I was a big fan of Follett's Pillars of the Earth trilogy which gave you a big dose of history along with fantastic character stories. While Fall of Giants gave you great insight into life and events during that period, the character stories were sorely lacking. I found that I just didn't feel connected to the characters or really care what happened to them. My only other complaint was that it was just too long. A little editing would have helped here. It dragged on at times and became quite boring. At one point, I almost gave up on it. Overall, a very interesting and informative historical piece, but don't expect much from the characters.
I recommend this book becasue the author has a good story to tell and knows how to tell a story.
The narrator is great at seperating the characters.
I can't stop listening to these. I'm on my 3rd Ken Follet book narrated by John Lee, the standard by which all narrators should be compared, and I cannot help myself. After each book ended, I entered a profound state of depression--until I got my next fix.
Excuse my being flippant about drug addiction, but these audio books are so good, I can't think of a more apt comparison.
Compelling, Thorough and Surprising
It's difficult to select only one in 40 hrs of audio. The farcical trial of Billy Williams and masterful command of legal possibilities to achieve an end is one, as well as Gregory's shock and disillusion at a moment of helplessness after he has achieved so much. Another very special insight or revelation of another layer in a character is the little scene with Lev and the biggest sandwich in the world.
Follet does such a consummate job of drawing all his characters, that it's very hard to pick just one. They are all multi-dimensional and flawed -- heroic in one moment and petty the next. What is surprising is his ability to create strong and thoroughly believable female characters.
I always enjoyed Follet's political thrillers and was delighted to pick him up again in my favorite genre -- historical fiction. I didn't think I'd take to the early 20th century and WWI. Big surprise! I've taught social studies and only now do I feel I actually understand how the assassination of some foreign royalty in an insignificant country could have drawn the entire world into one of the most wasteful and pointless wars in history. By the time it is too late to end it, no one seems to know why they are fighting. I never knew that.
Absolutely, this book was recommended by my mother who also got me into Game of thrones so I figured I would give it a try. It started off slow and I was not really sure what to expect seeing as how I had just finished A Dance with Dragons but after the first couple of hours I was hooked it gives you a nice in depth look at life during the events of ww1 and afterwords
You get really hooked into the characters
without a doubt Billy with Jesus
Absolutely excellent book. Great characters, intertwining families, fast paced.
Penny Vincenzi's Fall of Angels series
Gripping, Historical, Addicting
I learned so much about World War I. Didn't realize how much I didn't know until listening to this book. Loved it. Just downloaded the next book.
I really dislike everything about the book.
I want to return this, and have tried to follow the 'you can return' path, but it leads in circles. Frustrating.
Great stories and great story telling. I enjoyed the reader's grasp of accents. There are several story lines all woven beautifully together. This is by far my favorite book by Ken Follett.
It follows history adding in fiction to historical events.
I loved Pillars and World Without End, but somehow wasn't drawn to the idea of listening to a book set in the 20th century, especially with all the drama in WWII and my me not being a great fan of "war books".
But after a few flings with other authors I kept thinking how nothing compared to the epic tales of Ken Follett. With my new job ahead of me and having to drive 2 hours everyday I needed something to make time fly, something that could absorb me. So I went for it and bought Fall of Giants, and I was hooked immediately!! The thorough character building, the switching from character to character, it was all there and I loved every second of it. Everything I loved about the other Ken Follett books was there, and more! My drives to work flew by, sometimes I caught myself wishing I lived further from work so I could listen to the book a little longer, it's that good!
Aside from it being a great story of different people in different countries set in the early 20th century, it's also a great history lesson. I feel like a WWI expert now! Ken knows how to make the political events really interesting! And even though it's a story about historical events affecting millions of people, he zooms in to the lives of a few key players which gives it the typical Ken Follett feeling.
I loved it!