Yes! The historical context was so detailed, I learned a tremendous amount about the events surrounding WWI. Many things I knew, but forgot. Many things I never knew. It behooves us to know our past well, as the events of the past tend to repeat themselves in our future.
Mr. Follett has a gift of narration that gives import to the minutiae of daily life and fashion. In the hands of a less skilled author these details would quickly dull the reading experience. Through the pen of Mr. Follett and the interpretation of Mr. Lee, this historical novel comes to vibrant life.
I loved the differing viewpoints offered through the characters. The war took on entirely different understandings depending on the viewpoint of each character.
Each main character represents a different nation or culture that played a pivotal part in the events before, during, and following WWI. This diversity allows for a fascinating overview of the events.
I loved this audiobook. Often when I read a book with many characters, I find myself forgetting who is who. Mr. Lee does such a masterful job of narration that each characters identity remains sharp and clear.
I wanted to listen for hours at a time, so had to discipline myself to listen only at certain times. I am a jogger, so allowed myself to listen while jogging, but found myself walking in order to extend my listening time! And also extended my distance.
I used listening as a reward for getting chores done.
In short, I loved the first book, can't wait to start the second book, and hate that I will have to wait for Mr. Follett to complete the third.
The Characters and the incredible research that Ken follet must have done to develop them and place them in such vivid and accurate settings was most impressive.
This is not a type of read I would normally be attracted to but I am glad I read it. I can honestly say I feel better educated about a time in world history that does not get much attention in popular media. Honestly, who knew Lenin was a redhead?
Not sure, with it being so well written with factual events you can anticipate what is to come in the story or know the inevitable future for a character. There were times while reading I wished it would pick up pace or throw a twist in to keep you on your toes but fear this might cheapen the work. Go into it with an open mind and in the end you should at least have an appreciation of Ken's talent of creating the most detailed world through words.
No, but I would make an effort to listen to a second performance.
Dear god, I want to meet the person that tries.
By the end, you will be able to annoy all your friends with your mastery of european accents.
This book grabs and holds your attention. The narration is excellent. In the end, you will have gained insight into an important time of history after having enjoyed great fiction.
Narrator used a wide range of accents, all passable.
didn't read the print version
the description of the life of the miners in Wales. He gets into their lives and you can feel their pains and struggles
very easy to listen to
no, too long and too much to take in
this is a great way for me to "learn" history. since reading books has always been difficult for me, I don't know a lot about history. interacting with the families helps me care about them and what is going on in the world
The narration is top notch and the story was engaging.
It made me really feel like I was experiancing the time period and I could relate the story to present day global problems.
I liked the battle scenes in the field of warfare. How each character delt with being on the battle field and how it shaped their characters.
Can't rename it because the name does the story just right.
I have recommended this book to many of my friends. It stands the test of time and I believe all ages would be interested in this novel.
LOL that someone described Follett and Lee, the narrator, as the Dream Team. That's it in a nutshell. I read (listened) to Follett's Pillars of the Earth and marvelled at how he took an era and wove together such remarkable human interest stories with a text book of historical facts. He did the same with Fall of Giants. Incredible detail about the war and life at the time, but presented in such an easy to digest fashion, following the interwoven lives of aristocracy in Europe, miners from Wales.and assorted characters in the US. It is a long read (listen) but it is captivating and interesting from start to finish. Follett and Lee have managed double-handedly (does such a word exist?) to make me a convert of historical fiction.
War never ends.
It's like nothing I've ever read before - usually a fan of epic fantasy, I got swept into this book (and it's sequel) based on others reviews. An epic in it's own right, Follett masterfully tells the stories of several different families and how their lives are impacted by WWI.
Ethel and Maude were definitely my favorites. I like to think if I was around in that time, I would have been a suffragette.
To Hell and Back
The narrator, John Lee, is amazing. I could listen to this man read the phone book. His ability to change cadence, inflection and accent with each different character really brought them to life.
I love the story and learn a lot about WWI and the turmoil the world was in at that time. Still the human spirit lives on.
I will not be redundant and repeat what has already been said about the greatness of this story. I will simply state I echo all the superlatives others have stated. This is a long meaty book, but by the end you will want more and hurry to start the 2nd book of the trilogy. I love the characters all of them, their trials and tribulations, their joys and successes. The narration is superb!!! I do not give 5 stars easily, but this book deserves at least that. History was never so exciting and easy to consume... This is not a book to skim thru in parts, it must be taken in small bites and completely digested for maximum enjoyment; savor it!!! Meditate on it!!! This book is not an action packed, high energy, fast read thriller; but a narrative of people dealing with the cards they have been dealt in a place and time, confronting issues of the day and the impact their decisions had on their world, the future, and us all. Highly recommended.
John Lee is a terrible reader, it starts very slow, and the characters are hard to keep straight at first, but the book picks up in the last third. Ken Follet's story follows a few English, one Russian, and one German (Austrian/Prussian?), family at the beginning of the 1900s and goes through the end of WWI.