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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

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  •  
    Patricia GRAND JUNCTION, CO, United States 03-18-12
    Patricia GRAND JUNCTION, CO, United States 03-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Another Win for Ken Follett"

    I can't wait for this trilogy to play itself out. Taking world events from the perspective of characters in the primary countries involved, and making the U.S. a secondary player gives a whole new view of how these nations faced their own crisis, internal and external. Masterfully written, good development of characters, and wonderful interplay from one perspective to the next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex BOZRAH, CT, United States 03-15-12
    Alex BOZRAH, CT, United States 03-15-12
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    5
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    "CAPTIVATING."
    What made the experience of listening to Fall of Giants the most enjoyable?

    This audiobook is by far the most engrossing I have ever experienced. The story line is amazing and the narration is utterly flawless. The book renders such raw human emotion that one should check his/her pulse if they do not feel something. As a history fan, I was somewhat skeptical about getting into this as it is historical fiction; but the story stays true to historical events and in many taught better than some non-fictional works I've come across.

    I would highly recommend this work to anyone, but especially as an audiobook. The accents emotion given to the characters in the story by John Lee is amazing and augments an already near perfect work.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Grigorski- I can relate to him.


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

    Both at different times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tebbe Asheville, NC, United States 03-08-12
    Tebbe Asheville, NC, United States 03-08-12 Member Since 2012

    Tebbe

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    "Rich and Intimate"
    Where does Fall of Giants rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was by far the best Audible Experience to date


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

    The final scene with Fitz meeting his son for the first time.


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

    Lev and Billy Twice


    If you could rename Fall of Giants, what would you call it?

    Birthrights and Balderdash


    Any additional comments?

    John has such a theatrical tone and command of so many dialects, as an American I was able to grasp a sense of living in the various countries just from th ephraseology as conveyed though the narrator. I cannot imagine reading the book any other way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Wellington, Florida, United States 03-07-12
    Jeffrey Wellington, Florida, United States 03-07-12 Member Since 2012
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    4
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    "A riveting saga with historical backbone"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fall of Giants to be better than the print version?

    John Lee brings to life the pages of Ken Follett better than I could. I spend a great deal of time driving and actually look for long narrations. The longer and more developed a story the quicker my drive. I enjoy being read to by John Lee.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way the same historically based events affected the characters in different countries and how those characters were involved with each other either directly or indirectly. Like his excellent Pillars of the Earth and it's sequel, World Without End, Ken Follett weaves his characters from flesh and bone, youth to experience, loss and gain. Believable at every turn.


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

    Billy Williams, also known as Billy Twice.


    If you could take any character from Fall of Giants out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Fitz. As an Earl, he may be an opinionated traditionalist, but meals at his table were the far better than most in this story.


    Any additional comments?

    Recommended for those who appreciate a long read with good characters and series of intertwined lives during difficult times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Captain Spud Boise, ID, United States 03-05-12
    Captain Spud Boise, ID, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    2
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    "WW I Unveiled"
    What did you love best about Fall of Giants?

    superb storyteller --


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Fitz -- demonstrated the aristocracy's total disdain of the populace regardless of the country.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    too many to pick just one...


    If you could rename Fall of Giants, what would you call it?

    No wonder they revolted!


    Any additional comments?

    can't wait for the next book in the trilogy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalya JAMAICA PLAIN, MA, United States 02-28-12
    Natalya JAMAICA PLAIN, MA, United States 02-28-12
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    "I Can't Wait for the Next Book in the Trilogy!"
    Where does Fall of Giants rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Well, I've listened to over 500 audiobooks, but I'd definitely put this in the top ten percent.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters were great, but Ethel seemed like the strongest female character and developed the most during the novel. I happen to like strong female protagonists. They are all multi-faceted and compellingly real.


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

    Grigory was my favorite voice. I'm ashamed to admit that this is because I think Russian accents are sexy.


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

    It made me intensely interested in World War I, but it did not provoke an intense emotional reaction. It was intellectually fulfilling, though.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely get this book if you like historical fiction! Even if you're not interested in World War I, I guarantee that you will enjoy it and will probably be dying to know more about WWI by the time you're finished.

    I love this audiobook, like the author's thrillers, and found World Without End and the other book in that series whose name I can't recall to be miserably boring. If you didn't like those two other

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 02-18-12
    Laura 02-18-12

    travel chick

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    "What a gem!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fall of Giants to be better than the print version?

    I love historical fiction- and this book was fantastic. I am ready for the next books in the trilogy. I have read most of Jeffrey Archer and find his books engaging and well thought out.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AMVP NC, United States 02-17-12
    AMVP NC, United States 02-17-12
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    6
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    "Good story, fun accents!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fall of Giants to be better than the print version?

    I don't know.


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

    I loved the Welsh accent.


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

    No.


    If you could rename Fall of Giants, what would you call it?

    History Made Interesting!


    Any additional comments?

    I miss the characters now that the story is done. Looking forward to more books in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennie Kissimmee, FL, United States 02-16-12
    Jennie Kissimmee, FL, United States 02-16-12
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    "Ken Follett"

    I don't love all of Ken Follett's books but I am yet to be disappointed by his long historical ones. While not as good as World without End or Pillars of the Earth, this was a great read. I can't wait for book 2!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angel M. 02-11-12
    Angel M. 02-11-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Fantastic Narration"
    What made the experience of listening to Fall of Giants the most enjoyable?

    This book was great and I look forward to the next book off the trilogy!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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