Read Fall Of Giants by Ken Follett Online

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Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Now his magnificent new historical epic begins with Fall of Giants, 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'sKen Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Now his magnificent new historical epic begins with Fall of Giants, 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 ...About The AuthorKen Follett was twenty-seven when he wrote Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller that became an international bestseller. After several more successful thrillers, he surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth, about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages. The Pillars of the Earth continues to captivate readers all over the world. His last book was the long-awaited sequel, World Without End, a number one bestseller in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.He lives in England with his wife, Barbara Follett....

Title : Fall Of Giants
Author :
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ISBN : 9780451233943
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 1066 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fall Of Giants Reviews

  • Beth Bedee
    2018-11-17 09:33

    It's a little disappointing that people are rating this book on Amazon out of protest of its price. It's low rating does not give the book the recognition it deserves. This is my first Ken Follett novel, and I am hooked. I've read where some people have not been that interested in the subject matter of Fall of Giants and prefer the Middle Ages. I'm fascinated with 20th Century history, so this is right down my alley.This novel covers the years of WWI and the Russian Revolution and follows 5 families. Their stories all connect at some point. While you invest in the characters, the story is plot driven and moves pretty swiftly through the years. There are times that a character may be left for a year before we hear from him again. But you don't feel like you're missing any crucial information.My favorite portions were before and after the war. There is quite a bit of battlefield sections in the middle. They are well written, but I am more interested in the people than military tactics.I was surprised at how quickly this book reads. Despite it's huge size, you can read it pretty quickly if you have the time to devote to it.I thoroughly enjoyed this.My Review of Winter of the World

