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 just isn't a man's book. It's a boring listen and reads like a Lifetime channel movie. Men - stay away.
As a general rule, I love Follett. He's one of those authors who sucks you in and doesn't let you go. Pillars of the Earth and Word Without End are two of my favorite novels of all time.
Fall of Giants was a big disappointment, though. For the first time ever, Follett lost my attention. He spends so much time explaining the complex historical events that the characters are undeveloped. I think he tried to cram too much into a single novel.
I would only recommend this book to those who are more interested in history than character development.
I'm a Photographer and Bible student. I like books that challenge me, keep me on the edge and have deep characters.
Too much political and war talk, the human drama is not as present as it is in the Pillars of the Earth series witch is outstanding... very disappointed...
Buddhist, philosopher, relatively sane day walker living day2day life w/ MS. Founder @sitandsayover + @antharia. Speaker/Author #nptech.
WHAT? When did Ken Follet become a character in my book?
Ok, I am not into spoilers so I will say that I did this as an audio book and at the end Ken Follett came on and explained how he chooses what to include or not include, what is real and what is not real, what to quote or not quote and what to say or not say. But from an audible perspective it was a trip as it was just the same ol' narrator that he been reading the book to me for the last 60 hours. At first I had no idea that we had a character change.
BUT and that is the but and minor spoiler... that is how the book ends. Abruptly. It just up and ends. I read a lot of the reviews posted on the book and changed my review from a 4 star to a 3 star review and now here I sit and write this. I loved World w/o End but who didn't and I loved Fall of Giants. Until the last say 400 pages.
In the beginning the book was amazing and had strong female leads which I have to say is something that I think Ken does really well is honor female role models but then somewhere in the middle something went really wrong and everything in the book became this minutia about WWI. Hell Ken even tossed in a lame one liner about Hitler but somehow negated to ever even once reference the 1918 flu (Spanish Flu) that killed over one million people. Ken really missed out on a gripping piece of history. From Andrew Price-Smith "The viral waves hit the Central Powers before they hit the Allied powers, both morbidity and mortality in Germany and Austria were considerably higher than in Britain and France." How could Follett have such a glaring omission, how could none of the family back home not suffer from any flu like symptoms.
Anyway, the book was a good read but for me I think it is as much as I am in love with the narrator as I am with anything. Well this has to be one of the longest reviews I have ever written but I am so bummed and shocked at the way that things ended that I just don't know what else to say.
I was so disappointed by the content in this book. I really enjoy learning about historical events in more detail and that is why I was looking for a historical novel. I was enjoying the experience of the South Wales miners and the meeting with the King. After the fourth sexual reference in the first six chapters I threw it away. It is too bad, I really was interested in the historical content...... The sexual references were in great detail all the way through the event and very far fetched! It was totally unnecessary and really destroyed the story. There ought to be a sexual content rating on books like this. I will not recommend this book to anyone and in fact I will discourage everyone that asks me about it from reading it. If they want pornography they can get it by someone elses advice.
I enjoyed the book but it was not as "deep" intellectually or stimulating as some of Follet's other works like Eye of the Needle, Pillars of the Earth, or On the Wings of Eagles. A little bit too much sex and not enough history for my liking. However, I did enjoy the narrator and the plot overall and am looking forward to finishing it when Book 2 comes out.
I didn't think this would ever end... Too many characters, too many plot lines, and since I really am not interested in WW1 history, I was relieved when it was over. Unlike Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, I could not really embrace the characters (except for Billy-With-Jesus who ended up playing a minor role). Most of the stories revolved around more despicable individuals and the "accidental" meetings tried to tie the threads together. I was pleased to see Follett include the Christmas soccer game in No Man's Land, but the rest felt contrived and overwritten. I won't be buying the sequels. The Two Star rating is more for John Lee's wonderful narration than for the content. Lee's voice and pacing are simply amazing but not enough to overcome the content.
I loved, loved, loved Pillars of the Earth and had such hopes for this book.... it nevers ends... I actually think I finished it but I am not sure... I am blocking the whole experience. It was good to listen to in bed. It put me right to sleep.
Follet's last trilogy (Pillars of the Earth) was on of my favorite novels of all time; edge of the seat nail biting, can't pause masterpiece. Fall of Giants fails to grip. The characters fall short on every level. It's a great time period to do historical fiction, and I did learn some great historical facts, but I just could not get involved with this novel as I did his previous. I don't think I'll be reading the follow up to Fall of Giants.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content