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Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1 | [Ken Follett]

Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Kerri 11-06-12
    Kerri 11-06-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Learned more about WW1 than I ever knew..loved it"
    Would you listen to Fall of Giants again? Why?

    So much information and the characters were so real.


    What other book might you compare Fall of Giants to and why?

    Ken Follett's books are in a class by themselves.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    can not even begin ....


    Any additional comments?

    Live and learn................

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roxanne Garland, Tx, United States 11-05-12
    Roxanne Garland, Tx, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2010
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    "I love Ken Follett"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul green bay, WI, United States 11-05-12
    Paul green bay, WI, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    3
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    Story
    "Great listen!"
    Would you listen to Fall of Giants again? Why?

    No, I wouldn't ever listen to a book twice. There are too many other great books out there on my list.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fall of Giants?

    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.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Never underestimate man's capacity for self-destruction.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait for the other books of the trilogy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Andrews 11-05-12
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    "hours of enjoyment!"
    If you could sum up Fall of Giants in three words, what would they be?

    historical, sweeping, excellent


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fall of Giants?

    intimacy scenes


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I often listen while jogging (hate jogging), and found myself smiling and laughing at times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Lindale, TX, United States 11-05-12
    Christopher Lindale, TX, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Being in their time"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fall of Giants to be better than the print version?

    Ken brings you into the times he is writing about. You can see how & why events affect each of us.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva HERNDON, VA, United States 11-05-12
    Eva HERNDON, VA, United States 11-05-12
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    "Terrific Book"
    Would you listen to Fall of Giants again? Why?

    Yes - lots of history and great character development.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    He is an incredible narrator, the myriad of accents he has in his repertoire is very impressive, makes the characters come alive.


    Who was the most memorable character of Fall of Giants and why?

    It's hard to say there were so many; Maude, Ethel and Billy come to mind


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth listening to every minute!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gift Card Recipient Plymouth, MA 11-05-12
    Gift Card Recipient Plymouth, MA 11-05-12 Member Since 2013

    addluke

    ratings
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific characters and storyline"
    What made the experience of listening to Fall of Giants the most enjoyable?

    John Lee flawlessly was able to use accents and different voices to bring characters alive.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The history of WW1 was interesting using good characters.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He really brings the characters to life.


    Who was the most memorable character of Fall of Giants and why?

    Gregory the Russian pheasant.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Evans Dallas, TX United States 11-04-12
    P. Evans Dallas, TX United States 11-04-12 Member Since 2012
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    "couldn't turn off the book...riveting"
    What did you love best about Fall of Giants?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator, John Lee, is particularly adept at a wide range of accents that really enhance the reading of the text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-04-12
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    6
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    "Thoroughly enjoyable"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Jordan Station, Ontario, Canada 11-03-12
    Robert Jordan Station, Ontario, Canada 11-03-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent saga"
    What did you love best about Fall of Giants?

    I love the development of characters and the fact that you grow with them for significant parts of their lives.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    I loved how he would change his accent for each of the various characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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