  • Mohammed Arabey
    2018-11-25 10:01

    ينصحني أبي دائما أن من يقرأ الجغرافيا،التاريخ والأحداث السياسية هو مثقفا بحقفماذا عن رواية تمزج بين الجغرافيا السياسية واﻷحداث التاريخية مع دراما متميزة وشخصيات متعددة ثلاثية القرن العشرين لكين فوليت ثلاثية ضخمة اﻷحداث والدراما ،صراعات الدول وثوراتها وحروبهالوردات بريطانيا بغطرستهم وبيوتهم الضخمة والخدم، مناجم الفحم وثورة العمال، والمطالبات بحقوق المرأةاﻷلمان وقرارات الحرب المتسرعة التي قد تقضي علي كل شئ..من قصص حب فردية حتي علاقاتهم بالدولإستبداد القيصر الروسي وحكومته وشرطته الفاسدة، رغبة الروس في الهجرة لأمريكا لصعوبة العيشأمريكا وصراعتها مع المكسيك من أجل البترول..وتحالفاتها من أجل مصالحهاثم تأتي حرب العمالقةالحرب العالمية العظمي التي تندلع شراراتها ﻷهون اﻷسباب ، لتأكل نيرانها خيرة الرجالوكأن الشعوب بحاجة لسبب أخر ليزيد فقرهم ليلقي القياصرة والحكومات الإستبدادية بمحكوميهم وأموالهم لسعار نار الحربحرب بمجرد أندلاعها ستنسي أسباب شرارات أندلاعها من الأساس...هذه هي الحربتندلع الثورة الروسية..يسقط يسقط حكم القيصر، عيش ، سلام ، أرض. ..ألم ينبغي أن ينادوا بالحرية ايضاوالحرب تزداد أشتعالا بين ألمانيا , أنجلترا , روسيا وفرنسا وملايين الشباب يلقون مصرعهم في حرب بلا معنيحتي الرئيس اﻷمريكي ويلسون يجد ذريعته لينضم للحرب العظمي، ليلقي بما يزيد عن مليون شاب أمريكي لنيرانهاكل هذا تتابعه ، تتعرف عن حيوات شخصيات من أماكن مختلفة؛ من ويلز وأنجلترا، ألمانيا والنمسا، روسيا وأمريكا لتتابع كيف تغير وجه التاريخ للعالم ... كيف حتي تغيرت جغرافيته السياسيةكيف صعدت دول وسقطت امبراطوريات...وفي اطار درامي كيف تصعد شخصيات وتهبط اخريشخصيات من طبقات مختلفة ؛ آيريل، لوردات وأميرات، خدم قصور وعمال مناجم، عمال وعاملات مصانع مختلفة، دبلوماسيين، رؤساء اتحاد العمال، ثوريين، شرطة فاسدة,رجال أعمال, صحفيينبالأضافة إلي شخصيات حقيقية سياسية ؛ الرئيس اﻷمريكي ووردر ويلسون ، جورج للويد رئيس الوزراء الليبرالي اﻷنجليزي ، تشرشل ، لينين ، وأول ظهور لهتلر و ستالينكل هذا في الكتاب اﻷول من تلك الثلاثية ، ثلاثية القرن العشرين****************************اولا دعوني اعترف اني لا أهوي اﻷفلام الحربية بل وأمقت معظمها، لم أعرف الكثير عن الحرب العالمية اﻷولي سوي انهم اطلقوا عليها العظمي لانهم لم يدركوا وقتها ان الثانية قادمة ، والحرب العالمية الثانية كانت بسبب رغبة هتلر في اﻷنتقام من اليهود وباقي العالمولا أحتاج لأن أعترف أني لا أهوي قراءة روايات ضخمة لا تحتوي علي تلويح بالعصا السحرية ، أو تنينا قابعا في مكان ما، او جريمة قتل غامضة تحركها أمور خارقة للطبيعة، بالتأكيد كل أصدقائي والمتابعين يعرفون ذلك جيدا عني And I have to admit that I only got this box set as a deal price on amazon just cause it's looks pretty elegant, and I'm a collector as you may know..