I love history and politics, but this novel just beats it up in places - too much! It is to the point that at times it detracts from the story. Since this is a trilogy, I understand why it ends so abruptly with minimal wrap up, but it seems there was little climatic action in the plot. I did learn a lot about World War I. Unfortunately, this read like a novelized history book.
Ken Follett has become one of my favorite.
Key to Rebecca then Pillars of the earth were my first reads.
Fall of Giants is filled with good historical facts from multiple sides from that terrible 1st World War.
I eagerly look forward to book 2.
I listened to The Fall of Giants compulsively, It made me think that my drive to work was not long enough forcing me to wait in the parking lot to the last minute before going in, I slapped on the headphones at lunch and sat in the driveway outside my house. I loved it and look forward to the rest of the century.
I really enjoyed Pillars of the Earth and a few of his other stories, but this one was not what I expected. Too much detail about military strategy I guess. I prefer war stories from civilians or a soldier's perspective, not military officials. The story was just OK in my opinion.
At the very beginning I had a little trouble following all the different characters, but it wasn't long before I was completely enthralled. I always loved history but this made it so much more than just dates and places. Great read!!!
After Pillars of the Earth and World Without End I was excited to submerge myself in Ken Follet’s latest work and another of John Lee’s narrations. Yikes. There is such a disconnect between those books and this. In Fall of Giants the characters are flat - the reading takes me back to story time in grade school, overly dramatic, the conversations between and of characters seemed contrived, unimaginative, unnatural and even laughably serious. Maybe I remember Pillars and World with a distorted and unfounded fondness which made it difficult for this book to compete – I don’t know – it seems these were written to ride on the shirt tales of success of the others (?) I don’t get it.
If I could use only one word to describe this novel that word would be: tedious. The characters are boorish, shallow, and poorly developed. I thought this might make World War I and the Russion Revolution interesting and understandable, but quite frankly I'd rather read a text book.
For those who enjoyed his medieval novels and did not find them trite, you will enjoy this book and, no doubt, his next two. For myself, I was greatly disappointed since, at the beginning of Follett's career, I enjoyed his books. They have never been great literature, but they also were never so shallow and predictable as they have become. He sandwiches a lot of history into this novel. Again, if you are unclear about what was going on around the time of WWI, it might add to the interest level. But his characters are stereotyped and his plot weary and worn.
Other reviewers had warned that the book was superficial; they were right. Some reviews also mentioned that it had way too much sex, and I discounted as being a moral judgment; it's not: as a book it has way too much sex description that don't add anything to the book. I hoped to learn more about what triggered the World War I, but I didn't. I did learn more about the relationship between the war and the russian bolshevique revolution.
The narrator is very good. I kept listened as if it were as soap opera. It didn't require paying much attention. I hope to skip the second installment of this trilogy, but I may succumb because I do like long books .....