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
I love history. The author and narrator did more than a splendid job. I must state that I love this book. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry and the suspense is great, although you know what is going to happen.
The author narrated history factually correct and with a human touch. I love the way the author used symbolism in his stories.
Billy and Ethel make strong characters and I like the political scenes where they were fighting for their rights. Lots to learn from it when you are a young reader.
"The rise of the 99 % and fall of the 1%!
I found this book exciting and can reccomend it.
Professor at Federal University of Uberlândia (Brazil). I love romances and thrillers. Feel free to send me e-books suggestions!
I liked so much this book! I am looking foward to listen to the others of the trilogy!
Yes, the reader uses accents which helps realize who is speaking (there are a lot of characters so very useful).
A lot of characters, The plot, etc.
I looked forward to commuting to listen to the story!
The different accents for the characters
The basis on fact and the authors creation of fictional but believable characters to explain the impact of peoples lives through WW1.
Yes, especially towards the end.
Gripping, entertaining, compelling
Pillars of the Earth & World Without End. Even though the stories and periods they take place are completely different, the way Ken Follet links and intertwines the characters is perfect, and togerher with the individual characters stories, the whole experience is thoroughly encaptulating.
John Lee's narration is simply brilliant. The many voices and accents, and the depth he brings to each character allows you to visualise the book in your mind. It makes for a complete experience. I envy his talent.
Slightly dissapointed with the end, like it was rushed to finish it, I felt that some of the individual stories could have been closed off a little more. However, I would absolutely recommend the book.
"I wasn't expecting to like it...ended up loving it"
I started listening to this book in lieu of the one I wanted not being downloaded to my iPod. I imagined this would be a stop gap until I could get the other book downloaded however from about 20 minutes in I was pretty hooked. A BIG story with lots of characters, all brilliantly realised, spanning a couple of decades and covering WW1 and times after, gripping and exciting. I will definitely be listening to the second part very soon.
"An excellent book"
I have the hard back, e book and the audio book,
Read it twice and now just finished listening to it for the second time
Starting winter of the world tomorrow again read twice and listened once already
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a gripping and exciting story line
"Fall of Gaints"
A great story. I can't wait to start the second in this trilogy.Hope the next
two are as interesting as the first book !
Gripping, Interesting, Brilliant
When Grigori had to give up his ticket for the USA
the wedding of Maud and Walter
kinda, yes !
I loved the different accents for the different characters
I keep recommending this book to friends. It's one of those books that both educates and entertains - a real winner as I feel I'm improving myself rather than simply indulging in escapism. If the sheer size of the traditional paper version puts you off, then this is definitely one to do audio-style. The narration is spot on.
Rich story-telling in satisfying Follett style. I happened to be listening to the Battle of the Somme as we reached Remembrance Sunday this year - right at the time the papers were full of photos of the poppies at the Tower of London. Really quite poignant.
Setting the key families in the UK, Germany, Russia and the USA gives the listener a very full picture of the world at the time. A fabulous window to history.
I have just finished listening to book two in the series - just as good, though equally harrowing in places. Feeling slightly shattered - the world really did get itself into a right mess, didn't it? Book three has just been released.....fingers crossed it's of the same standard.
"Thoroughly enjoyed this after a few false starts"
History made interesting!
As a 47 year old it's been a long time since I suffered through long, boring, history lessons in school. It was a subject I grew to detest and it coloured my choices for a long time. For this reason, I started and stopped this book a few times before really getting going on it.
Ken Follett's Fall of Giants has had me racing to Wikipedia over and over to read and learn more about the background to the story he has masterfully written. At the end of the audiobook, and on his website, the author describes how he interweaves real historical people and events with the fictional, and how he endeavours to keep those interactions True to the history. As I've listened, and researched and learned I have certainly found that to be the case.
Many thanks to the author for rekindling this thirst for history.
The depiciton of the Battle of the Somme, and for that matter the whole description of the trench warfare was enthralling, disturbing and enlightening --- and it lead to further reading, of course.
So many characters! and so well brought to life! John Lee's voicing of the Williams family had me wondering if he was Welch (apparently not!). I suppose my 2 favourites would have to be Gus and Billy .. but Billy would win out by a hair's breadth.
I've just finished the book a few minutes ago, and felt I had to write the review straight away.
The depiction of WW1 is hardly a "moment" in the book ... it's a significant chunck of the tale ... but it's what springs to mind as I contemplate the question. The start of the Battle of the Somme, and Gus's first experiences on the front are the 2 events in particular which stuck with me.
This audiobook was 30 hours long ... it did not feel like it at all!
John Lee's excellent narration, and Ken Follett's ability to bring history to life, is partnership I'm looking forward to enjoying in the next 2 books in this series.
"Incredible story, slightly annoying accents..."
This book is excellent. It centers around the first world war; historical information is presented in an informal manner through the characters' lives. A holistic picture is given as the characters range in class and nationality. The narrating is slightly annoying as John Lee's accents can be rather cliched but after a while this is unnoticeable and even good fun. Would recommend as a pick-up-and-put-down novel, I'm listening on my 30 minute walk to and from work and getting through it nicely.
"The Twentieth Century brought to Life"
The characters and the narration
Billy Twice (William Williamson)
Very good reader and makes the book enjoyable
The book is long which is a good thing. Wish I had the time for one sitting
"Enjoyable saga & history lesson"
Haven't read print but narrator keep book flowing with good accents for different characters. Story itself is also great, i didn’t know too much about this period but this novel takes you through it easily
I think Ethel & her brother William because I'm welsh
Very good performance & great with the different accents
Sorry don't know what tag is
I loved the first trilogy set in the 15th / 16th centuries. This was no where near as interesting. I found the politics boring. But, this may be just because the subject is less interesting to me.
Maybe ... he's quite ... booming.
All the political stuff.
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