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Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
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Fall of Giants (2010)

by Ken Follett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Century Trilogy (1)

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5,9332601,085 (4.02)174
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» See also 174 mentions

English (225)  Spanish (12)  French (6)  Italian (5)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Japanese (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (259)
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
Full of unlikable characters, but highly addictive. ( )
  leighannewrites | Jun 4, 2019 |
El gran maestro de la narrativa de acción y suspense nos transporta a la Edad Media, a un fascinante mundo de reyes, damas, caballeros, pugnas feudales, castillos y ciudades amuralladas. El amor y la muerte se entrecruzan vibrantemente en este magistral tapiz cuyo centro es la construcción de una catedral gótica. La historia se inicia con el ahorcamiento público de un inocente y finaliza con la humillación de un rey. Los pilares de la Tierra es la obra maestra de Ken Follett y constituye una excepcional evocación de una época de violentas pasiones. ( )
  Haijavivi | Jun 1, 2019 |
This is another Follett masterpiece. Historical fiction at its finest. I can't wait to get to book two in the trilogy. ( )
  BookLove80 | Feb 21, 2019 |
Historical fiction doesn’t get much more ambitious than the Century Trilogy, Ken Follett’s attempt at telling the story of the 20th century. He does so by following five families—one American, one English, one Welsh, one German, and one Russian—over the course of several generations. Fall of Giants, the first book, focuses on World War I; Winter of the World, the sequel, covers World War II; and Edge of Eternity, the finale, spans the ‘60s to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It’s an approach that puts history front and center; Follett’s fiction is generally a servant of the facts, rather than the other way around. And his facts are good—many of the characters are government insiders, positioned to be aware of and even involved in major events. (For example, the English patriarch is instrumental in cracking Germany’s infamous Zimmermann telegram to Mexico, which proposed an alliance between the two countries if the United States entered World War I against Germany.)

But too often, the characters are obviously playing second fiddle, their dialogue stuffed with exposition and politics inserted to explain what’s happening on the world stage. I also wish Follett had exchanged one of the British families for a non-white, non-Western perspective. (From China? India? South Africa? Decolonization, a fundamental paradigm shift in the global order, gets short shrift for a series whose title purports to chronicle landmarks of the 20th century.)

Even so, the amount of ground Follett covers is impressive, and he takes pains to create sympathetic characters for each of his chosen nationalities; some of the most admirable protagonists are Germans and Russians who resist their totalitarian governments despite horrible consequences. I also appreciated the balance in the third book, in which Follett contrasts the shortcomings of Soviet Russia against the hypocritically slow advance of civil rights in the United States.

And there’s a certain appeal to a writing style that prefers economy over eloquence. For instance, most authors would distinguish speakers by preceding their dialogue with (often irrelevant) stage directions:

Daisy shook her head. “That’s not going to work.”

Lloyd shrugged and looked at the ceiling. “So what would you suggest?”

Follett often opts for just name, verb, and colon:

Daisy said: “That’s not going to work.”

Lloyd asked: “So what would you suggest?”

No style points, but no nonsense either. The same could be said for the Century Series as a whole, which ultimately stands as a worthwhile read for anyone who likes their historical fiction heavy on the “historical.”

(For more reviews like this one, see www.nickwisseman.com) ( )
  nickwisseman | Oct 17, 2018 |
Le siècle, Tome 1
  guyotvillois | Oct 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 225 (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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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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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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