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
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This book was fantastic, I got really drawn into the story and into the characters. They're well written and the story takes you through some of the hardest times in the 20th century. It seemlessly moves from the UK, US, Russia and Germany intersecting the 5 main families easily. This is going to be a wonderful series if the next books are so well written.
Great great great
Ethel. She was a really strong charactor
John Lee was so good at all the voices of all the characters I couldn't pick one over another really.. He is a skilled narrator.
From beginning to end this book provoked a discussion. The writing was excellent and told so well that I just wanted to keep listening
No particular one. All good.
It is easy to follow the different families with the narrator's different accents. He's excellent.
When the Welsh street receives the telegrams.
I have already ordered the next book.
"Not my usual reading choice - but wonderful"
I bought this on the back of some good reviews, wasn't sure that it was a good choice, HOWEVER!!!! I was drawn in totally by this book, Ken Follett has made his characters real with in depth characters, some I loved - some I disliked intensely, but they all made an impression.
At times I had to leave the book for a while as I could 'see' that something would happen that would sadden me - I am so impressed by Ken Follett's writing! Even now after finishing this long book - I am thinking about the lives of the characters.
"Well written kept me glued"
Clever enthralling captivating
This was not only a page turner (so to speak) but also an education for me. Learnt all about the first and second world wars at school. Somehow it sinks in so much better when there are characters to follow that you are invested in and care about.
Very good story teller although it took a while to get used to his voice to begin with. He does a very good welsh accent!
I think when Maud goes to the theatre after announcing her marriage and the reaction she receives would have floored me. A brave woman to just follow her heart so completely.
"good long listen"
its a reasonable if not thrilling, story
pretty average reader
its a story that's actually written in American although read by an Englishman. I'd assumed it was written in English so was a bit disappointed. Quite a good read but won't bother with more of this author's books.
"excellent book on all possible measures"
Initially you are wondering how all these various perspectives in time can come together, but the characters are wonderfully woven and blended. A facinating catalogue of historic events as the backdrop to how these characters may have viewed the world at this time. An insight into how life was
Ethel and Billy
He did a great job of all of them, a magnificent portrayal of each character
Brilliant, a must read/listen
Worth listening to just to hear John Lee's wonderful array of accents (particularly the Welsh one)
"Historical Fiction at nearly its best..."
Throughly enjoyable romp through the first quarter of the 20th century from various angles - through the class system - top down; bottom up. From the Western Front, Home Front, Russian revolution and the USA. From the male and female perspectives. Quite an achievement but successfully completed and a highly competent and entertaining result.
"First Time Follett"
Not being overly familiar with the work of Ken Follett I used my credit for Fall of Giants with some trepidation but can say with great relief that it was a credit well spent. Admittedly a history buff with more than a soft spot for Downton Abbey this story greatly appealed to me on a wide range of levels but the very basic story is fantastic and ingeniously interwoven, so much so that were the events of this story entirely fictional (rather than being rooted in real historical events, ie WW1) it would still be a paragon of literary work! The characters are enjoyable for various reasons, the accents of the narrator helping to keep them rooted in your memory and the insights into political and social mindsets of the time are thought provoking. All in all I was hugely impressed by the sheer quality of the piece. It is not without flaws, some coincidences are just too coincidental for my liking but still as a whole it stands firm as a giant among men.....pun intended. I cannot wait for my next credit to pursue the story in Winter of the World in the next coming days. This is a veritable feast of a book to keep you satisfied for weeks!
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