ولكن نجح كين فوليت جدا وبأسلوب بسيط أن يجعلني أتابع اﻷحداث الدرامية والسياسية بتمازج غريب في سلاسته وفي نفس الوقت بأثارة ومعايشة حقيقية للأحداثالشخصيات للوهلة الاولي -ربع الرواية اﻷول- تبدو سهل التنبوء بمصائرهم، وبالرغم من أنك قد تكتشف في نهاية الكتاب اﻷول أن بعضا من تنبؤاتك قد أصابت ، ألا ان الأحداث من بعد الربع الأول من الرواية كانت مثيرة ومتشابكة وقوية فعلاوستجد أن كثير من تنبوءاتك ضاعت مع تشابك الأحداثوبإندلاع الحرب العالمية العظمي تتعرف علي روابط تهدم وأخري توصل ، كما ستتعرف علي كل مقدمات الحرب السياسية و غباء الحكومات والملوك....عمالقة بداية للقرن العشرين، وحربهم التي ستؤدي لسقوط الكثير منهماﻷجزاء الدرامية مثيرة لان الشخصيات سهل الشعور بها والتعاطف معها ، والشخصيات السياسية الحقيقية كان ظهورها بحساب...فلا تكن باهتة ولا مبالغ في أفعالها وأقوالها -وقد حرص المؤلف علي الاشارة ان ظهورهم كان بناء علي نمط حياتهم الحقيقية من اكثر من مرجع، كما ان كل قراراتهم وخطبهم السياسية حقيقية من كتب التاريخ ، فقط تم اختصارها لتناسب الاحداث ومزج شخصيات الرواية الغير حقيقية في الاحداث-*********************العمالقة والجنسما يعيب اﻷحداث هو أمر واحد، وصف الجنس بين بعض شخصيات الرواية بوضوح ودقة مبالغ فيها حيث انها تحتل مثلا صفحتان بلا داعي...لم يتكرر اﻷمر كثيرا علي كل حال ﻷنقص من التقييم كعادتي ، كما لم يكن فجا كالمتبع بروايات عربيا مثلا...وأنما كان واضحا بألفاظ لائقة نوعا كأنه فيلما ثقافيا تعليميا في بعض الاحيان -اﻷنجليز- والعواقب بهذه الاحداث في الحالات غير الشرعية غالبا ماتكون عادلة*********************الثورات والحروبوصف ثورة عمال المنجم بويلز كان ممتازا ، كأنك تشاهد النسخة الواقعية من 'ألعاب المجاعات' ، بينما وصف الثورة الروسية في مارس 1918 كان غاية في الدقة ومشابها لحد كبير كيفية اندلاع ثورة مصر في يناير 2011بالرغم من أن -وعلي غير العادة بانسبة لقصص الحروب- أعجبني وبشدة متابعة تسلسل شرارات الحرب والقرارات السياسية والاسماء ومتابعة أماكن الدول المتصارعة علي الخريطة المطبوعة بأول الكتاب -ألم أقل لكم أنها تفيد في دراسة الجغرافيا أيضا- وتعلمت الكثير من أماكن بعض الدول التي لم أكن أعرف موقعها بدقة في أوروبا، وأيضا المصطلحات السياسية والجماعات كالبلوتريا ، اليسار والمحافظين و الليبراليين و الأشتراكية الثورية و و و هذا غير الخطوط الأساسية السياسية والتي لحظي تم وضع أيضا ملخص لها في بوستر عملاق مع الثلاثيةلكني لم أستمتع بكثير من وصف المعارك الحربية نفسها والخنادق الهجوم والتراجع...بقدر ما أعجبني اﻷجزاء الدرامية التي تحدث خلالها فقط ونقاط التحول للشخصيات، او الحرب نفسها والتي تجعلك لا تستطيع تخطي تلك اﻷجزاء كلها فقد يفوتك نقاط تحول أو معلومات جديدةوإن دل هذا علي شئ فإنما يدل علي سهولة أسلوب الراوي ، وقدرته أيضا علي جذب أنتباهك***********************الشخصيات--------بعد أن كتبت ملخصا للشخصيات حذفته ، ليس لخوفي من أن يكون الريفيو طويلاولكني لا أعتقد أنك ستشعر بنفس المتعة التي تمتعتها بينما أتابع الشخصيات وتحركاتها ومصائرها والحكايات الكثيرة التي يعيشونها في فترة الكتاب اﻷول ، من مقدمته في 1911..مرورا بالحرب العظمي 1914 وحتي العالم يبني من جديد ...