Cover image for The Hammer of Eden
The Hammer of Eden
Follett, Ken.
Personal Author:
Abridged / by Virginia Noonan.
Publication Information:
[New York, NY] : Random House AudioBooks, [1998]

Physical Description:
3 audio discs (4 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Against the clock, a crackerjack FBI agent and a maverick seismologist race to track down an enigmatic group of terrorists who threaten California with a man-made earthquake.
General Note:
Compact disc.
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Lancaster Library XX(1069810.1) V.3 Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
East Aurora Library XX(1069810.3) DISC 3 Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
East Aurora Library CD BOOK: ORANGE F: CD 3 OF 3 Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



3 CDs / 4 hours Read by Anthony Heald Also available on cassette and unabridged on cassette Ken Follett hits the top of his form withThe Hammer of Eden, a state-of-the-art suspense thriller to rival his best.          When controversial radio talk host John Truth broadcasts a terrorist threat of a man-made earthquake, few people take it seriously. Crackerjack young FBI agent Judy Maddox is assigned to track down the elusive, sinister group called the Hammer of Eden. Judy's boss, who has a grudge against her, thinks he has given her a waste-of-time assignment. But Judy's research leads her to maverick seismologist Michael Quercus, who gives her the shocking news that it might just be possible for an earthquake to be deliberately triggered. And when a tremor in a remote California desert shows evidence of being machine-generated, Judy knows the threat is terrifyingly real. Suddenly in charge of a life-or-death investigation, Judy must pinpoint the terrorists' next target, with the help of the erratic but attractive Michael. Their compelling romantic drama is played out as they race to beat the terrorist deadline and prevent an unthinkable disaster.          Unknown to them, Michael's estranged wife, gorgeous but angry, has fallen under the spell of a clever, sexy cult leader called Priest--and they have stolen from Michael's computer the key data that enables the Hammer of Eden to carry out their cataclysmic threat. Worse still, Michael's son is with his wife--and under the control of Priest. All of them are in mortal jeopardy as Judy and Michael fight to save San Francisco from being brought down in ruins. Ken Follett became a best-selling author in 1978 with the publication ofEye of the Needle,which won the Edgar award and became a major motion picture.  He has since written numerous other best-selling thrillers and historical novels, includingThe Third Twin,andA Place Called Freedom.

Author Notes

Ken Follett was born in Wales, United Kingdom on June 5, 1949. He received an Honours degree in philosophy from University College, London. He began his career as a newspaper reporter for the South Wales Echo and later with the London Evening News. He decided to switch to publishing and worked for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director.

His first bestselling novel, Eye of the Needle, was published in 1978 and won the Edgar Award. His other works include Triple, The Key to Rebecca, The Man from St. Petersburg, Lay Down with Lions, The Pillars of the Earth, The Third Twin, The Hammer of Eden, Code to Zero, Whiteout, World Without End, The Century Trilogy, and A Column of Fire. Many of his novels have been adapted into films and television miniseries. He has won numerous awards including the Corine Prize in 2003 for Jackdaws. His nonfiction works include On Wings of Eagles.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Follett's latest concerns a secret California hippie commune whose existence is threatened when the state opts to build a power plant on the site. Priest, the commune's charismatic leader, vows to stay put no matter what. He figures the threat of a major earthquake is a perfect way to blackmail the state into abandoning the power-plant idea, and just in case he needs to deliver the goods, he thinks he knows how to produce a huge trembler that will bring the state to its knees. Stealing a seismic vibrator from a local oil-drilling site, Priest persuades one of his followers, a wanna-be seismologist, to help him figure out the rest. Pitted against Priest is FBI agent Judy Maddox, who's hot to solve the case and convince her superiors she's ready for a major promotion. Racing to find the mysterious Priest and stop him before he can shake California to smithereens, Maddox enlists the help of handsome seismologist Michael Quercus. But even the predictable romance doesn't deter the two from taking care of the bad guys and saving California from the Big One. Fortunately, a ho-hum premise turns into a riveting thriller in Follett's skillful hands. Taut plotting, tense action, skillful writing, and myriad unexpected twists make this one utterly unputdownable. Destined for bestsellerdom. --Emily Melton

