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)
I love to listen and learn!
One of the best audiobooks I've listened to! Great performance by John Lee!
Jane Eyre. Similar time period.
Too many to mention!
Already read the cathedral ones.
Not bad a little long and tedious at times, had a nice ending to round things out nicely though.
the history of the time line was something you don't get in school. The story put's the world in a clearer view for those of us who thought we understood how things happened THEN
THIS IS HOW WE GOT TO HERE
There is simply no better narrator than John Lee, and I have never heard a better performance than this..
Yes! The historical context was so detailed, I learned a tremendous amount about the events surrounding WWI. Many things I knew, but forgot. Many things I never knew. It behooves us to know our past well, as the events of the past tend to repeat themselves in our future.
Mr. Follett has a gift of narration that gives import to the minutiae of daily life and fashion. In the hands of a less skilled author these details would quickly dull the reading experience. Through the pen of Mr. Follett and the interpretation of Mr. Lee, this historical novel comes to vibrant life.
I loved the differing viewpoints offered through the characters. The war took on entirely different understandings depending on the viewpoint of each character.
Each main character represents a different nation or culture that played a pivotal part in the events before, during, and following WWI. This diversity allows for a fascinating overview of the events.
I loved this audiobook. Often when I read a book with many characters, I find myself forgetting who is who. Mr. Lee does such a masterful job of narration that each characters identity remains sharp and clear.
I wanted to listen for hours at a time, so had to discipline myself to listen only at certain times. I am a jogger, so allowed myself to listen while jogging, but found myself walking in order to extend my listening time! And also extended my distance.
I used listening as a reward for getting chores done.
In short, I loved the first book, can't wait to start the second book, and hate that I will have to wait for Mr. Follett to complete the third.
The Characters and the incredible research that Ken follet must have done to develop them and place them in such vivid and accurate settings was most impressive.
This is not a type of read I would normally be attracted to but I am glad I read it. I can honestly say I feel better educated about a time in world history that does not get much attention in popular media. Honestly, who knew Lenin was a redhead?
Not sure, with it being so well written with factual events you can anticipate what is to come in the story or know the inevitable future for a character. There were times while reading I wished it would pick up pace or throw a twist in to keep you on your toes but fear this might cheapen the work. Go into it with an open mind and in the end you should at least have an appreciation of Ken's talent of creating the most detailed world through words.
No, but I would make an effort to listen to a second performance.
Dear god, I want to meet the person that tries.
By the end, you will be able to annoy all your friends with your mastery of european accents.
This book grabs and holds your attention. The narration is excellent. In the end, you will have gained insight into an important time of history after having enjoyed great fiction.
Narrator used a wide range of accents, all passable.
didn't read the print version
the description of the life of the miners in Wales. He gets into their lives and you can feel their pains and struggles
very easy to listen to
no, too long and too much to take in
this is a great way for me to "learn" history. since reading books has always been difficult for me, I don't know a lot about history. interacting with the families helps me care about them and what is going on in the world
The narration is top notch and the story was engaging.
It made me really feel like I was experiancing the time period and I could relate the story to present day global problems.
I liked the battle scenes in the field of warfare. How each character delt with being on the battle field and how it shaped their characters.
Can't rename it because the name does the story just right.
I have recommended this book to many of my friends. It stands the test of time and I believe all ages would be interested in this novel.
LOL that someone described Follett and Lee, the narrator, as the Dream Team. That's it in a nutshell. I read (listened) to Follett's Pillars of the Earth and marvelled at how he took an era and wove together such remarkable human interest stories with a text book of historical facts. He did the same with Fall of Giants. Incredible detail about the war and life at the time, but presented in such an easy to digest fashion, following the interwoven lives of aristocracy in Europe, miners from Wales.and assorted characters in the US. It is a long read (listen) but it is captivating and interesting from start to finish. Follett and Lee have managed double-handedly (does such a word exist?) to make me a convert of historical fiction.
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