Mary Keane, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Mary Keane)
Ken Follett has done it again - creating a novel based on history, with real characters and others woven in to make a credible story. I could not put it down, even though my wrists were aching holding up all 900+ pages. I'm not alone, I am sure, as I've signed up for the next volume in the trilogy, behind almost 100 other people.
MissB, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by MissB)
In the first of a trilogy, The Fall of Giants is a compelling tale of defiance, determination, betrayal, revenge, love, family and friendship. Follett weaves the stories of five families with World War I as a backdrop. While the characters may at time seem like unlikely pairings it is precisely that that enables the plot's evolution. The story captivates readers with character development and conflict. Readers cannot help but be drawn to inevitable compassion for some and uter disdain for others. At the end Follett leaves us counting the days for the next book.
JPizzle33, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by JPizzle33)
Follett does an outstanding job laying the foundation for each of his characters, then intertwining detailed historical events within the plot of the characters' lives. Such an amazingly researched book... there will be times that you wished you had paid better attention during history class, but reading Follett gives you enough background that it makes it worthwhile. Overall, this is not as good as Pillars of the Earth or World Without End, but it is in the same historical vein. A great read!
Egg_salad, April 2, 2011 (view all comments by Egg_salad)
I truly enjoyed reading this book, even though it is almost a thousand pages long, and is about of period of history (early 20th century) that I was previously not interested in. Ken Follet's historical details and simple prose helped to make it an enjoyable read. Some of the characters are a little like cardboard cut outs of real people, but there are others that seem to have a bit more depth. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
mink, January 28, 2011 (view all comments by mink)
ALMOST as absorbing as "Pillars of the Earth" and, because it's a novel about the 20th century (and Follett is a meticulous researcher), more historically reliable. I can't wait for the second installment - In fact, I got motivated to read more about WWI. Not a bad reaction! Highly recommended.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"This first in a century-spanning trilogy from bestseller Follett (Eye of the Needle) makes effective and economical use of its lead characters, despite its scope and bulk. From a huge cast, eight figures emerge to play multiple roles that illustrate and often illuminate the major events, trends, and issues of the years leading up to and immediately beyond WWI: American diplomat Gus Dewar; Earl Fitzherbert, a wealthy Englishman; Fitz's sister, Lady Maud; German military attaché Walter von Ulrich; Russian brothers Grigori and Lev Peshkov; Welsh collier Billy Williams and his sister, Ethel, whom Fitz hires as a housemaid. Ingenious plotting allows Follett to explore such salient developments of the era as coal mine safety in Wales, women's suffrage, the diplomatic blundering that led to war, the horrors of trench warfare, and the triumph of the Bolsheviks. While this tome doesn't achieve the emotional depth of the best historicals, it is a remarkable and wonderfully readable synthesis of fact and fiction. 1,000,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
by New York Times,
"Follett is masterly in conveying so much drama and historical information so vividly.... [H]e is a tireless storyteller, and although his tale has flaws, it's grippingly told, and readable to the end."
by USA Today,
"It...will suck you in, consume you for days or weeks, depending upon how quick a reader you are, then let you out the other side both entertained and educated."
by The Huffington Post,
"Fall of Giants is a book for you to savor, one in which you can lose yourself for hours on end. It is a big book that tells a big story, but it is one you will not want to end."
by The Associated Press,
"Follett's latest work is epic in scale, meticulously researched and deftly weaves together historical fact, fictional characters and engrossing storytelling."
by Newark Star Ledger,
"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."
by Chicago Sun-Times,
"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."
by The Seattle Times,
"Follett's greatest virtue as a novelist that he has been able to bring forward a writing style he perfected in his earlier thrillers....Essentially, he's writing several interrelated books at once, without ever losing the inevitable forward impulse. And while it sounds bizarre to consider a book this huge a 'page-turner,' that's exactly what Fall of Giants is."
by The Washington Post,
"Follett is particularly adept at balancing multiple storylines, patiently building a portrait of interconnected lives. And he consistently gets the physical details right....Perhaps the major reasons for the novel's ultimate success are Follett's comprehensive grasp of the historical record and his ability to integrate research into a colorful, engaging narrative."
by New York Times Book Review,
"[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."
The first novel in The Century Trilogy 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.
Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins, as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.
A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits.… An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House.… 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 a German spy.… And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution.
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, Fall of Giants takes us into the inextricably entangled fates of five families — and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again.…
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