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)
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.
Someone with a lot of time on their hands may enjoy this book
I like historical fiction, but there were too many details to follow the many story lines.
This is above most audiobooks due to both the story and the reader. Great stuff! As a newbit to Follett, I was not expecting either to be this good, especially the reader. Nice job!
The beginning draws you in and the reader has some great accents. There is a change in the way it is read at several points and it is a little distracting, but then you don't notice it. The story of the miners is superb and the way in which the story goes from one continent to anther within the context of the war is well done! Especially the descriptions of no-mans-land and the confusion at the front.
Good reading that is well-phraised and timely without being rushed. Great accents and inflections.
I don't know....but the title is a bit strange and might have been better done.
As the war ends, the story could have been tied a bit better together and some elements were just forgotten, but it is so big that I could see how it would be difficult. I did not want it to end in some areas and the characters were so compelling.
I have not read the print version, so it is a little hard for me to compare. I will say that I really enjoyed the different voices that John Lee used for each character. His use of accents helped me not only distinguish between characters but between regions from which the characters come. I felt like I was there listening in on conversations, instead of just reading/hearing the story.
At the time, I cannot think of one that rightly compares to Fall of Giants.
As I mentioned above, the different voices and accents were remarkable. John Lee did a spectacular job.
Trials of Nations
Professional woman, reading constantly
Yes, because Follett's follow up book is better, so the first book is a 'must read.'
With all the small plots and cast of characters, and the historical significance, my closest comparison would be "Hawaii" by Michener. Lots of 'stuff' going on in all directions but everything comes together in the end.
They seemed to all have the same significance in the story. No ONE character presided.
No, having read Follett before, I knew it would be rather drawn out.
Good book. Good story. But slow. I enjoyed his follow-up book 2 much better. A continuation of some of the characters, but many new ones.
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