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Fall of Giants Audiobook

Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Fall of Giants is Ken Follett's magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh—as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man's world in the Welsh mining pits…. Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson's White House…. Two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution…. Billy's sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London….

These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, in a saga 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. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. It is destined to be a new classic.

In future volumes of The Century Trilogy, subsequent generations of the same families will travel through the great events of the rest of the 20th century, changing themselves—and the century itself. With passion and the hand of a master, Follett brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.

Exclusive interview: Ken Follett and John Lee Talk about Fall of Giants.

©2010 Kevin Follett (P)2010 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"A big Book, Follett''s hugely ambitious saga is a sweeping success. Ken Follett has hit another one out of the park with the initial installment of the hugely ambitious Century Trilogy. His fans will rejoice at the richness, complexity, historical sweep and simmering lust in a saga spanning the years 1911 to 1923." (Newark Star Ledger)

"A dark novel, motivated by an unsparing view of human nature and a clear-eyed scrutiny of an ideal peace. It is not the least of Follett''s feats that the reader finishes this near 1000-page book intrigued and wanting more." (Chicago Sun-Times)

"[Follett] meticulously reconstructs an era and leads us through the follies and occasional heroics of its protagonists real and imaginary. He is masterly in conveyers so much drama and historical information so vividly...Grippingly told, and readable to the end." (New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (13321 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jessica LAFAYETTE, IN, United States 12-31-12
    Jessica LAFAYETTE, IN, United States 12-31-12 Member Since 2014

    I enjoy reading many books genres. But I love listening to fantasy books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Start to the Series"

    I really enjoyed Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. This series is similar in many ways - themes of love between people who should not be together based on social conventions, tensions between the rich and the poor, and the plight of workers. However, I like this series even better. I have listened to the first two books and am looking forward to the third. I love learning about the historical times (WWI and WWII) in which the books are set. And the seamless way Follett moves between the characters and countries is wonderful. John Lee is a great narrator too. Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ric Fairfax, VA, United States 12-24-12
    Ric Fairfax, VA, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Makes Me Want To Drive Across the US"
    If you could sum up Fall of Giants in three words, what would they be?

    Drive Learn Escape


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

    Realizing that you were seeing how each of us is tied to each other regardless of nationality, time period or personal travails...


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Great transition of voices.. I know each character by his voice now.


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

    When Eth allowed Bernie to run, even though we all knew he would lose and she was the best candidate.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Bakersville, NC, United States 12-24-12
    Margaret Bakersville, NC, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Great literature.No! Good storytelling.Yes!"
    What did you love best about Fall of Giants?

    Credible retelling of major historical events with fictional characters. History is after all the combination of everyone's story.


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

    When Follet relates the events of Christmas day when the common soldiers stopped fighting.


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

    No. He brought the story to life with the varying accents of the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    With historical fiction I am always left wondering where the history ends and the fiction begins! Or vice versa.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shannon 12-20-12
    shannon 12-20-12
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    "Enjoyable story!"

    Several reviewers indicated that this book was slow or boring but I did not find it so. I was captivated by the characters and various story lines. The book and the narration was excellent. I can't wait to start book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephenie 12-20-12
    Stephenie 12-20-12

    epiphenie

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    "Excellent Series"

    I just wanted to add my review to the multitude of others. I read this book in the Century Trilogy for a book club and was hooked. When Winter of the World was released, I also snapped it up.

    I'm not usually a fan of historical fiction and particularly not a fan of the writing style that features multiple unrelated characters that end up being tied together. The fact that I give both the story and the performance 5 stars should tell you exactly how good this book is. I eagerly await the release of the final book and will buy it in audiobook form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Tempe, AZ, United States 12-19-12
    Michael Tempe, AZ, United States 12-19-12
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    6
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    "History Lesson by Follet"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fall of Giants to be better than the print version?

    Don't know. Read Pillars of the Earth. I would say reading is typically better than audio. When the narration is as good as this, it is very close.


    What did you like best about this story?

    narration.


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

    Accents.


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

    Ethel's brother is a hero of hero's


    Any additional comments?

    the book gave me a new sense of political thoughts relative to socialism, haves and have nots, freedom and progressive treatments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Jankowski 12-19-12
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    "The Dance of Life"
    What did you love best about Fall of Giants?

    the fast and involving action


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

    The battle of the Marne.


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

    The accents bring the book to life.


    If you could take any character from Fall of Giants out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Ethel Williams is one of the most memorable and interesting caracters.


    Any additional comments?

    Jast starting the second book, and am looking forward to the story. The interplay of historical events entwined with the ficticious lives of the characters makes this story belivable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Savvy shopper 12-19-12
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    "Follet is a master of historical fiction"

    This novel weaves together the stories of 5 families from Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States during the lead up to WWI until just before WWII. Fall of Giants beautifully highlights class and cultural differences during this time in history. Follet develops his characters in such an easy and enjoyable fashion that the long book is over too quickly. Fortunately, the sequel is just as enjoyable. John Lee does a perfect job as narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Forrester Florida 12-19-12
    L. Forrester Florida 12-19-12

    LAF

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    "Mr Follett was born to write!!"
    If you could sum up Fall of Giants in three words, what would they be?

    A very compelling work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Impersonal history made compelling through true to life circumstances and characters!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The opening chapter did it for me, I was suched into a new world!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Marshall, VA, USA 12-17-12
    Lawrence Marshall, VA, USA 12-17-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Another great novel"
    What made the experience of listening to Fall of Giants the most enjoyable?

    The authors ability to pull the reader into the world of the families


    What did you like best about this story?

    The descriptive narratives of WWi


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

    Xmas on the battlefield


    Any additional comments?

    Fabulous story but when it was over I did not have the same sense of leaving a family as I did with Pillars of the Earth

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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