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

by Ken Follett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,7371661,397 (3.97)125
Member:hobbitprincess
Title:Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy
Authors:Ken Follett
Info:Signet (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 960 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle Books
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Historical fiction, Read 2013

Work details

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (2010)

  1. 30
    Winter of the World by Ken Follett (WiJiWiJi)
  2. 10
    War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 10
    The Winds of War by Herman Wouk (mcenroeucsb)
  4. 10
    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (mcenroeucsb)
  5. 21
    Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie (ddelmoni)
    ddelmoni: Non-fiction that reads like a novel.
  6. 01
    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 138 (next | show all)
I used to read Ken Follett years ago and I recall liking him...had high hopes for this. But oh my how horrible, I find it hard to believe how many people just adored it. The writing was abysmal, amateurish and full of exposition...it was like the characters were reading aloud to each other from Wikipedia. Which shows that he is assuming his readers have no historical knowledge, but there are far more skillful ways of slipping information in then with ridiculously unrealistic dialogue. I bogged down in this long before the end, but from reading (the bad) reviews I see that it didn't get any better, probably worse. ( )
  SusanListon | Nov 30, 2014 |
Five families are brought together through the world-shaking dramas of the first World War, The Russian Revolution and the struggle for votes for women.
Drama and intrigue unfold as "Fall of Giant" moves seamlessly from Washington to St Peterburg, 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, Ken Follett's richly developed historical background only enhances the fast-moving action and powerful emotion of this absorbing narrative.
  ICANABIBBELG | Nov 19, 2014 |
I liked this book. It was a fun historical read.
Okay, so the not so great.
It took me until the end to realize he was setting all these characters up together so we could have a sequel. But it really felt forced. Like two characters awkwardly fell in love, there was heavy petting and sex forced into two paragraphs, and then moved onto the history. I love a good romance, but I really wished it had been less forced.

Still, the history was good.
All in all, 3 stars. Not great. Not terrible. ( )
  ariel.kirst | Nov 14, 2014 |
I know, based on experience as a reader these three years, that whatever I say about Fall Of Giants will not result in an insightful review. I don't have the reading history to back up my claims and my inclinations. I just think that what comes to mind with this book is that there's nothing new under the sun, especially Fall Of Giants.

I have read very few writers of historical fiction. Not only that, but FoG is the only Ken Follett book I've read. I can only compare him to Jeffrey Archer. In my mind, Archer is head and shoulders above Follett. Follett's shallow interpretation of his characters means that when it comes to milking drama for the pay dirt of the reader's (THIS reader's) emotions, his attempts ring hollow.

There are sparsely dotted examples of poignant thoughts by the characters. The author didn't give the required pathos to his cast. These people comprise of fictional and real people. Both sets are dead. The book ends in 1923. That's a year before my late grandfather was born. So we're viewing another generation from a different world. The author didn't capitalize on all the possibilities. Did the author trust his audience to go along his one dimensional creation? His experience, in terms of accolade and success for FoG, has been validated. Quite a pity. FoG is just a boring book that will sooner or later go out of print. Maybe future readers will be spared the possibility of reading it. One can only hope. ( )
  Jiraiya | Nov 12, 2014 |
Couldn't keep this down. It's not as great as Pillars of the Earth, but it's great regardless. ( )
  capiam1234 | Oct 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (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.
 
A lot happens on the first page of Ken Follett’s “Fall of Giants.” King George V is crowned at Westminster Abbey. A Welsh boy named Billy Williams turns 13 and begins his wretched life as a coal miner. And Mr. Follett, who was once a Welsh boy himself but grew up to become his generation’s most vaunted writer of colorless historical epics, kicks off a whopping new trilogy. His apparent ambition: to span the whole 20th century in blandly adequate novels so fat that they’re hard to hoist.
 

» 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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