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Fall of Giants (2010)

by Ken Follett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Century Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,460291974 (4.03)199
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.
  1. 40
    Winter of the World by Ken Follett (WiJiWiJi)
  2. 30
    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 20
    War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk (mcenroeucsb)
  4. 10
    King Coal by Upton Sinclair (owen1218)
  5. 10
    The Winds of War by Herman Wouk (mcenroeucsb)
  6. 22
    Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie (ddelmoni)
    ddelmoni: Non-fiction that reads like a novel.
  7. 00
    Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett (WiJiWiJi)
  8. 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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» See also 199 mentions

English (248)  Spanish (13)  French (6)  Italian (6)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Catalan (3)  Swedish (2)  Japanese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (289)
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
Some from the book cover:

1911, a thirteen-year-old boy, Billy Williams, begins working down the mines as George V is crowned king.
Billy’s family is inextricably linked with the Fitzherberts, the aristocratic owners of the coal mine where he works. And when Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London, their destiny also becomes entangled with that of Gus Dewar, an ambitious young aide to Woodrow Wilson, and two orphaned Russian brothers, the Peshkovs, whose plan to emigrate to America falls foul of conscription, revolution and imminent war.
A revolution that will change everything.
When Russia convulses in bloody revolution and the Great War unfolds, the five families’ futures are entwined forever.

This is quite a history book. It is the first of three books: Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, and Edge of Eternity. At first I was not able to follow the characters but all fell into place. I will read the other books.
5* ( )
  mnleona | Jun 15, 2022 |
This book is a massive achievement, no question. "Epic" certainly describes the scope of this novel that manages to narrative the lives of five different families, in multiple places, across the span of several years, beginning in 1911 and stretching into the aftermath of WWI. Follett creates characters who are flawed, and remarkably human in those flaws, against a backdrop that changes all the rules (war). I really appreciated the multiple perspectives from different players as they grapple with or uphold the various party lines. That politics is messy is no revelation, but Follett manages to remind us that while the history books recount war as a hegemonic chess game, there are thousands of lives down on "ground level" that are impacted in myriad ways. I labored to get through some sections about war strategy and the battlefield scenes, but found myself roped back in as the stories of love and loss emerged. I'd say I found the book too long, but admittedly I can't tell you what parts I'd cut (objectively). I'm not sure I love historical fiction or ~1000 page books enough to read the others in the trilogy, but for those who enjoy sagas that strike a good balance between characterization and historical narrative, I'd definitely recommend this. ( )
  rebcamuse | Jun 6, 2022 |
It was very well written and I learned a lot about the WWI time period. ( )
  Wren73 | Mar 4, 2022 |
From the dirt of the coal mine to the glittering chandelier of the palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty, this is an inextricably entangled fate of five families. ( )
  creighley | Jan 9, 2022 |
Gives overview of WWI. ( )
  addunn3 | Nov 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 248 (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 (17 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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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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.
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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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