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Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century…

Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Ken Follett

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4,1351901,215 (3.97)131
Title:Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy
Authors:Ken Follett
Info:Signet (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 960 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2013 read

Work details

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (2010)

  1. 30
    Winter of the World by Ken Follett (WiJiWiJi)
  2. 20
    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 20
    War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk (mcenroeucsb)
  4. 10
    The Winds of War by Herman Wouk (mcenroeucsb)
  5. 22
    Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie (ddelmoni)
    ddelmoni: Non-fiction that reads like a novel.
  6. 00
    Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett (WiJiWiJi)
  7. 02
    World's End by Upton Sinclair (marieke54)
    marieke54: Volume 1 of Upton Sinclair's Lanny Budd series (that ends in the middle of the Cold War), a project similar to Follett's intended Century Trilogy.

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Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
This book in hardback is one serious door stopper, and in unabridged audio, as I listened to it, is a serious commitment of hours. I wanted to read it, the first in the Century Trilogy, because I enjoyed Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. Fall of Giants is an entirely different setting, taking place shortly before, during, and shortly after WWI.

I enjoyed the historical parts, and I enjoyed the political discussions. What I did not enjoy was some of the plot. It seemed like a soap opera, or a cliched paperback romance. I can't get into details without revealing too much of the plot but really? He couldn't have come up with something a little less cliched?

And it was too long. Not that covering that period during WWI doesn't deserve a lot of pages, but there was too much about things for which I cared too little.

Most of the writing, the actual sentences, were good and straightforward, but some did occasionally feel a bit clunky, at least to me as a listener. Perhaps I would not have felt that way if I'd read them. The narrator was quite good, although his pronunciation of “ate” as “et” sounded rather odd and amusing to my American ears.

So, this one let me down a little. Am I going to read the next one in the trilogy? Well, yes, probably. Maybe. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Oct 4, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this read, it's a LONG one and has been started several times but I was determined to finish. The first in a trilogy it follows five families during the time of World Ware I. I don't know much about this time frame especially Russian history so it nice to read about this time period. Ready to get started on the second book. ( )
  TheKnittedSheep | Sep 29, 2015 |
First of a trilogy. Eminently readable despite its almost overwhelming length. ( )
  VashonJim | Sep 5, 2015 |
I would not call this a literary masterpiece, but I really enjoyed the story. The first of a trilogy, this novel encompasses the stories of five different families from approximately 1910 to 1923 as they deal with local issues and world events. The families are from the United States, England, Wales, Germany and Russia. They represent all walks of life and come together in different ways as the world experiences World War I, revolutions, and issues of women’s rights and social justice. It is an historical novel and has an interesting blend of real and fictional characters. For example, one of the U.S. characters is a junior advisor to Woodrow Wilson and one of the Russians is involved with Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution. Since the story is told from the perspectives of all five families, it incorporates details that range from speaking in the British House of Lords to fighting in the trenches in France to dealing in illegal whiskey during Prohibition to working in the coal mines of Wales. These varying perspectives provided one of the more intriguing aspects of the novel. We see the precursors to war, the war itself and the aftermath of treaties from the point of view of both the winners and the losers. I realized that I knew very little about this period of history, and enjoyed learning much more. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history. I eagerly await the second volume of the trilogy. The author has set the stage for Part II with intermarriages and children who will most likely emerge as characters in the next novel. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
I really enjoyed parts of this book. I like historical fiction, and I especially liked learning about the Russian Revolution and the labor movement in England. However, some of war scenes were SO long and boring, and I got really tired of reading about all international relations and political issues related to World War I. If some of that would have been cut out, I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.

