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I just finished The Man from St. Petersburg by Ken Follett.

I don’t think I’ve been properly frustrated by a novel in a good while. This one did it. It literally changed my demeanor for a good solid day.

First off, the reason I was reading this book was by the advice of the legendary literary agent, Albert Zuckerman, in his book Writing the Blockbuster Novel. It’s a good insight on what the agents, editors, and publishers are looking for in a novel and what they are not.

I usually read non-fiction and the fiction I’ve read is anything from Beowulf to Mark Twain to Tom Clancy to Michael Crichton. Ken Follett has a huge following of his own, but I’ve never read historical fiction. Now, 30 years later, most anything by Tom Clancy would be absolutely considered historical fiction, but at the time it was the Thriller genre, because he was writing in current political environments, not historical. It was simply military thriller scenarios that could have realistically played out in real time, but not so much now.