day. It is an awesome book full of action, excitement, romance and both English and french culture. It is a peephole into the past and into our very own history.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys WWII themed literature, however it has many sexual and violent scenes which are not appropriate for some readers. I encourage you to try this book, but try it with disgression. It is well worth your time.
Furthermore, this book would make a great movie- hint, hint! I hope to see it someday on the big screen.
This book had a good beginning. An intense start and a back and forth manner that made it interesting to read (though annoying at times). I almost was at the point of comprising a good script on the idea and that the story could easily be adapted to a screenplay. And that was it. The middle is very borish and insulting to any fan of WWII as well as society at that time. Follett had a good beginning and a good ending but could not connect the dots inbetween to make a complete book. I found myself less interested in the characters the more they drifted into preachy and predictable roles. The insults to decent society as well as 'modern' thinking pushed down onto mid 20th century women is just a pathetic attempt to capture a 'broader' audience for the book. I am not ignorant to the type of things that existed in the 40's that we are still grappling with today, but to try and encapsulate all of those stereotypes on the 10 to 15 odd characters in the text is just inane. What is funny is that this part of the text is not shocking or revealing to the modern reader and half of these reviewers that i have read passed over those idiotic sections without a flutter of the eye. So the whole point of putting those things in there and making political comments on the downtrodden minorities in society goes over the heads of the intended audience.
I know I am in a minority here when I wish that texts on historical times would come off like a good Bogart movie in which the illicit actions of the characters and the sexual tendencies were just refered to instead of graphically written out. If I wanted to read about those types of things there is a whole section of writting devoted to that. What I want is a good story and have it paced well so I'm not stuck mulling through pages of fluff. Authors of such liberal mindedness (not putting down liberal ideals) should realize that parading their ideals in full in each ream of text they produce only dilutes the effectiveness and in the end takes away from the whole. In this text we should feel strongly about how powerful a female element is in all aspects of society including war. We should identify with the heroine and open our minds towards the capacity women have in our current society. Instead we have to take in such topics as transvestites and lesbianism and extra-marital affairs and fighting for what you believe even if it is nazism. In the conclusion of finishing the book I identify more with the simpleton nazi gestapo leader who is trying to perform his duty more than any others. I'd rather hear more on his attempts and failures to accomplish his goals and why that happens then on talks of beauty and how a woman looks under this or that dress and whether I should feel for the Nazi's jewish mistress.
On the plus side I enjoyed the story and would appreciate more discussions and tales from females role in WWII. The beginning and ending were good as well as the cat and mouse session in the middle. All components made for a memorable story, minus what i mentioned above.
The author generally has very good character development in his novels. To me, the characters in this book were so real that I could actually visualize them as I read. I thought the story was a little bit of a stretch but the characters made the book one of my favorites.
I am listening to this book on tape and have a difficult time pulling myself away from the car! This is an excellent book and it has some very complex and disturbing moments. I can't wait to get in the car to go to work tomorrow!
I have read tons of American Literature and have been thrown books left and right to read but none capture the true essence of a good read like Jack Daws.
its a great ook and i think that every one should read it...
Steve M. Shepard
Jackdaws is my first forray into the world of Ken Follett. I was drawn by my deceased father's involvement in the liberation of France and was not disappointed with Mr. Follett's historical research. While happy to see that the screen rights have been purchased, I found it often difficult not to compare many facets of "Jackdaws", with E.M. Nathanson's "Dirty Dozen" which was made into an all-star vehicle in 1967. Mr. Follett is by no means bordering on plagiarism, I simply found that the group of 1/2 dozen "sociatal misfits" codenamed "Jackdaws" and led by Major Felicity "Flick" Claret, a young petite and handsome, albeit seasoned British Agent, had some interesting similarities to those "misfits" led by Major John Reisman (Lee Marvin), quite interesting. Mr. Follett's riveting novel is indeed deserving of it's "pageturner" label and I look forward to the Hollywood cast who may be chosen, should "Jackdaws" become a major American motion picture. Seattle, U.S.A. - 24 Feb 2003