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 really enjoyed the perspective offered by Follett of WW1 and the things leading up to it. I also really enjoyed the characters.
Hard to say but I really liked Billy Williams. He just has a neat personality.
The accents were great, particularly the Welsh folks. He did the German accents amazingly well and switched back and forth in a conversation effortlessly.
Definately worth the read for history buffs and Follett fans. His characters, particularly the women, are always so wonderful.
I like both audio and print books, Both have a time and place for enjoying,(driving vs quiet reading).
Reviewing history was a great plus for me, this book gave me a time line for the 1st World War that I did not have.
If you are a historical fiction fan, this is a no brainer... buy it without reservation.
i would add a little more excitment. liked the charterters but it seemed to drag on.
yes, i thought he did well
it would have to be condensed more.
it just was not my type book. I like a little more intense books. this sort of draged on.
I am going to finish it but i can't wait for it to e;nd. Dont' know if i will listen to the second one.
no the story skips and you end up missing about a third of the book
great story.the intertwinng of the charcters and real histoy hold your attenion throughout the length
no first time
No they all have a special place in the story and the story would not be the same if one was removed.
the book jumps forward then back skips and in the end you are constantly trying to find your original place. I figured i missed at least a third of the book because of this. issue were not resolved through service department as far as i was concerned. If I have another issue like this i will move on.
The three words that I would use to sum up Fall of Giants is Struggle for Power.
Understanding the sameness of people by closely examining thier differences. Peeking into each charecter's life made me realize that they all manifest the same struggles. And these struggles are universal.
When Ethyl chose not to run, at least not at that time. Knowing that she was the best person for the job, but that her first duty prohibitted it is a beautiful example of a real woman.
It is a huge book, so listening at once was not possible...though I will admit I did have some driveway moments...where you sit in the driveway listening to the end of the scene because you cannot stand not to know what happens next.
Some of the sexually explicit content was a bit too harsh, but again that added to the charecter development.
Living abroad in Costa Rica, am a frequent traveler with interests in humanities, adventure and technology
Lots of details about personal experiences in context of history
Author did a great job with different types of accents, from Welsh coal miners to German army officers
Retired Army, avid listener
Yes, but only because I have enjoyed all his other books.
The end, finally it came. This was a little tedious for me, it reminded me why I was not enthralled in European history, too many family names to recall and sort out. It is the history of the era, but as a casual listener, meaning while I am typically involved in other activities ( driving, chores, exercise) it was not a great story that cleanly captured my attention. I am a Ken Follet fan, I have the next in the series, but I am waiting a bit before listening to the next book.
It's a great story and good lesson in 'history'.
I loved John Lee's voice and inflections!
It was of course too long for that.
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