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 follows several families throughout the time preceding and during WWI. The character development is excellent. While there are some slower sections, the combined storyline was well laid out and executed. I learned more detail about how life may have been during this time than expected. I enjoy Follett's books. I am a huge fan of James A. Michener, and Follett's Fall of Giants and Pillars of the Earth remind me of his works. I recommend the book, and despite taking months to complete, I truly enjoyed it all!
I really enjoyed the telling of history in such an entertaining and engaging way.
If you liked World without end or Pillars of the Earth you will like this.
I love the books 'Pillars of the earth', and 'World without end'. I really thought he would have a tough time coming close to writing a book anywhere near as good as these. But, he did it! Fall of Giants is an excellent book and I can't wait for the others in this trilogy to come out! This, (and the other two mentioned here) are must have books for everyones library!
John Lee's range of voices and perfect timing make this story great. Being in grad school, I wouldn't have time to read a book this long, but listening to it in the car during my commute is perfect to pass the time. Can't wait for the next book in the trilogy, fingers crossed John Lee narrates again.
This story was most enjoyable. All through the book I found myself googling different places and battles and the several real life characters in the book just to learn more about it. We've had the events of the 2nd World War drilled into us through school, parents and of course movies (not that I'm complaining of course), but other than high school all those many years ago I've learned very little about the 1st World War. I'm going to see if I can get my teenager to listen to this - it might just do the trick in convincing her that the "olden days" weren't all that boring after all. In my opinion the book was wonderful.
Just a book listening girl..
Yes, I would recommend this book. It is definitely LONG! But, sometimes I like that. The characters and their stories were quite enjoyable. It was interesting how he made them twist and intersect. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.
The way he used history to be the background of interesting characters and the way he interwove their stories.
no cramps in your hands from trying to hold an incredible HUGE book. haha
Fall of Giants is one of the best books I have read to date.
It is a historical book and at the same time a very good story.
This book was wonderful, I learned so much while being entertained at the same time! The narration was very good, John Lee is a keeper in my opinion. The characters were all represented in a wonderful, believable way. I can't wait for the second book.
Yes... Fall of Giants breathes a new life into the History of WWI.
Ethel... Her strong will and determination was inspiring.
Hmm... Probably Billy, but all round, i think he did a fantastic job.
Fitz - He disappointed me the most.
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