I love books, most genre's. I don't have the time to read anymore. So I am a dedicated audio listener with over 200 books in my library.
I love going back in time with Ken Follett. He draws you into his stories from the very beginning. The stories are told from the time period and what is going on with families in the world, not just one part of the world. I feel like I get a more rounded experience from many perspectives. Even though he puts in different point of views, they all meet in the middle and connect in some way to the main story. If you love history and family stories this is a book for you. I can't wait for the next two books.
Reader & all-around literate person
I realize I'm in the minority here, but the otherwise excellent John Lee's insistence on rendering the non-English speakers in heavy foreign accents really interfered with my suspension of disbelief. In the numerous sections of the book that are set in Germany and Russia, the characters talk to each other in comic-opera accents, as if they were not speaking their own native tongue. I found it very off-putting. And his rendition of the main American character sounds jarringly like a parody of William Shatner.
I am a web site developer and SEO specialist who likes to listen to books while brewing beer. Crazy I know.
This book started off a bit slow but over time I could see how intricate the character development would be. I can only describe this book as epic. An amazing story of life pre WW I and Post WW I. I loved the historic accuracy but not at the cost of the story. No doubt one of my all time favorite books. I look forward to the two other books in the series. This is without a doubt my favorite Audible title both in the writing and in the narration.
Absolutley loved this book. John Lee's narration was perfect for the timeframe and all of the characters. The historical elements left me wanting to know more. Cannot wait for the next two books. The only bad thing about it, is the sequel's are not due out until 2012 and 2014.
Long time Audible member (8 years, 500+ books). Avid flyfisherman, hunter, bicycler.
Unfortunately I was expecting a book that would engage and entertain me like "The Pillars Of The Earth" did. Unfortunately this one didn't. I found this book boring. It told the tale of several "couples" in the time before, during and just after World War I. Unfortunately, I didn't find any of the couples interesting or worth "worrying about".
I was expecting dramatic descriptions of the horrors of war. This book didn't provide that either. Instead, a few benign battles were described. At one time, the author mentions that 10 million men were killed in WWI. No where in this story did I get the sense of tragedy and horror at 10 million men dying. Any descriptions of battle were underwhelming and uninspired. There were no heros or villains in this story. I finished this book wondering why I didn't just read a text book on World War 1 history. I have no plans to read / listen to any sequels.
This book was actually pretty amazing. I am not a fan of war stories and this book takes place during World War I and the Russian Revolution so I had my doubts. However, the author introduces you to several characters from different countries and does an excellent job introducing you to them and their families as well as getting you emotionally involved. There are several stories of romance, trials, joys, and historic backgrounds tied into this book. I actually listened to this book through Audible.com and the reader made this experience even better with his wonderful interpretations of the different accents the characters would have actually spoken with. This was a long story but never dull and kept me going and going until the very end. I loved how the ending took place even though it didn't tie up any loose ends, as this book is the first in a three part series. I can't wait until the next one comes out. Excellent book!
I did not want this story to end. Cant wait for book two!!! Fall of Giants is now my favorite book of all time!! A must read! Thank you Mr. Follett!!
I must be honest...this was the most boring presentation. I was unable to listen to more than two hours. This was my first Audible title and I must say I was very disappointed.
I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
Having become a John Lee addict, I am tending to seek him out as a narrator because I am in love with his voice. I did read Follett's other big book: Pillars of the Earth and I enjoyed that one as well. I wouldn't have read either of these books if John Lee did not narrate.
That being said...in this book, Follett was a bit high-reaching for me. The story lines were confusing and just plain boring at times and for me there were too many political discussions and too many descriptions to battle scenes that just were not that different from the previous political discussion or battle scene. I also felt that many stereotypes were used that aren't really true: Are all Russian middle-class women whores and drunks? I doubt it. Are all British Lords so baffling, brutal and cold? I doubt that as well. Was it fun to hear John Lee do an American accent? Yes... it was. (a first for me)
Follett fans will be happy, and John Lee fans will also be satisfied. I cannot fault the narrator for the material, but I can fault Follett. Will I read the next one? Probably... but this is not "literature" and I just prefer literature to pop fiction.
A fan of Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World without End, had high expectations for this new Trilogy. I enjoy his mixing of factually based historic information with the story lines. Anxious to get the next in line of this trilogy. If anything, the descriptions of the battles became long at times. It all ended too quickly!