الجزء الاخير من الكتاب الاول من 1918-1924الأيام دول--------ستشعر كيف الله يداول الأيام بين الناس والشخصيات وحتي الدولحتي الثورات ستجدها تتكرر في كل عصر وفي كل بلد تقريبا بنفس الطريقةنهاية الجزء الأول ماهي ألا بداية أخريالعالم يبني من جديدسقطت العمالقةوصعدت طبقات اخرينجحت ثورات ولكن ركب علي نتجائها من ركبالتجهيز لعصبة اﻷمم كي لا تنشب حروب أخري!! ؟حتي البلد الأكثر ديموقراطية تخطئ وتخلط العدل بالانتقامروسيا تستعد لستالين وألمانيا تستعد لهتلر وشخصياتك المفضلة من عشت معهم ﻷكثر من 900 صفحة يبدأوا صفحات جديدة من حياتهم...مختلفة يجعلك أذا لم تمتلك الكتاب الثاني ستسارع لأقتناءه لتتابع حيوات عاشت بالقرن العشرين**************************ملحوظة أخيرةاحتفظ بورقة بجوارك بها أسماء الشخصيات من الصفحات الاولي بالكتاب... وأختر من يمثلها في بالك كلما ظهرت شخصية منهم بالأحداث وعرفت أوصافها فهذا سيجعلك تستمتع أكثر بالرواية دون اختلاط اوصاف الشخصيات معكهذه طريقتي المفضلة اساسا بأي رواية وأن كنت لم أحتاج لورقة خارجية سوي في مائة عام من العزلة، The Casual Vacancy , The Luminariesالنسخة الورقية المتاحة باغلب المكتباتMass Market Paperback هي تعب للعينينبينما النسخة الهاردكفر أذا وجدتها فهي تعب للمعصم...اﻷختيار لكThe Epic Reads of 2015 فقد كانت أول القراءات الكبري بالنسبة لي فيأولي قراءاتي في الملحمات التاريخيةولم أتخيل أنها ستمتعني إلي هذا الحد.. في 20 جلسة قراءة, حوالي من 50 ساعةقراءة سعيدة، هادفة وممتعة أن شاء الله محمد العربيمن 27 ديسمبر 2014إلي 19 يناير 2015 الريفيو الأول المبدئي(view spoiler)[The Epic Reads of 2015 أول القراءات الكبري بالنسبة لي فيثلاثية القرن العشرون لكين فوليت ..أولي قراءاتي في الملحمات التاريخيةولأن أكثر الروايات الخيالية التي حازت علي اعجابي خلال العام الماضي هي التي نسجت بين طياتها أحداث حقيقية تاريخية مر عليها قرنا من الزمان كروايتي المفضلةسواء في العرافون ونيويورك في العشرينات والمسارح وجو الترفيه وحظر الخمور,والأهم نهاية الحرب العالمية الأوليأو في النجوم اللامعة ونيوزيلاندا في أواخر القرن التاسع عشر وحمي التنقيب عن الذهبأو الخيال في حياة وتاريخ عم دهب وكل مايخص تحقيق الثروات بمختلف أنحاء العالم في الفترة من اواخر القرن التاسع عشر وبداية القرن العشرون في اطار يمزج بين التاريخ والخيال وأخيرا الشهادة الأخيرة لرافايل إيجناتيس فينيكس والذي عاش حياة حافلة منذ مولده في أول يناير 1901 وحتي تاريخ كتابته لقصة حياته كرسالة أنتحار في 31 ديسمبر 1999وحتي رائعة ماركيز عن الزمن عاما والخيال في مائة عام من العزلةوإن كانت الأخيرة هي خيال بحت..لا تلتزم بسنوات حقيقية..ولكنها فعلا من أفضل ماقرأت كالروايات الأخري السابقة الذكرلذلك سأبدأ في تلك السلسلة , أعلم أنه من الافضل "أدبيا" أن أقرأ من الكلاسيكيات أفضل ولكن بالنسبة لي, الأدب المعاصر قراءة اكثر جاذبية لي نوعا ما وأتمني أن تكون تلك السلسلة من قراءاتي المفضلة العام المقبل وإلا سأكون "أتدبست" في شراء تلك المجموعةكل عام وأنتم بخير وقراءات سعيدة ل2015 أن شاء اللهمحمد العربي من 27 ديسمبر 2014 (hide 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  • Melissa Rochelle
    2018-12-08 06:33

