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Fall of Giants Audiobook

Fall of Giants

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Publisher's Summary

A huge novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women.

It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family, is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to immigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. In a plot 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.

©2010 Ken Follett (P)2010 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (485 )
5 star
 (315)
4 star
 (130)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
4.6 (430 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
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Story
4.6 (427 )
5 star
 (311)
4 star
 (90)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    Andrew Parker south australia 05-08-13
    Andrew Parker south australia 05-08-13

    werdna park

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History from a human perspective"
    Would you listen to Fall of Giants again? Why?

    It was an interesting way of learning the history of WW1 from a human point


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    They were all essential


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    billy rock solid character


    Any additional comments?

    Great story looking forward to no 3 and John Lee does a sterling job of Narration 5 stars John !!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 04-24-13
    Peter 04-24-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enlightenment on the First World War"
    Would you listen to Fall of Giants again? Why?

    Ken Follet has packed this epic with accurate information on the 2nd World War, its prelude and aftermath. I am going to have to listen a second time as there is much I would like to put into perspective.


    What other book might you compare Fall of Giants to and why?

    It is difficult to say there is another book one can compare this one to, but from an historical perspective, much of what is captured in the following, one can appreciate in "Fall of Giants" is set out in some detail in: The history of the South African forces in France by John Buchan, and Pyramids and Poppies: The 1st SA Infantry Brigade in Libya, France and Flanders by Peter Digby.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    Walter von Ulrich stands out as the most credible character for me - compared to most of the other characters, he was unaffected in playing politics and manipulation others.


    If you could rename Fall of Giants, what would you call it?

    Of Aristocrats and Comrades


    Any additional comments?

    As a reader of World War 2 History, I think this was the most enjoyable and refreshing overview of the Great War I have ever come across - and historically accurate as well!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    patricia Lima, Peru 03-11-13
    patricia Lima, Peru 03-11-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book! I highly recommend it."
    Any additional comments?

    A great book and an exceptional story! The narrator does a great job, too. I couldn’t stop listening! A perfect combination of historical context and human character. Can’t wait to listen to its sequel “Winter of the World.”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juan 02-28-13
    Juan 02-28-13

    Highway listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    16
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Buenos y malos"

    Buena novela histórica con personajes llenos de virtudes y defectos, todos pueden pasar de queridos a mal queridos. Historia rápida que mezcla la historia con la ficción y te hace querer saber mas de la verdad pero también de las relaciones ficticias. Lev es un campeón!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Fitzroy, Australia 02-27-13
    Rachel Fitzroy, Australia 02-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Words cannot do Fall of Giants justice"

    I downloaded this audiobook somewhat on a whim. Four and a half stars from a few hundred ratings, sounds like it will be a good book, and then over 30 hours, how's that for value for money?!

    Then I started listening... and I basically didn't stop. I was hooked from the first chapter. The writing is brilliant, and the characters even better. I usually struggle with books with heaps of characters, but Ken Follett introduces all the characters gradually and in a logical order so I didn't struggle even once.

    As well as really enjoying the specifics of each characters story and becoming really invested in how their lives will turn out, the historical context of this book was fantastic for me. I'm ashamed to admit that my history knowledge is shockingly bad; I'd like to blame my schooling but that only takes me so far. So now, my favourite way to learn about history is like this; by reading (or more commonly listening to) a well researched historical fiction book, where the story keeps me listening but I learn all sorts about that period in history at the same time.

    This book had me laughing out loud, and at one point tears running down my cheeks. John Lee did an amazing job at narrating an even more amazing story. I could not recommend this enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pedro cuernavaca, Mexico 02-06-13
    Pedro cuernavaca, Mexico 02-06-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
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    FOLLOWING
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    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent, one of the best books i've ever read!!!"
    Would you listen to Fall of Giants again? Why?

    Yes, actually I read the book twice and listened once, I believe the author achieve a good mix between historic facts and fiction to develop an amazing novel


    What other book might you compare Fall of Giants to and why?

    Conspirata of Robert Harris, he also achieve a great story mixing reality with fiction


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    coffeeandbooks Mexico, DF Mexico 02-05-13
    coffeeandbooks Mexico, DF Mexico 02-05-13 Member Since 2015

    coffeeandbooks

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "GREAT!!!"
    What did you love best about Fall of Giants?

    Great book. A story that will keep you wanting to listen to "just one more chapter". Great reading also. John Lee makes it perfect by his use of accents and the perfect pitch in his voice. I just love Ken Follet and now John Lee. If you liked Pillars of the Earth this book is for you. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequels.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first. I hope he does the sequels.


    Who was the most memorable character of Fall of Giants and why?

    That's a hard one. Billy, Ethel, Maude... all of them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-27-12
    11-27-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    349
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally Engrossing Epoch"
    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    John Lee is one of my favorite readers. He has a compelling voice and mimics a wide variety of accents without making it too theatrical. I have selected books based on the fact that he is the performer...and I haven't been dissappointed yet.


