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Fall of Giants | [Ken Follett]

Fall of Giants

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.
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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 (331 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pieter Reyneke Donghae City, Gangwon-Do, KR 10-14-12
    Pieter Reyneke Donghae City, Gangwon-Do, KR 10-14-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the greatest books"
    What made the experience of listening to Fall of Giants the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author narrated history factually correct and with a human touch. I love the way the author used symbolism in his stories.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "The rise of the 99 % and fall of the 1%!


    Any additional comments?

    I found this book exciting and can reccomend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniela Uberaba, Brazil 10-11-12
    Daniela Uberaba, Brazil 10-11-12 Member Since 2011

    Professor at Federal University of Uberlândia (Brazil). I love romances and thrillers. Feel free to send me e-books suggestions!

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    "I love this kind of book!"
    Any additional comments?

    I liked so much this book! I am looking foward to listen to the others of the trilogy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ABC123 Belgique 07-30-12
    ABC123 Belgique 07-30-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
    4
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    "Great!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fall of Giants to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the reader uses accents which helps realize who is speaking (there are a lot of characters so very useful).


    What did you like best about this story?

    A lot of characters, The plot, etc.
    I looked forward to commuting to listen to the story!


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    The different accents for the characters


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake Williamstown North, Australia 06-04-12
    Blake Williamstown North, Australia 06-04-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    15
    10
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    "Thoroughly Enjoyed"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The basis on fact and the authors creation of fictional but believable characters to explain the impact of peoples lives through WW1.


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

    Earl Fitzherbert


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

    Yes, especially towards the end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Mount Merrion Ave, Ireland 01-10-12
    Paul Mount Merrion Ave, Ireland 01-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    19
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    "Another great from Ken Follett, and John Lee"
    If you could sum up Fall of Giants in three words, what would they be?

    Gripping, entertaining, compelling


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

    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.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-25 of 25 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Dr Zube
    Ross on Wye, United Kingdom
    1/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Barry
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • lyn
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sophie Peckel
    12/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely gripping"
    If you could sum up Fall of Giants in three words, what would they be?

    Gripping, Interesting, Brilliant


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fall of Giants?

    When Grigori had to give up his ticket for the USA


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    the wedding of Maud and Walter


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

    kinda, yes !


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the different accents for the different characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robyn
    SWINDON, United Kingdom
    11/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • N. D. Holt
    Bayern, Germany
    11/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thoroughly enjoyed this after a few false starts"
    If you could sum up Fall of Giants in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fall of Giants?

    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.


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

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emily
    11/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gabriel
    east kilbride, United Kingdom
    10/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Twentieth Century brought to Life"
    What made the experience of listening to Fall of Giants the most enjoyable?

    The characters and the narration


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Billy Twice (William Williamson)


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Very good reader and makes the book enjoyable


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

    The book is long which is a good thing. Wish I had the time for one sitting


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maggs
    Port Talbot
    10/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable saga & history lesson"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fall of Giants to be better than the print version?

    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


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think Ethel & her brother William because I'm welsh


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Very good performance & great with the different accents


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Sorry don't know what tag is


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    loughborough, United Kingdom
    10/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ken Follett again?

    Yes


    What aspect of John Lee’s performance might you have changed?

    Maybe ... he's quite ... booming.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Fall of Giants?

    All the political stuff.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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