    One of the early reviews I read stated that this book lacked one of Follett's infamous villains. I disagree. The ultimate villain in this enormous book is clearly war and perhaps the arrogance of world leaders. I've always had a difficult time understanding the why surrounding World War 1 and this book helps put it in perspective (even if it is fiction). I remember learning in history class that the US got involved because the Germans torpedoed the Lusitania. And it did play a part, but that happened in 1915 and the US didn't declare war on Germany until late-1917/early-1918. I STILL don't understand why Germany got all the blame...wasn't it the Austria-Hungary Empire that started the war for NOT backing down to a fight with Serbia?! Obviously, WW1 was fought because a bunch of arrogant world leaders didn't want to look weak. Looking back, they all look like spineless jerks that killed millions of people because they wanted to "rule the world". By destroying the German economic system after all the fighting was done, they helped Hitler gain power and kill millions more in WW2. Way to go early-20th century world leaders...thanks for all the memories.I really enjoyed this book and think it's worth it for everyone to read! While the beginning was a little slow (primarily because of all the character introduction required), it picked up speed and was difficult to put down (despite how heavy it was)!If you liked this, try John Jakes' North and South trilogy. I really think that Fall of Giants is for the 20th century what North and South was for the Civil War.Review of Book 2: Winter of the World

  • Genia Lukin
    2018-11-17 07:38

    Do not say that I don't like historical fiction - because I do. Do not even say I don't like Follett - because I rather do. In fact, this highly praised - and very thick - volume I'd been anticipating eagerly, both because I had pleasant memories from The Pillars of the Earth and because currently I am rather WWI mad; I read Tuchman's classic works, Maddox Ford, not to mention Hemingway and Remarque, because I am fascinated by the subject.So what in the world went wrong with this book?This story, which is, like many Folletts, incredibly wide in scope and encompasses a decade, about fifty characters, and several countries, described the beginning of the 20th century, with a special focus, so the book blurb claims, on WWI. It begins with a prologue in 1911 (though the main thrust of the book occurs in 1914) and ends with an epilogue in 1924. The title, Fall of Giants is rather deceptive; one may think it refers to the fall of empires which was brought about chiefly by WWI, but in fact it refers to the fall of aristocracies.Here begin our issues. While the historical research that went into this book is clearly good - though with occasional snags and eyebrow-raising issues - the lens through which it was painted is speculative and political. Follett chooses to view everything - women's suffrage, personal relations, random little quarrels, and especially the World War - as one big struggle of the 'workingman' and the 'people' against their oppressors, the upper classes.Commence problems.For one, you simply cannot simplify an entire era to class struggle. Clearly, it played a significant role in the politics and life of the period, but there is a good chance that WWI actually was not an issue of class struggle. It had its own set of complex and unpleasant reasons, and some of them were class-related, while the majority was not. Secondly, at the beginning of the 20th century especially, one cannot write the class differences in the same way one does in the 11th century (or whenever it was that The Pillars of the Earth was set). Relationships changed, notions changed (actually improved somewhat), and it becomes that much more difficult to present upper class people as the villains, as ones assuming they are 'born to command' or, and this bothered me especially, as uniformly stupid.The book came out with gems like "all the officers were idiots, all the sergeants were smart" or something in that vein. Sergeants being working class, while officers, of course, belonged to the upper classes. There is definitely everything in the world to be said for merit, but the notion that in a huge, conscripted army, officers as a whole had not a scrap of talent among them is almost a statistical impossibility.The problem is not the mere presentation of the facts; it is well-known that they were not much better than Follett presents, and in some ways even worse - though generally the guilty parties were not so much the nobility, anymore, as the great industrialists. The problem is that he shoves everything and every situation into the same tired framework, presents even quarrels of ideology in the light of 'if two women from different classes fight, the upper-class arrogance must be at fault', and has some serious trouble determining who 'people' are. For instance, in the description of the Russian revolution, he seems to neatly forget that the middle classes are as much 'people' as the factory workers are. The same is true for certain situations in England.The double standard the author applies tends to show in intelligence, awareness, common sense, (Now there's a pretty reverse prejudice for you; people of the working classes universally seem to possess more common sense and presence of mind in the 'real world' than their airy, upper class counterparts. This propensity is so universal, it practically smacks of stereotyping.) and emotional breadth. After 920 pages, it tires one quickly.If the novel's only problem were excessive political correctness - expressed also in the descriptions of the war itself - I would chalk it up to modern sensibilities, misplaced, perhaps, but generally laudable. Though it still irritates me, I should not criticize the novel so severely as, meant for the popular reader, it seems that the historical writer almost feels obliged, today, to prop up the wretched of this world. Unfortunately, these are not its own detriments. The author, once again in a nod to popular, modern literature, makes much of passionate love, ascension from the 'everyman' and the superiority of that same 'everyman'. All topics which are the permeating slogans of the present day but whose actual validity is dubious.It's astonishing how many of his positive characters somehow wind up in key political roles. Two siblings from the same family, not to mention some three or four others. The coincidences that are created to somehow bring these characters to the top walks of life are not particularly inspired, nor endearing.The writing itself, though, was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. A well-written book should be able to cover up for its flaws with the language it uses; this one, sadly, only emphasized them.The problem appears to be twofold; the author writes a shopping-list, rather than a story. "He went. He came. He sat down. he saw her." Even I, amateurish writer though I am, know better than to do that. Also, the transitions, sometimes within the same paragraph itself, sometimes between paragraphs, are fantastically awkward. We may well have the sentence "He picked up the glass. The war was beginning. He put the glass down." He also manages to turn such events as a birth out of a hospital, the battle of the Somme, and a family throwing its daughter out, to completely maudlin and quotidian. The second problem with the writing is that it is staggeringly, unabashedly didactic. Follett clearly writes for an audience which he supposes to be clueless, and makes no effort at all to conceal the history and sociology lessons he is giving. That also makes the dialogue sound awful, along the lines of: "You know, of course, that H. H. Asquith, the current prime minister..." Who in the world talks like that? Nobody in their right mind. His speech writing is tortuous in exactly the opposite way of Ford Madox Ford's elliptical ambiguity, and murder one's sense of reality in almost the same way.I wish this were a better book, because I wanted very much a good book that deals with WWI. I wish this were the wide-scope, sweeping, thrilling epic it's supposed to be, because there is nothing more enjoyable than an epic that leaves you breathless, gulping it down, wanting more. Something like M. M. Kay's Far Pavilions, without the colonialism. I wish it were all of these things, but it really isn't. It's a book far too long for its own good on the one hand, and not nearly long or detailed enough on the other. The author gulped down so much time and space, he literally has no time or room to descent to descriptions much. It's a didactic, preachy, fantastically un-nuanced piece of writing, which suffers from laundry0list qualities, and apparently did not go through the capable hands of an editor.

