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Fall of Giants Audiobook

Fall of Giants

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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 (572 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.6 (510 )
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Story
4.6 (507 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    S. R. Gibb New Zealand 09-04-11
    S. R. Gibb New Zealand 09-04-11 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "Disapointing"

    I really wanted to like this book. I have been a keen student of 20th century history since high school, 40 years ago.

    Alas I found myself unable to really engage with the characters, finding them rather cardboard cutout. I could not help feeling that each was created purely to act as a vehicle to show key historical moments and most of the conversations they had, tended to give us lengthy history lessons. The fact that they seemed to somehow turn up at key points of world events of the time, I found clunky.
    The book is redeemed to an extent by some great descriptions, the delivery of casulty telegrams being one good scene.
    Overall, while i have no argument with the accuracy of the events portrayed, I feel that Mr Follet may have been better to have reduced the scope of the epic and used history as a background to the characters lives rather than awkwardly dropping them into each significant event. Not a book I could immerse myself in, rather, I skipped along the top, unable to find a way in

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rev. Kate Penrith, Australia 11-27-11
    Rev. Kate Penrith, Australia 11-27-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Powerful work; exceptional & gripping adventure."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This audiobook is worth every cent and every second. I would very happily recommend this book to family and friends.A masterful piece.


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

    Ken Follett is an outstanding author. Yet, I find it very hard to compare one skilled writer's work with other skilled writer's work, even of the same genre, as their styles often differ quite dramatically... and so attempting to compare their work is a bit like debating which is the best type of friut.I can, however, state that there is no better wordsmith for his standard and style of work. The way he keeps your attention from start to finish, never under nor overstating life and it's bare,sometimes brutual, sometimes sensual, but always honest realities. He just weaves you into the lives of his characters and never lets you breath until he's finished.


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

    I have not heard John Lee's performance before, but his reading style is personable and clever. His interpretation of humour is simple and real, and his ability to hold your utter attention in dramatic moments is highly skilled. Brilliant performance... and I will be pleased to listen to any of his other readings.


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

    I certainly laughed at times. And, I was certainly provoked to deep consideration of incidents and experiences, astonishment for the intricate manipulations of the war machine of the early 20th century, disgust for the polarised standards of rights and responsibilities, and I was prompted to empathy,sadness and even tears for the distainful attitude of negligence for life.


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant work. Exceptional story. Plot and networking to real events was outstanding. An utter pleasure that I was sad to finish. A clever, highly skilled work that will stay with listener for some time... Superb!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mr altrincham, United Kingdom 02-17-12
    mr altrincham, United Kingdom 02-17-12

    Shirley

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A bit overambitious1"

    This is an enormous book. It tells the story of 5 different families in the years from 1910 to 1924. The research involved must have been immense and the book is almost successful. Perhaps this should be two books because I felt that the different stories all lost dynamism in cutting from one to the other. Nonetheless this is what might be called a 'jolly good read'.

    I felt that the writing about the fighting on the Somme, the leading up to it and the reasons for it's dreadful body count were among the best I have read.

    The audible version was rather spoilt for me by the reader who attempted numerous accents with varying degrees of success. I also cannot see why a German or Russian needs to speak with a strong German or Russian accent if he is speaking in his native tongue.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 11-26-11
    Jane 11-26-11

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    244
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    "Compelling"

    This was a book really worth listening to. Not only was this due to Follett's strong narrative skills but because it was read by John Lee: he read with calm objectivity which linked his outstanding management of the many voices and the accents ??? wonderful acting.

    This is an interpretation of the major events of one hundred years ago ??? the causes and the conduct of the first world war, rise of the Bolsheviks, the Versailles treaty and unionism, amongst many compelling themes. Follett demonstrates the human tragedy, the waste and pointlessness of war, the foibles and careless decisions of many of the leaders, both military and industrial (leaders coming from the so called ruling classes), the fights for women's rights. He clearly shows where he feels the seeds for future wars were laid.

    And all this is very human as he interlaces stories of the personal lives of interesting characters.

