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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 (396 )
5 star
 (253)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.5 (349 )
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3 star
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Story
4.6 (347 )
5 star
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4 star
 (77)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
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1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Juan 02-28-13
    Juan 02-28-13

    Highway listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
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    32
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    5
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    "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
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    "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 2012

    coffeeandbooks

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
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    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
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    328
    2
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    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
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    "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
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    "Loved it."

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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pieter Reyneke Donghae City, Gangwon-Do, KR 10-14-12
    Pieter Reyneke Donghae City, Gangwon-Do, KR 10-14-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
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    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
Sort by:
  • Dale
    7/26/15
    Overall
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    "A wonderful experience"

    Well written and totally absorbent read with great clarity and a story that is wonderfully real

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Judith
    Dursley, United Kingdom
    7/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping"

    I have been putting off listening to this book as I couldn't imagine listening to 30 hours. However, I was so gripped by the excellent storytelling, characters and wonderful narration that I listened to this book in no time at all so I'm off to download the sequel, I can't wait!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lozza
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely stunning"
    What made the experience of listening to Fall of Giants the most enjoyable?

    The story kept me gripped from start to finish, the stories intertwined beautifully and the accents of the narrator added to the pleasure.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    All of them


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

    Yes, but was listening in the car whilst travelling for work. Did not want the journeys to end. Only time i have hoped for traffic jams!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Stevenage, United Kingdom
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth the effort"

    It's definitely one of the longest books I've listened too, but the story and narration holds your interest quite well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    England
    7/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Effortless history lesson."

    The performance of this audio book, was matched by the story in it's entertainment value.
    The rich tones of the narrator and his seamless switching between accents, genders and classes, enhanced an already excellent web of familial stories, grounded in the everyday politics and struggles of the times.
    You will learn to love and empathise with all of the characters of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karen Davies
    7/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History brought to life"

    The implausible overlapping of key characters' lives in order to give eyewitness testimony to the key events of the Great War and its' aftermath do not in fact detract from a fascinating story that cracks along at a good pace despite its length. There are moments of considerable emotional impact, moments where light is shed on the complexity of national politics in pre 1914 Europe and moments where the road to hell being paved with good intentions becomes all too real as the Bolsheviks become as terrifyingly unjust as the Tsarist regime they overthrew. The key characters are to a degree all stereotypes whose purpose is to illustrate the historical events they are part of but they are, despite this, worth caring about and far less one dimensional than they might have been. Well worth listening especially as the performance is excellent with characters vividly brought to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    YorkUnited Kingdom
    7/12/15
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    Story
    "A brilliant story brilliantly told"

    The story depicts the change of society in the early 20th century, changing the lives of everyone then and now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Colin P Jamieson
    7/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such compelling Reading"

    This book, the first in a stand alone series gives a wonderful insight into the lives of people from different cultures across different continents.
    The book takes the reader into and through The Great War demonstrating with theatrical clarity the influences that pervaded the different societies from which the experiences became mutually dependant

    Compelling listening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • idris
    6/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book"

    Interesting from start to finish, had trouble putting it down. I highly recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kim
    6/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Loved the book so much I had to buy the series. I found the storylines compelling and the social history very interesting especially because the time period is simultaneously looked at from many angles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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