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.
In future volumes of The Century Trilogy, subsequent generations of the same families will travel through the great events of the rest of the 20th century, changing themselves—and the century itself. With passion and the hand of a master, Follett brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.
Exclusive interview: Ken Follett and John Lee Talk about Fall of Giants.
©2010 Kevin Follett (P)2010 Penguin Audio
"A big Book, Follett''s hugely ambitious saga is a sweeping success. Ken Follett has hit another one out of the park with the initial installment of the hugely ambitious Century Trilogy. His fans will rejoice at the richness, complexity, historical sweep and simmering lust in a saga spanning the years 1911 to 1923." (Newark Star Ledger)
"A dark novel, motivated by an unsparing view of human nature and a clear-eyed scrutiny of an ideal peace. It is not the least of Follett''s feats that the reader finishes this near 1000-page book intrigued and wanting more." (Chicago Sun-Times)
"[Follett] meticulously reconstructs an era and leads us through the follies and occasional heroics of its protagonists real and imaginary. He is masterly in conveyers so much drama and historical information so vividly...Grippingly told, and readable to the end." (New York Times Book Review)
So much information and the characters were so real.
Ken Follett's books are in a class by themselves.
can not even begin ....
Live and learn................
Really enjoy having history interwoven with a fictional story. I've always found history dry, but this I enjoy. I used to love Michener, because he was so talented in the same way. I don't usually care for Oprah's book selections, but I loved Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Follett. I definitely recommend this new trilogy.
No, I wouldn't ever listen to a book twice. There are too many other great books out there on my list.
This book is composed of many memorable moments, nicely distributed throughout the whole book. It gives the book a great pace. It's beautifully written, and masterfully performed.
I read a lot of history, but what Lee does is bring it to life. He captures the issues of the times that set the plate for the larger events, and each segment of the story is filled in nicely without ever overdoing it. It's a great blend of history and fiction.
Never underestimate man's capacity for self-destruction.
I can't wait for the other books of the trilogy!
historical, sweeping, excellent
I often listen while jogging (hate jogging), and found myself smiling and laughing at times.
Ken brings you into the times he is writing about. You can see how & why events affect each of us.
Yes - lots of history and great character development.
He is an incredible narrator, the myriad of accents he has in his repertoire is very impressive, makes the characters come alive.
It's hard to say there were so many; Maude, Ethel and Billy come to mind
Well worth listening to every minute!
John Lee flawlessly was able to use accents and different voices to bring characters alive.
The history of WW1 was interesting using good characters.
He really brings the characters to life.
Gregory the Russian pheasant.
Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.
Fall of Giants is a highly detailed, fiction-based-on-fact novel, that winds together the narratives of five separate families before, during, and immediately after World War I. While i have understood that WW I was trench warfare, I did not understand why this war had to happen, or how the alliances were formed. This was highly educational, very entertaining, and I'm eager to hear the second volume in the series.
The narrator, John Lee, is particularly adept at a wide range of accents that really enhance the reading of the text.
I have read a number of WWI non-fictions, and had always been interested in early twentieth century history, but this was my first time reading historical fictional and I didn't know what to expect.
Although it was a little slow in the beginning, the characters grew on me fast, and the audio book just got harder and harder to put down. I agree with some other reviewers that parts of the story line seemed a stretch, but I wasn't too bothered by them.
I can't wait to start on Winter of the World.
I love the development of characters and the fact that you grow with them for significant parts of their lives.
I think it must be Ethel as she is just feisty and strong. I look forward to finding out what drama she gets into in the next book.
I loved how he would change his accent for each of the various characters.
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