Ken Follett and John Lee, the author and narrator of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, are back together again for Fall of Giants, the first in The Century Trilogy. They recently chatted with Audible editor Diana Dapito about the new epic book, and what it was like to write and record it.
Fall of Giants is Ken Follett's magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh—as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.
Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man's world in the Welsh mining pits…. Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson's White House…. Two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution…. Billy's sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London….
These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. It is destined to be a new classic.
Listen to Fall of Giants.
©2010 Kevin Follett (P)2010 Penguin Audio
A two person mediated interview between the author and the "Audible" reader that was more of a "love-fest" than informative about the book.
Free is OK and worth it.
5 decades - 5 families - 5 countries. All handled brilliantly by both the writer and the exceptional narrator, John Lee, who amazingly masters all the accents (except perhaps the American). Audible also offers a most interesting discussion between these two luminaries, which I enjoyed immensely and recommend.
We listen to lots of books on tape as we drive up and down the east coast, and this is the best story we have heard. The reader does an amazing job with all the accents, and the plot is fabulous. We can't wait for the sequel!
This book follows several families throughout the time preceding and during WWI. The character development is excellent. While there are some slower sections, the combined storyline was well laid out and executed. I learned more detail about how life may have been during this time than expected. I enjoy Follett's books. I am a huge fan of James A. Michener, and Follett's Fall of Giants and Pillars of the Earth remind me of his works. I recommend the book, and despite taking months to complete, I truly enjoyed it all!
I enjoyed the way Ken Follett interwove all of the characters and families into the story line. Also, I enjoyed his detailed handling of the important political events of the time. John Lee deserves great credit as the narrator. He brought the characters to life as he changed his accent and voice for each one, making the dialog easy to follow.
My download was read by John Lee, not Diana Dapito. I guess
My only criticism is that I thought the author’s overly detailed description of sexual intercourse was gratuitous at times, adding nothing of substance to the story. But, I look forward to the remaining two parts of the trilogy.
Nice prelude to the book. It also gives a good backdrop to how Ken started writing his cathedral books. I didn't find either Ken or John to be pompous in this interview, as some other reviewer have remarked.
Jane P. Hoover
I love hearing these two me interact about the creation of their artistic work. Knew why I had so enjoy listening to other work by this performer and reading the Pillars book.
Gone with the Wind
Loved listening to the author, first interview I had heard. Im a great fan of his work, one of my all time favorite authors. (along with George R.R. Martin!)
Ken Follett's expertise in history and accurate accents came through clearly in this interview and convinced me without question that I wanted to experience his most magnificent undertaking, a true tour de force. He brings history to life, despite the massive challenge of presenting characters from four "giants" -- nations that are waging war and striving for peace. This interview is about a fascinating, epic book.
I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
I always suspected Ken Follett was a bit of an arrogant man, and boy.... did this interview ever confirm it! But since I am in love with John Lee's voice, it was so great to listen to him just speak in his normal voice. I learned a lot about how audio books are produced and it is an interesting way to spend a few minutes. John Lee rocks as a narrator and I hope he continues to crank out a many as possible. Hey! He got me to read my first Dickens novel! I might try the space opera that everyone is raving about... just for Mr. Lee's amazing vocal talents.
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