I loved this book, I'm seeing a lot of comments about how much people loved Pillars of the Earth and World without end, but this book isnt what they expected. Ok, Pillars and its sequal were exceptional, no question, but if you want to understand the writing in this book, then go back to 'Triple', 'Lie down with Lions', and especially 'The man from St.Petersburg', 'The Eye of the Needle', The Key to Rebecca' and Night over water'. This is a work of fictionalized history, and once again its a masterpiece of its genre, Follett is the King of "Epic history" and he isnt deposed by this work.
I was very excited to listen to this book having quite enjoyed Ken Follet's other books. Unfortunately, this book read like a cheap harlequin novel with just enough history intermixed to make it bearable. The characters were totally uninspiring and I found myself not caring at all what happened to them. I could not finish this book.
According fictional characters iconic status for the purpose of historic relevancy is a risky business. Follett takes his chances here and falls flat. The players in this story are shabbily drawn. They do little to engage listener interest or empathy. In his attempt to touch all the bases attending Western society up to and through WW I, his reliance upon coincidence is self-consciously overwrought. The more historically-minded will appreciate a tolerable deference to the accuracy of events as they unfolded - particularly in Russia - but in his effort to represent a comprehensive chronology, he sacrifices plot and character. Good concept; bad execution.
I really had a hard time at finishing this book because the story became a never ending soap. The war parts was good, but there is way too much romance between the characters that is a total waste of pages. After a while, I found myself being bored out of my mine. I really hope that the second books takes a different path because I felt like I wasted 30+ hours of watching As The World Turn...
What an interesting listen. The characters were well placed in the history. A well researched work of Historical fiction. John Lee did a great job of narrating. I look forward to the next installment in this series.
An enjoyable historical novel with interesting characters but... Follett uses excessive descriptions of sexual encounters that demean his work. Not sure I'll follow the sequels.
Wow, what a disappointment. Seemed like he was trying to copy Michner's style and missed the mark terribly. After Pillars of the Earth and World without end, the expectations were so high. It was really boring and after about 5 hours I had to turn it off.
Pillars of the Earth was one of the most engaging books I have read (or heard) in a long time. As others have mentioned, Follett is not a writer of great literature, but both Pillars and World without end built tension throughout their stories. Unfortunately, Fall of Giants is unable to build and keep this tension throughout the book. I feel as though I have a better historical understanding of the time period, but with the exception of Billy's story down in the mine that begins the book, I did not engage in the same way as I did with Tom the Builder and other previous books' characters.
If you like your history LITE, your characters cartoonish, and your wars long, this is a great one for you.
i suppose...if he came back to life as John LeCarre, for instance.
I doubt it. Enjoyed the reader more than the writer.
No. I still like historical novels.
Excellent narration. Clear and easy to listen too. Although his American accent needs work, I really enjoyed his take on the European and Russian characters. I must say I probably would not have stuck this one out if not for his skill as a narrator.
Although I enjoyed learning about WW1 and got somewhat involved with the characters, I also thought it dragged at times and could have used a bit of humor and less awkward sex scenes that just seemed so out of place for this genre.