1913 to 1923.
First, I loved the diversity of characters, from aristocrats to miners and peasants, from politicians to thieves. There were many well-developed "main characters", from England, Wales, Germany, Russia, and the United States.I also loved the characters' development. They all started out as young adults. They all moved around the world and changed during and because of the war (WWI). It was inspiring to follow those changes, especially for the young women. Yet Ken Follett made sure that each character never lost his or her essential characteristics. In other words, the characters' changes were entirely believable.I also thought the author did a good job folding big historical events into the characters' lives. There's nothing more boring to me than the back and forth, back and forth of a battle scene from the POV of an omnicient historian years later. But that battle, or that revolution, or the effect of that legislation, is fascinating when told from the POV of a fictional character I already know and love. Ken Follett did us a favor choosing the decade 1913-1923 for this story. These characters lived not only through World War One, but through the Russian revolution of 1917 (and some of its aftermath), through the rise of the United States in global power and importance, through the decline of the old guard in Germany and the beginnings of the Nazi movement, through the success of women's suffrage and the rise of the working class in England, to the passage of the Volstead Act in the U.S.
I have listened to several of John Lee's other performances, but this book was the most challenging for him. He had to deliver upper- and working-class accents from Wales, London, Germany, Russia, and the U.S. The regional and class differences in British speech are particulary important to the story. He used these very distinctive accents effectively even when (in the case of the Germans and Russians) they were speaking in their own languages. Lee's performance is a masterpiece. I'm so glad I listened instead of read this book.
Yes, the last scene, but I won't disclose it!
Historical novels are about my favorite genre, and this is a great one. I had fun and learned alot. What could be better?
I fell in love the first time I read it, and obsessed on the second round. The new novel Winter of the World is about to be release, and I thought I should brush up on the characters. I swear it's like reading it for the first time, I can put it down. The characters draw you in from beginning to end, I just want the book to go on forever. The story take you on an endless journey, from many different angles. Their description of the war makes it hard to just side with America, because you empathize with the other countries. The love stories, the families, and the brotherhood of the service men, really make you think about your own relationships. When I pick this book, I didn't know anything about Ken Follet, nor was I interested in any war story. Little did I know I found a gem, that went way past my expectations.
Grigori giving his brother Lev Peshkov his ticket. I would tell you more, but the scene touching and sad at the same time, I don't take that away from the reader.
Yes! It is because of John Lee, that I read Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth, and World w/o End. Sometimes I forget that it's only one narrator, I think that's why I love his style so much. John puts faces on the character, and walks me through the scene.
I had many reactions to this book, especially the loyal, yet complex relationship between the Russian brothers.
If you've never read Ken Follet, please, please read this one.
WW1 History was the most interesting - Follett's rather liberal take on everything turned me off.
Interminable...actually living through the war would've seemed to take less time...
I loved the depth of the story, and the performance was spectacular.
Obviously, this book is very much like Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.
John's ability to do the myriad accents adds much to the story, and he adds a great depth of emotion to the dialogue.
Fall of the Giants was an incredible listen. It is a very long story, which is necessary in order to portray the depth of every character. I probably won't relisten, but I am going to listen to the next two books.
The actor who performs the story gave an excellent performance. The story has so many lives entwined. Never a boring moment in so many hours of a listen. There were several points where I googled to see the accuracy of the history and dates mentioned. All were true events happening at the time.
My favorite character was Billy Williams, because he always stayed true to what he believed. He spoke up to his father during their services when his father so harshly judged his sister. Also, as a soldier, he stood up to Fitz, his superior officer, at a town meeting an blamed officer's poor judgement as to why they have lost so many lives.
He was very brave. His faith was strong when he saw Jesus in the mine at 16 years old when he was terrified and tricked by his foreman and had no light. He was strong when he left his home to go find his sister to make sure she was well. He was so loving the way he helped her deliver her baby and how he cared for his nephew. He is a wonderful character.
I cried many times from the strong committment and compassion people had for each other. The characters have such great depth.
I am a sucker for a good historical novel that transports you back to the time period portrayed by the author. The balance of upstairs and downstairs characters negotiating life pre-WWI and into the war is most enjoyable. Can't wait to see how these characters develop over books II and III. The characters connections to the historical figures of the time are entirely credible and provides the reader with some insight into life at that time.
Mr. Lee narrates a great story,slipping between the male and female characters above and below stairs with great ease and seamless transitions.
Billie Williams is my favorite downstairs character and Walter Von Ulrich is the most interesting upstairs character because he challenges many of the expected behaviors for a man of his station in life.
John Lee's narrative captures the numerous accents and characters personalities worthy of a Oscar. The story holds your attention, but Mr. Lee doesn't allow you to break free from wanting to spend every free moment listening. If you wish to try using Audio Books, this one is a Must Listen. If your an old fan of Audio Books, your lIbary will not be complete without this book.
Yes, he is amazing. I am adding everything he had done that I can to my library. This is the best so far, numerous characters, wild range of voices and accents.
Yes, after I started listening. But not possible due to the length.
Fall of Giants is one of my favorite historical fiction novels ever.
I loved the various plots and characters that were so richly developed throughout the book. It really made me love and hate different characters along with the story line.
Just looking for an enjoyable story! Books are my passion.
I don't know as I haven't read the print version. I would assume they are the same.
I can't think of one.
It's so hard to pick just one. I can only say which one I didn't like, which was Fritz. The characters were so vivid.
I would have to say when Billy was in the mine and his light went out. I could feel his nervousness, and imagine the sounds around him.
I can't wait for part 2 which comes out in September. I haven't found it in Audible under coming soon. I hope it will be available in Audio!
This book is a must read!
I read the book first and am now listening to it and waiting for the second book...love the characters and the story is interesting and historical at the same time.
Maude Williams was my favorite character because of her gumption in moving women forward in that time.
John Lee narrates the book so well and gives such feeling he makes me believe I am there!
I think when both Germany and England celebrated Christmas in no man's land was particularly good showing that both sides really didn't want the war in my opinion,