The origin of Ken Follett in literature it begins with the puncture of one of the tires on his rickety Vauxhall. It was the 70s. The mechanic charged him 200 pounds that he didn’t have. At that time he was a reporter for Evening Standard. She lived in London. That wheel had to be changed and a friend suggested he write an action story. A publishing house was looking for new writers for its serials and paid exactly the settlement amount. Follett offered his services, delivered on time, got paid, got the car back and 30 years later he drove a Rolls Royce that he still has. She raised narratives of mass consumption. And several series. Two of them of great success: The Century y The pillars of the earth. Between them it spans a millennium. The latter presents a new delivery in global launch: The armor of lightpublished in Spain by Plaza & Janés.
The story happens this way: late 18th century, between England, France and a little Spain. The First Coalition (1792-1797) applies despotism. It is the attempt of the European monarchies to contain the fervor of the French Revolution. Napoleon begins his relentless drive and the industrial innovations in the textile factories of Kingsbridge (imaginary city from the Pillars of the Earth saga) open new job possibilities and encourage the most ruthless cruelty.
At that time Follett sets up a group of people from Kingsbride – a spinner, a weaver, an orphan, two businessmen… – who are the symbol of the fight of two generations determined not to let themselves be defeated, to fight for a future without oppression.
Historical novel, Follett novel, intrigue novel, popular novel… That last stretch of the 18th century has in its share of innovation and in its brutal ways the protein of a world change. What is the legacy of that today? “Everything one lives is a consequence of what happened. But there are necessary and irremediable differences. We, lhe European citizens of today, we are not so cruel” explains Follett. “And there are also similarities with that time. We are at the center of a technological revolution. In the 18th century it was spinning machines and now it is Artificial Intelligence. Furthermore, as happened in that period in everyone’s fight against France, we have a great war in Europe, in Ukraine, and no one sees the end. The Napoleonic Wars lasted 23 years. Will we resist? “It’s a mystery.”
Ken Follett is a British man with soapy manners. He lives in a mansion south of Stevenage. He is the son of two extremely religious pianists who did not allow him to watch television. Before the first success he had published 10 novels that were 10 failures. After the newspaper he found work in a publishing house and spent his free hours studying best sellers to find the keys to those hits: Stephen King or John Le Carré were their autopsies. In 1978 he published The island of storms and then yes: 10 million books sold. Today he is one of the most popular novelists. He published in 80 countries and 33 languages. Convinced Labor, seamlessly anti-Brexit and a subject rocked by optimism that the world will get better, although he risks what is essential in the omen.