    So, one hundred years later, what have we achieved from the hell of the battle of the Somme? It was not easy to watch the news and ask whether the modern decisions of giants, the desperate current revolutions are just mirror images of the limits to humanity that Follett presents.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen 11-22-11
    karen 11-22-11 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "A story to get totally lost in!"
    Would you listen to Fall of Giants again? Why?

    Yes absolutely!! Fall of Giants is compulsive listening. I got so involved in the characters lives, loves and losses. A great insight to the different classes of the time and how war impacts on them. Love Ken Follett books - this is the third novel I've listened to.


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

    I love this narrator! I so enjoy listening to him, he has wonderful tone and a beautiful accent and he reads at the right pace - not too slow, not too fast, and I was able to absorb the story fully. He can switch accents several times in one sentence - amazing, and brings the characters to life! I actually look for books that are read by John Lee now.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-13-17
    07-13-17
    ratings
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    "how our modern world is formed"

    good to learn about how our modern world is formed. would be better if more writing about characters' inner world

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico 06-23-17
    Amazon Customer Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico 06-23-17 Member Since 2016
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    17
    4
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    "Great book to learn our history"

    The combination of real and fictional characters is perfect to take us to the great historic happenings of the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasper 03-09-17
    Jasper 03-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A thrilling story... "

    I love how fiction and real history intertwine in this thrilling story.
    The abundance of characters and their backgrounds make up for a an entertaining read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-27-17
    ratings
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    1
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    "An absolute must read"

    Loved this book from start to finish
    Such a marvelous and knowledgable view of history

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luccia Gray Lives in Spain 10-30-16
    Luccia Gray Lives in Spain 10-30-16 Member Since 2016

    'It always seems impossible until it's done.' (Mandela)

    ratings
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    30
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    "Fabulous Account of WWI"

    Loved every single word in this novel. Engaging and varied characters, a thrilling plot, and plenty of historical detail that made it an unforgettable read. I've already downloaded book two, Winter of the World and I can't wait to read it The narrator was excellent. I John Lee really brings the characters and story to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Irene
    Crook, United Kingdom
    5/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Now't wrong with the book...but what a rip off"

    I enjoyed Part one..and used a months credit in buying it...with the intention of buying part two with my next credit. But now it seems that Audible have decided to sell the whole book together.......now I have to use a credit to get a single part and anyone else can get the whole book. What a rip off Audible....spoiling an excellent book by leaving a bitter taste because I feel rippped off.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Chinnor, United Kingdom
    5/20/12
    Overall
    "Really Enjoyable"

    The huge scope of this story makes for great listening. Although I found John Lee a little difficult at first - he actually does an excellent job and I was soon enjoying it all tremendously.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • c
    Altrincham, United Kingdom
    6/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating period of history and characters"

    Wonderful threads of stories and characters woven together in a complex period of history. Narrator very easy to listen to with great expression and differentiation of characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tracey Melville
    5/23/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "epic read"

    I could not put this down fantastic reading.
    Well narrated with a real cunning plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Felicity H
    5/22/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent narration of an enthralling story"

    The story kept me very engaged - I often didn't want to turn it off!! But what really brought this to life was the narration by John Lee -his accents were a great way to capture the different characters and were easy to listen to.
    Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susan G.
    5/9/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit boring in places. tended to go on and on."

    I personally didnt like the love scenes i thought they were unnecessary. A bit boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nanci
    4/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just Couldn't Get Involved..."
    What disappointed you about Fall of Giants?

    I just couldn't really get involved with any of the characters. Great possibilities, but nothing unique or gripping.


    What could Ken Follett have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Set up some kind of question/mystery early on that compelled you to read further and see the pieces fit together.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    Yes.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Sorry, just bored me dreadfully.


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps if you really love this author's style, you could wade through to something meaty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    4/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book I've ever listened to"

    Gripping, moving story that I never wanted to end. Great narrator was the icing on the cake

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR K DOCKERTY
    4/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My first read/listen of this author"

    Spellbinding storyline, I was hooked from page one & delighted to learn that there are two follow up stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jethro
    3/29/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Read"

    At first I was sceptical, the book takes a little while to get into, however, after sticking it out it truly is fantastic. I can recommend this book to those who enjoy being led along a pathway that bridges fiction and reality in an almost seamless bond. 5 out of 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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