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)
While the characters and their relationships were developing, the book was very good and held my interest. Once the characters became involved in politics and social issues, it ceased to be original and the people just ended up getting jerked around by historical events. There was very little to differentiate one downtrodden lower class kid from another .... Billy or Grigori, not much difference between these hard working good guys. I wish the author had spent more time on the nuances of the characters and less on the politics of the day. He had nothing new to say on the subject of the Russian Revolution. He should read Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna and see how to write a novel about human beings and their place in historic events.
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.
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.
Grigorski- I can relate to him.
Both at different times.
This was by far the best Audible Experience to date
The final scene with Fitz meeting his son for the first time.
Lev and Billy Twice
Birthrights and Balderdash
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.
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.
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.
Billy Williams, also known as Billy Twice.
Fitz. As an Earl, he may be an opinionated traditionalist, but meals at his table were the far better than most in this story.
Recommended for those who appreciate a long read with good characters and series of intertwined lives during difficult times.
superb storyteller --
Fitz -- demonstrated the aristocracy's total disdain of the populace regardless of the country.
too many to pick just one...
No wonder they revolted!
can't wait for the next book in the trilogy
Well, I've listened to over 500 audiobooks, but I'd definitely put this in the top ten percent.
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.
Grigory was my favorite voice. I'm ashamed to admit that this is because I think Russian accents are sexy.
It made me intensely interested in World War I, but it did not provoke an intense emotional reaction. It was intellectually fulfilling, though.
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
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.
I don't know.
I loved the Welsh accent.
History Made Interesting!
I miss the characters now that the story is done. Looking forward to more books in the series.
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!
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