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)
If you want to hear a book that has sex every five mintues then this book is for you. But if you want to learn the history of WW I then try another book. The history is obscurred by all the sex, and it gets very tiresome.
Italian translated in America in 2001, work in Hospitality industry and I am an avid listener.
The story itself and the rithm
Billy with Jesus first day in the mine
Clarity, voice and the Russian accent although it reminded me of Gru from Despicable me
Fitz, to see if I could change his attitude towards the "rest of the world" and show him you can be rich without thinking you are superior and that you can be superior without being rich.
Great audible, almost perfect with the exception of some odd pauses at weird times that made me think the volume when off for some reason to then just resume.
I was skeptical how the author could encompass the scope of subject manner in this book. But he did, and very well! I learned to love the characters, most of them, despised some of them, and learned so much of early England, Germany and Russia. I just could lose myself in that book, close my eyes and imagine everything in detail. Mr Follett is so great in providing that.
I am almost finished with the 2nd of the Trilogy (Winter of The World), which continues the story of Fall of Giants. I love this also just as well. Last year I listened to A Dangerous Fortune by Mr Follett and loved that also.
He is very good at recreating so many different characters and accents. This trilogy involves several nationalities and he's able to go from one to another...also male/female without disturbing the listeners' ear. I was pleasantly surprised.
No. I needed to take the time to let the information "settle" in my mind. There is a lot of history that I needed to grasp, which was fine and I enjoyed that.
In listening to this, I learned two things. One) I am so very lucky that I live in America, born in 1948 and didn't have to suffer the things that ones before me did. Two) I've never lived with a war on my soil with bombers overhead, waiting for the blitz, blackouts, trenches, rations, all those things. I am really looking at life differently now. I'm 65 and my life is very good compared to life in Fall of Giants. And when I was in high school, I hated history class. I've learned more from Mr. Folletts' book about that time period than I ever did in school. Thank you very much!
Yes. The book is very detailed with lots of characters. The narration was amazing! The narrator changed accents and used inflection.
Learning about WWI
Accents for the different countries
Follett is not great literature. Sure his recent books have epic themes, but he's really about sex and violence. Lots of sex. This isn't a bad thing. This book has lots of uncomplicated characters and an interesting historical background. Follett does a great job making war look really stupid. Very entertaining.
Follett brings together the unique lives of several distinct families at the beginning of the 20th century in a uniquely compelling manner. John Lee's narration is simply outstanding, his unique characterizations makes listening to this story an added pleasure.
The Best so far for sure. I loved both this book and the book 2! Can't wait until book 3 comes out!!
Connection with the characters.
Walter. I enjoyed hearing his perspective, as a German.
Am reading the print version of Winter of the Worlld, the next booking he trilogy, and, of course, the various accents done by the narrator are lost. So the audible is definitely better than the print.
There is a trilogy byJeffrey Archer - also two books so far which is nearly as sweeping in scope of politics,personal scandal,portrayal of class differences in 20th century Britain. Fall of Giants has more diverse characters,.The Clifton Chronicles is the Archer series
Authentic accents and inflection
Absolutely, but it was 28 hours
John Lee did a magnificent job with the accents in this novel. The story line was wonderful, it was easy to connect with all the characters and differentiate between them with Lee's voices.
One of the final scenes when Ethel Williams makes Fitz move aside so that she and her son may pass.
I fell in love with the book and several times I laughed out loud or started to sniffle at the characters' misfortune.
I would recommend this book, to anyone and everyone, to listen to. Lee was phenomenal and Follett is a fantastic storyteller. I recommend getting the sequel before you even start listening to this one, because you will want to start it immediately after finishing "Fall of Giants".
I haven't read the book
The bombing of Pearl Harbor
John Lee changes inflection, pitch and accents credibly allowing the listener to follow the story line easily.
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