Publisher's Weekly Review

After 20 years of writing bestselling novels, Follett is enough of a pro to produce a reliable page-turner from a flimsy premise‘as he does here. His working out of how a rural, socially radical California commune moves not heaven but earth to stave off the loss of their land to a government dam and the ensuing flood is smartly paced if nearly devoid of inspiration. What distinguishes it is not the communards' weapon, a stolen seismic vibrator generally used by oil companies to sound for liquid gold but also handy for starting earthquakes. Nor is it the mechanical progression of the plot, as the radicals, calling themselves the Hammer of Eden, escalate threats and consequent quakes in order to blackmail the state into halting the dam until the finale finds them about to devastate San Francisco. Nor is it the by-the-book chase of the terrorists by a headstrong female FBI agent who might have walked onstage from any of a dozen other thrillers. What does‘other than its efficient telling‘raise the novel above mundanity is the depth of characterization of its villains, a Follett forte since his splendid debut in Eye of the Needle. Follett devotes many pages to backstory, creating in Priest, once a smalltime hood and now the commune's leader, in Star, his hippie earth-woman, and in Melanie, a bitter young beauty who throws in with the commune, fully realized outcasts, crazed and desperate idealists whose actions are as believable as they are heinous. All else in the novel, including the perfunctory prose, serve only to push the story quickly through its paces, but Follett's troupe of lost souls makes it dance to a memorable, mournful tune. Agent, Al Zuckerman; major ad/promo; simultaneous Random House audio and large-print edition. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Richard Granger, a charismatic fugitive known as Priest, controls a long-established winemaking commune in northern California that loses its government lease because of a dam project. Ignoring other alternatives, his group becomes "The Hammer of Eden" and threatens to cause an earthquake unless the governor halts construction. When the threats are ignored, Priest uses a seismic vibrator to ever-increasing effect. San Francisco-based FBI agent Judy Maddox teams up with a seismic expert who is estranged from one of the terrorists and attracted to Judy; together, they guide the FBI in a frantic effort to prevent an earthquake on the Embarcadero. The promising concept and characterizations are weakened by too many coincidences and the sympathetic portrayal of Priest, an antihero of the first rank. Though Follett's latest thriller is not at the level of his earlier titles (e.g., The Third Twin, LJ 9/15/96), his fans and the planned media blitz will create demand.ÄV. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Lib., Cheney (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Excerpt from Chapter 1 A man called Priest pulled his cowboy hat down at the front and peered across the flat, dusty desert of South Texas. The low dull green bushes of thorny mesquite and sagebrush stretched in every direction as far as he could see. In front of him, a ridged and rutted track ten feet wide had been driven through the vegetation. These tracks were called senderos by the Hispanic bulldozer drivers who cut them in brutally straight lines. On one side, at precise fifty-yard intervals, bright pink plastic marker flags fluttered on short wire poles. A truck moved slowly along the sendero. Priest had to steal the truck. He had stolen his first vehicle at the age of eleven, a brand-new snow white 1961 Lincoln Continental parked, with the keys in the dash, outside the Roxy Theatre on South Broadway in Los Angeles. Priest, who was called Ricky in those days, could hardly see over the steering wheel. He had been so scared he almost wet himself, but he drove it ten blocks and handed the keys proudly to Jimmy "Pigface" Riley, who gave him five bucks, then took his girl for a drive and crashed the car on the Pacific Coast Highway. That was how Ricky became a member of the Pigface Gang. But this truck was not just a vehicle. As he watched, the powerful machinery behind the driver's cabin slowly lowered a massive steel plate, six feet square, to the ground. There was a pause, then he heard a low-pitched rumble. A cloud of dust rose around the truck as the plate began to pound the earth rhythmically. He felt the ground shake beneath his feet. This was a seismic vibrator, a machine for sending shock waves through the earth's crust. Priest had never had much education, except in stealing cars, but he was the smartest person he had ever met, and he understood how the vibrator worked. It was similar to radar and sonar. The shock waves were reflected off features in the earth--such as rock or liquid--and they bounced back to the surface, where they were picked up by listening devices called geophones, or jugs. Priest worked on the jug team. They had planted more than a thousand geophones at precisely measured intervals in a grid a mile square. Every time the vibrator shook, the reflections were picked up by the jugs and recorded by a supervisor working in a trailer known as the doghouse. All this data would later be fed into a supercomputer in Houston to produce a three-dimensional map of what was under the earth's surface. The map would be sold to an oil company. The vibrations rose in pitch, making a noise like the mighty engines of an ocean liner gathering speed; then the sound stopped abruptly. Priest ran along the sendero to the truck, screwing up his eyes against the billowing dust. He opened the door and clambered up into the cabin. A stocky black-haired man of about thirty was at the wheel. "Hey, Mario," Priest said as he slid into the seat alongside the driver. "Hey, Ricky." Richard Granger was the name on Priest's commercial driving license (class B). The license was forged, but the name was real. He was carrying a carton of Marlboro cigarettes, the brand Mario smoked. He tossed the carton onto the dash. "Here, I brought you something." "Hey, man, you don't need to buy me no cigarettes." "I'm always bummin' your smokes." He picked up the open pack on the dash, shook one out, and put it in his mouth. Mario smiled. "Why don't you just buy your own cigarettes?" "Hell, no, I can't afford to smoke." "You're crazy, man." Mario laughed. Priest lit his cigarette. He had always had an easy ability to get on with people, make them like him. On the streets where he grew up, people beat you up if they didn't like you, and he had been a runty kid. So he had developed an intuitive feel for what people Excerpted from The Hammer of Eden by Ken Follett All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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