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)
This book falls quite high up on my list. Not only because it is nice and long, but I enjoy that Ken makes each life interesting even though he wries an almost day by day account of their lives...ok, not quite, but sometimes it feels that way :-)
I have listened to many books on tape over the years and I like the fact that he handled so many different accents and made each person a noticeable person intead of just a bunch of voices.
The wings of Butterflies :-) or Ripples
There are so many ripples in this story...I love how they become interwoven.
I enjoyed this very much, though of course I will HAVE to listen to it at least 2 times more asI can't possibly remember all the lovely rich details and character for when the book 2 and 3 finally come out :-)
One of the best audiobooks I've heard. Follett has crafted an outstanding story with interesting, complex characters. The narration is pitch perfect.
Can't wait for books two and three.
Not actually read the written version but, I prefer audio to written version because I listen to them while I work driving a truck.
The actual story is very good as an audio book.
No one character was a favorite as all characters personal stories interacted to make the so tie and show the things happening at the time.
Over all performance was quite good and varying voices made the story come alive.
Yes, however the book was quite long and it took a few days to hear it all.
This book is interesting as it show the cruelty, arrogance, and the reason government are the way they are today. Well worth the listen.voices
Character development, historical information and realism of stories
The coalminers' explosion
Secret wedding ceremony between Maud and Walter and how they faced adverse consequences because of their nationality and familial objections.
Billy's willingness to stand up for her sister despite her sins and the live and compassion the Ken Follett developed between family members.
Loved it! This is a great add to every Audible collection.
My parents were born during the time period of the book, hearing about the world that they were born into was fascinating. If you want a good read or have some interest in history, this is one of the best books for making a run or long drive fly by! Logged a lot of miles on this one and all of them were enjoyable.
Story flowed so well
John Lee is so fun to listen too, you pay attention to the story. There have been others where I spent as much time thinking about the performer as the book. He made it come alive for me.
No question, Ethel William Lechworth
The story was great, the reader was extraordinary!!
Billy Twice, the story starts with him and ends with him, he is so brave and strong but really have no idea.
Gregory, just to hear what he really thinks and feels about how his life turned from what he had planned
Amazing read, great historical references and really touching personal lives. Never wanted to turn it off.
Avid Listener of Audible
Yes! Ken Follett's World Without End and the Pillars of the Earth were excellent reads.
No. Although I did not enjoy the book, the narrator was very good. I would have stopped reading if it weren't for John Lee.
Disappointment. I was hoping for a bit more. My mind drifted often. This type of content just doesn't thrill me. The interpersonal relationships were interesting however.
There is a lot to love about Fall of Giants. Several complex characters who's lives are intertwined in ways that are hard to imagine yet plausible set during World War I. All of this provides the backdrop to what is in a lot of ways an epic journey.
However Fall of Giants isn't without issues. First off the connection of the characters together at times feels a little hard to believe. Also the books pacing will test your patience. There are good chunks of the book that are setup for big events that at times don't live up to the tremendous amount of time spent building them up.
I have listened to John Lee before but I think he did a tremendous job in Fall of Giants. There are a multitude of characters to portray and he does a great job bringing all of them to life.
Fall of Giants is a slow burn and although it is a good book requires you to settle in for the ride. I am interested to see where Ken Follett takes the trilogy this fall in the second book. Which tells you at least it was good enough to make me interested in the next book.
Avid reader....... passionately addicted to Audible!
I struggled to get throught this book. Often times found myself drifting away from the narrator. I have read other Ken Follett books.....this just is not among his best.
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