Book review : Ken Follet's " On Wings and Eagles"

M G Singh By M G Singh, 9th Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Crime, Thrillers & Mystery

Ken Follett is one of the top thriller writers of the present generation. Over a career spanning 3 decades Ken Follett has written some of the best books in the genre of historical fiction. Born in 1949, Ken Follett has sold over 100 million books worldwide

A thriller to thrill

Follett’s “On Wings and Eagles”
Ken Follett wrote ‘On Wings of Eagles’ a novel which has the background of the Iranian revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran. The Iranian revolution remains an enigma even now and does not fail to arouse the curiosity of most people even though 3 decades have elapsed. The revolution against the Shah of Iran was channeled by the religious leadership led by Ayatollah Khomeini into a hate campaign against the United States. Those were tumultuous days and mobs of Iranians led by religious fanatics roamed the streets of Tehran eventually taking the US embassy as hostage.
Contents of the Novel
Ken Follett has written a non-fiction novel. He wrote the novel in 1983 and based it on a true incident. Ken has used the license of the fiction writer to give a color to his tale, but that is part of the pitfalls of an historical novel.

The novel relates the story of the rescue of two American Electronic Data Systems executives named Paul Chaperone and Bill Gaylord from the prison in Tehran in 1978. Both men had been arrested on a charge of bribery and their bail was set at 12.75 million dollars. They were victims of an anti-corruption drive mounted during the Shah’s last days in Iran. Ross Perot the head of the Dallas based company heard about the arrest of his two employees and decided that they must be rescued. He commissioned Colonel Arthur D Simons to organize the rescue of the executives who were held in Qasr prison in Tehran. The team led by Colonel Simons trained at the farm house of Ross Perot. The team flew to Tehran in 1978 February and was closely followed by Perot himself.

The situation was seething with violence as the Shah of Iran had fled on 18 January 1978, leaving the field free for Khomeini and his party.Ken Follett brings in a local sympathizer of the company named Rashid, who uses a mass storming of the prison to rescue the two executives. It’s high octane stuff, as the two men escape from prison along with the other prisoners. But the real adventure begins now as the men bereft of passports and travel documents are unable to fly out of Tehran.

Their only option is the land route across Iran to Turkey. Rashid accompanied the men right through to the Turkish border, a distance of 450 miles. On 2 occasions the men were held up by revolutionary guards and faced summary execution, but the wit of Rashid saved them.
Once the men crossed the border into Turkey, they were met by an ED’s man with a chartered plane which flew them to Istanbul.

Ken Follett uses his pen to write a thrilling tale of the overland escape to Turkey in the background of the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

Ken as a Writer and Novelist

Ken has earned a name for himself in the genre of historical fiction and thrillers. The magnitude of his success can be gauged from the fact that four of his books have made it to the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list. The novel cannot be cited as a historical reference, but has to be read as a straight forward thriller.
Ken Follett shows his grasp of the events of 1978, which shook the world. His descriptions are nothing short of fantastic. This is one of Follett’s best historical novel. Not a book to cite in a bibliography of a research paper, but a thriller with an historical background concerning the rise of Muslim extremism in Iran.
Personal Life


Best Selling Author, Eings And Eagles, Ken Follet, Thriller

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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author avatar brendamarie
9th Aug 2015 (#)

great review! Sounds like an interesting book.

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author avatar M G Singh
9th Aug 2015 (#)

thanks Brendamarie

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