    Any additional comments?

    The characters, of which there are many, are totally real and they way their lives intertwine believable. The backdrop of WWI and the Russian revolution are so interesting, I find myself on the internet doing research on events and persons described in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gary surrey hills, Australia 11-22-12
    gary surrey hills, Australia 11-22-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ken follett weaves a great tale"

    held my interest throughout. all characters were well woven and believable.
    The reader speakes all the characters fluently and consistently. a great listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon 10-19-12
    Gordon 10-19-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it."

    Fantastic book. Loved the characters and got a history lesson at the same time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Roger
    10/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "exceptional story"

    A very detailed and most enjoyable story that flows well. Narration was clear lively and accurate. Another excellent boom by Mr . Follett

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • squiffy
    10/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story"

    Great story switching from peace time to the horror of the trenches,the harsh life of welsh mining villages compared to the different cossseted life lived by the landed gentry.Also the extremley harsh existance of Russian peasants compared to the Russian royalty,the defeat of Germany and the Russian revolution.A great story very well told

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Maddy
    9/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great Listen"

    I was all prepared to be a bit dismissive about this book but I have to admit to being hooked from the beginning by the mixture of characters, social and political history and plot. I felt the author drew me very skilfully into the lives and worlds of the characters and the book moved easily between countries and themes. My only quibble would be about some of the Welsh accents, hence 4 starts for narration rather than 5. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christian Hansson
    8/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A true classic"

    An exceptionally well written classic about an tumultuous time in history.
    I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who likes well written and exciting novels that also are historically correct.
    Looking forward to start on part II.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • XL
    UK
    8/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally addictive"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely - this is one of those books that caused me to sign up for Audible..... It would take me years of bed time and weekend reading to get through just one of the three books. But putting my headphone in my ears and sorting out the weed in the garden while listening to a great story, well told solved several problems: my garden looks decent (I even enjoyed the weeding), I had a great summer outside and I have spare time to do other things than read for several years... such a good story too.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - if I had the time.... a bit big for it though. But I listened when I drove, cooked, did the garden ... any time I did something where my mind was not needed for the job.


    Any additional comments?

    Three books is not too many!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • mrs
    3/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hmm......."

    I loved the sweep of history and the story which gave it context. However I could not say that I was captivated.....it felt more like a familiar friend.....an easy, enjoyable listen, and very forgiving if you fall asleep and need to resume without actually knowing where you last were!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom
    4/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too Many Coincidences"

    I understand that fiction, even that based firmly in the context of real historical events, does rely on devices to make the story work. And this is a gigantic, sweeping story, with a cast of hundreds!

    But the device that Ken Follett favours most is that of coincidence. The book is littered with coincidences of a such fantastically unbelievable scale, it ended up (almost) ruining it for me.

    Time after time, across years that have passed, across continents and class, and across a world war, the characters coincidentally meet again, or meet someone known to their circle of family and friends.

    That aside, I still quite enjoyed the story - more so for the first half, because after this point, the device of chance meeting/involvement, began to spoil it for me. If gripped by a story, I keep going with it until the end. This book - partly, to be fair, due to its vastness - I left for days at a time, before picking up the story again. So I was mildly engaged, but not gripped.

    I love long books - so that worked well for me. I also love books set in 'real' history. The narration worked quite well for me too, despite an odd habit of pausing in unexpected places, mid-sentence (I got used to it quite quickly) - and I was impressed with the dozens of accents he mastered.

    I didn't, however, in the end, really believe in any of the characters, except maybe the Welsh sister and brother. Nor did I find myself 'worrying' about their fate. Three stars is a low score for me, as I am very rarely disappointed with my choices, relying heavily on reviews by other members, and being pretty sure of my own ground - this purchase was an experiment. I was quite disappointed with this volume and I won't invest a credit on the next installment.

    It is not a bad book, and the scale of its sweeping story is impressive. It's just not the book I hoped it would be.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Arthur
    Barton on Humber, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a bit disappointed and it was so predictable"
    Would you try another book written by Ken Follett or narrated by John Lee?

    I would try another book by Ken Follett because I have enjoyed his other epics, I got through those very quickly but this one did drag on somewhat.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Although the historic facts seemed to be about right the main characters and the coincidences are altogether too far fetched, I sent this book back and can't think that I will be purchasing the next in the series, it is fair to say disappointing is the right word


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Irene
    Crook, United Kingdom
    5/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Now't wrong with the book...but what a rip off"

    I enjoyed Part one..and used a months credit in buying it...with the intention of buying part two with my next credit. But now it seems that Audible have decided to sell the whole book together.......now I have to use a credit to get a single part and anyone else can get the whole book. What a rip off Audible....spoiling an excellent book by leaving a bitter taste because I feel rippped off.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Chinnor, United Kingdom
    5/20/12
    Overall
    "Really Enjoyable"

    The huge scope of this story makes for great listening. Although I found John Lee a little difficult at first - he actually does an excellent job and I was soon enjoying it all tremendously.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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