Ken Follett wrote his first international bestseller, Eye of the Needle, when he was 25 years old. He has since been one of the most consistent international best-selling authors, with approximately 130 million copies of his books sold worldwide. His manifold influence on the thriller genre includes the pioneering use of strong female characters in espionage stories and the development of the historical thriller as a new form of novel, exemplified by Winter of the World (2012). This book is an investigation of Follett's development as an author, and of the craft of writing and the negotiation of serious versus popular literary value, from his earliest short stories and screenplays through his mature thrillers and entertainment fiction. Unpublished materials are also considered, including his business and personal correspondence, notes, unpublished early drafts, journal entries and outlines. Follett's dramatic shift to writing historical fiction may be his most enduring legacy.
Carlos Ramet focuses on the artistic development and cultural implications of the best-selling author of works such as Eye of the Needle (1978), The Pillars of the Earth (1989), and The Hammer of Eden (1998). Beginning with his earliest published novel, The Big Needle (1974), Ramet explores the tension between the popular and the serious that has underlain much of Follett's work. Ramet examines this writer's blending of genres, film adaptations of his novels, and his keen ability to extend his readership through a “hybridization” process. Ramet linguistically analyzes Follett's flexibility with literary forms; explores archetypal patterns; and demonstrates that Follett's involvement in British politics is reflected not only in his latest works but has been implied by his novels from the start.
Foreword by Cornelius Plantinga Jr. "Where All Hope Lies" presents fifty-six select sermons by James Van Tholen, a gifted young pastor who lost his battle with cancer in January 2001 at the age of thirty-six. Though Jim's untimely death gives a certain poignancy to this volume, these sermons are far from dark or despairing. Van Tholen's conversational style, thought-provoking insights into Scripture, and frequent interaction with such writers as Flannery O'Connor, Frederick Buechner, Kathleen Norris, and others make these sermons truly enjoyable as well as profitable to read. Through them all there runs a sense of concentrating on what really matters -- trusting in God no matter what suffering or difficulties might come our way. Indeed, as demonstrated by the book's title sermon -- first published in "Christianity Today" as Surprised by Death -- more than anything, Van Tholen preached the grace and goodness of God. Including a foreword by Neal Plantinga and a closing reflection on the man behind the sermons by Jim's wife, Rachel, "Where All Hope Lies" offers gracious, powerful, uplifting words for believers throughout the church year.