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)
Ken Follett brings history to life. His research into the causes and human motivations that bring war to our world are first-rate. Follett has become my favorite historical fiction author.
John Lee is nothing short of amazing as he brings the characters to life.
loved john lee. Amazing multiple accents.As for one of my favorite authors: Follett took a nose dive.
Fewer characters, less complicated plots.
yes, not finish it.
I would rate all of his other books, good or very good. This was extremely boring.Too much talk and not enough action.
I normally listen to factual History books and was in the mood for some fiction. Based on prior reviews, I took a chance with "Fall of Giants" not knowing anything about the author. I was thrilled with my purchase.
The story starts in South Wales prior to 1st world war and rapidly introduces you to different characters that will keep coming up throughout the period that span different geographic regions of Europe, Russia and US and it's sociological changes.
It is a long listen, which was good for me as I travel a lot, but the many chapters are brief so it was easy to listen for short periods without loosing tract.
I will listen to the next book as the next generation pick up the story.
I prefer audio books. More comfortable for sure and I eat books faster when I listen to them.
The books I know are all classics. Can not compare the uncomparable.
No. This is a discovery for me.
I like Billy. We see him grow from innocence to experience gradually.
I like Audible. :) Honestly.
Avid book lover and listener. Nuff said for this purpose.
Insight into how it affected allot of the German people, those not brainwashed by Hitler.
The reasoning given for what started the war.
Just about everything
Neither. But that's not to say there weren't parts that were very moving. Especially the feelings on all sides of families that lost relatives/friends in the war.
As brilliant as the book is, my wife being from England and whose mother worked in war effort, said she would have liked to have heard more about the devastation of France, Holland, and the UK. The blitz was horrific destroying so much of these countries. She felt it gave more on the destruction of Germany. Me, being an American, didn't see it that way. Follett presented the material in such a way that most all could get a sense of how the war and by projection all wars are the result of not the masses but few arrogant factions. While balancing the ultimate choices of the countries involved in the initial conflict with how circumstances led otherwise intelligent, compassionate people to purposely kill each other, demonstrates the selfish reasons which lead us into world wars!
I really liked the way Follett follows the families from opposing sides showing how they were personally affected. One could empathize with how each felt drawing families on opposing sides under one umbrella of understanding. On a grand scale this could certainly be the platform on which the people of each country in this world might rise up and through these common bonds of humanity deter the small group of self-serving maniacal power/money hungry leaders from garnering support needed to take a nation to war.At least one can hope.....
Get the book(s), a great history of the world wars and more importantly a super, well told story. You won't be disappointed.Follett is one of the best writers of our times. Research is meticulous and his insight uncanny. Others said places in the book dragged on. Since its so long no, not every page was riveting, but it kept my interest throughout. Each bit with its small nuances related to every other part of the book so you don't want to skip over anything.
As an entreprenuer, it is hard for me to shut off my brain! It is also hard for me to sit still! I love audibles! I can exercise, work on "chores" , travel and be entertained! Always looking for a good story!
You will enjoy living the events preceding, during and immediately following WWI from mutiple points of view! And the narrator was one of the best. OMG, I couldn't believe how well John Lee could change between accents and vary his cadence of speech to match each of the characters! Normally I like spy/murder mysteries with interesting characters. This novel is a much richer and multi-dimensional and I am the better for having read it! Thank you Ken Follett!
The narrator's mastery of all the accents and characters made the story come alive. The prose was not the greatest ever, but the story moved, and was captivating. I liked how the history was so seamlessly woven into the story. There were many times when a character or event was mentioned, and I went to look it up on the history to see how the actual event compared with the way the story portrayed it. You really do get connected to the characters, though some of them seemed two-dimensional. I think my only complaint was that the end of the book seemed to drag a bit. All in all I think it is a great book.
I could listen to John Lee for hours. Oh, wait...I DID listen to him for hours. I generally like tales set in the turn of the (twentieth) century, so this was my cup of tea. John Lee's narration was icing on the (tea) cake.
I'm just an old southern boy that has always loved to listen to a good story. At Audible I've been lucky to find and enjoy a few.
not until I've read the rest of the trilogy
all the miners were priceless
the loss of dynasties
Best audiobook I have listened to this year, and I've enjoyed quite a few great ones!
I am happy to clean my basement, do laundry, and drive the kids - this book is so terrific that I find reasons to keep listening!
The history is fascinating, and Ken Follett does a great job of interweaving the lives of these compelling characters in unexpected and interesting ways.
Kudos to John Lee for an outstanding performance -- his accents/voices make the characters come to life and help to advance the story. I am going to look for his work in the future.
Right now, though, I'm going to buy the next book in the trilogy!!
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