I realized while reading this book that I have always pictured Lenin as a rather large statue, rather than a real person. Lenin is a character in this book, and all the sudden while reading one scene I realized that I was picturing this big stone statue leading a political conversation with all these normal sized people. It made me laugh. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Trotz peinlicher Sexszenen auf Groschenromanniveau und wie Untertassen dahinfliegender Dialoge: Ken Folletts neuer Roman ist gut recherchiert und freundlich-sozialdemokratisch - einer Verfilmung im Öffentlich-Rechtlichen steht nichts im Weg.
Die Aufteilung von erfundenen Schicksalen und weltgeschichtlich verbürgten Ereignissen löst Follett perfekt.
added by lophuels | editFocus, Jobst-Ulrich Brand (Oct 12, 2010)
Overall, Follett is ­masterly in conveying so much drama and historical information so vividly. He puts to good use the professional skills he has honed over the years — giving his characters a conversational style neither pseudo-quaint nor jarringly contemporary. That works well. And for all his belief in the redemptive quality of liberal humanism, he makes sure not to endow his characters with excessively modern sensibilities. As for the occasional cliché — well, unless you’re Tolstoy, you’re not going to have the time or the ability to be original throughout your 1,000-page blockbuster. Ken Follett is no Tolstoy, but he is a tireless storyteller, and although his tale has flaws, it’s grippingly told, and readable to the end.
added by lophuels | editNew York Times, Roger Boylan (Sep 30, 2010)
Despite all this, "Fall of Giants" offers pleasures that more than compensate for its lack of literary finesse. Follett may not be Tolstoy, but he knows how to tell a compelling, well-constructed story. Once its basic elements are in place, the narrative acquires a cumulative, deceptively effortless momentum.
La caída de los gigantes sumerge al lector en una historia cargada de épica. Ésta primera novela, que forma parte de una trilogía, sigue los destinos de cinco familias diferentes a lo largo y ancho del mundo. Desde América a Alemania, Rusia, Inglaterra y Gales, Follet sigue la evolución de sus personajes a través de la Primera Guerra Mundial, la Revolución Rusa y las primeras luchas por los derechos de la mujer.

Como siempre, Follet pone un especial interés por su tierra natal, Gales, al comenzar con la historia de Billy Williams, un sencillo minero; en América encontramos a Gus Dewar, un estudiante de derecho con el corazón partido por un desengaño amoroso. En Rusia, dos hermanos huérfanos, Grigori y Lev se ven en medio de una revolución que trastoca sus vidas y acaba por separar sus caminos. Como nudo entre las historias encontramos a la hermana de Williams, quien trabaja en Inglaterra como ama de llaves de Lady Fitzherbert, enamorada de un espía alemán, Walter von Ulrich.

Poco a poco estos personajes irán encontrándose a medida que la inmensa maquinaria creada por Follet avance, tan deprisa y violenta como el principio del siglo XX en el que se ven inmersos.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Follett, Kenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
AnuvelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mas, ElisendaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of my parents, Martin and Veenie Follett.
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On the day King George V was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London, Billy Williams went down the pit in Aberowen, South Wales.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In 1911 verandert de wereld voorgoed. Arbeiders laten zich niet langer onderdrukken, vrouwen eisen hun rechten op, de rijke aristocratie kan haar macht niet langer handhaven. En overal fluisteren diplomaten elkaar woorden in die het lot van miljoenen mensen over de hele wereld zullen veranderen.Aan de vooravond van de Eerste Wereldoorlog proberen acht mensen hun weg in deze roerige wereld te vinden: Gus Dewar, rechterhand van de Amerikaanse president; Lev en Grigori Pesjkov, twee arme Russische broers op zoek naar een beter leven; mijnwerker Billy Williams en zijn ambitieuze zus Ethel, huishoudster van de vermogende graaf Fitzherbert; de vrijzinnige lady Maud en haar geliefde, de Duitse diplomaat Walter von Ulrich.Terwijl hun levens elkaar kruisen, dragen deze mensen ieder op hun eigen manier bij aan een titanenstrijd die zijn weerga niet kent… Met Val der titanen, het eerste deel in de Century-trilogie, staat Ken Follett garant voor levensechte personages, een feilloos historisch decor en een onvergetelijke leeservaring.

A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man's world in the mining pits; an American law student rejected by 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 readers 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.

[retrieved from Amazon 2/16/2012]
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Follows the fates of five interrelated families--American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh--as they move through the dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

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