  • Matt
    2018-12-16 11:49

    This book is utter trash. Is that too harsh? Let me rephrase. This book is a steaming pile of garbage. Still a bit mean? It doesn’t matter. Ken Follett does not care. His editor and publisher do not care. His accountant certainly is indifferent to this complaint. It’s not that Ken Follett is critic proof, because that implies that he achieves astronomical sales figures despite scathing reviews. That’s not the case. Rather, he achieves those astronomical sales with the apathetic approbation of critics usually quick to slash and burn. Ken Follett cannot be criticized. He is covered in Teflon, Kevlar, and Valyrian steel. Book reviewers understand this and have given up. Still, it needs to be said. This book is awful. And I don’t care that Ken Follett can’t hear me because his ear canals are plugged with diamonds. Moving on. Let us start with what Ken Follett is not. He is not a poet. He is not a short story writer. He does not craft literary fiction. He doesn’t even do thrillers anymore. Instead, Ken Follett writes dumbbell-sized works of historical fiction that manage to be simultaneously prodigiously researched and absolutely inauthentic. What is Ken Follett? Ken Follett is a wizard. He is an alchemist. He takes magic beans, plants them in fallow earth, and grows trees that shed money. He turns charcoal into diamonds, iron into gold; he sleeps in a room built from emeralds, and blows his nose in the finest silk. His ingredients are horrible characters, lack of psychological insight, lumbering plots, and striking coincidences. He mixes all these into 1,000 pages and creates a bestseller. Ken Follett has entered into a dark pact. I’m sure of it. To be fair, Fall of Giants does not aspire to be great, National Book Award-contending literary fiction. Ken Follett does not want to be Jonathan Franzen; he doesn't even want to be John Jakes. There isn't a very high bar for this kind of book. Unfortunately, I can’t imagine any bar that Fall of Giants actually hurdles. It’s not good fiction, it’s not good literary historical fiction (ala War and Peace), and it’s not good historical fiction. Ken Follett makes Herman Wouk read like Proust, and Terry C. Johnson appear as Dostoyevsky. Fall of Giants is the first in a proposed “Century Trilogy.” It is an ambitious undertaking, I’ll grant, and I’d be far more excited if a different author’s name was above the lame, innocuous title. Instead, there are at least 2,000 more pages of inanities to come. [Cue Ken Follett’s accountant going Gangnam Style]. The plot of the first installment is easily summarized: it’s World War I. Literally. The historical realities dictate everything that happens in this novel. Follett has taken the historical timeline and plugged it with so-called “characters” meant to give these real-life events human-sized drama. You will find more drama, however, on any Wikipedia page. These turbulent years – somehow made exceeding boring with Follett’s paralyzing touch – are viewed through the eyes of five interrelated families. It would be a stretch to call these characters archetypes. The words “cardboard cutout,” “tired clichés,” and “hopelessly derivative” are much more apt. Nothing happens or unfolds or is said that hasn’t happened, unfolded, or been said better in other books or movies. There is no wit, warmth, or ingenuity to be found. The only surprise is that Follett does exactly what you expect him to, every single time.Take, for instance, Earl Fitzherbert, the English Lord of the Manor. Take a wild guess what he’s like. Conservative. Check. Insufferable. Check. Against suffrage. Check. Sleeping with his maid. Check. You might not believe it, but there’s also star-crossed lovers! Yes, I know, you didn’t think he’d pull the whole German man in love with a British woman bit (so daring!). But this is Follett. He does it. And if you also surmised that this German man will be suspiciously anti-imperial (no spiked helmet or pointy mustache here!), you are also on the money. Or what about the Williams family? They’re Welsh. They’re coalminers. As though there is a difference. Also, you know they’re Welsh because the son, Billy, calls his dad “Da.” I stand in awe of the research it must have taken to uncover that nugget of detail. The use of “Da” and “Dai” is the extent of the Welsh idioms employed by the Williams family. It is the extent of the use of any idioms, really. Every character, whether English or Welsh or Russian or American or German speaks in the exact same way: unconvincingly. That is, they converse in robotic monotones meant to deliver historical exposition to keep us moving down the timeline toward the sequel. There is never a moment when two characters share original thoughts, insights, or profundities. I found no evidence, on the basis of the many interactions and conversations that occur, that anyone in this novel is a human being. Take, for instance, an exchange between Gus and Rosa. Gus works for President Wilson. He won’t let you forget about that, because it’s all he talks about. He also has a big head. Rosa has one eye. That is the extent of their characterizations: “I’m sorry,” [Rosa] said. “For you, for me, for the world.” She paused, then said: “What will you do?”“I’d like to join a Washington law firm specializing in international law. I’ve got some relevant experience, after all.” “I should think they’ll be lining up to offer you a job. And perhaps some future president will want your help.”He smiled. Sometimes she had an unrealistically high opinion of him. “And what about you?”“I love what I’m doing. I hope I can carry on covering the White House.”“Would you like to have children?” “Yes!”“So would I…I just hope Wilson is wrong about them…He says they will have to fight another world war.”“God forbid,” Rosa said fervently.God forbid, indeed. SPOILER ALERT. Gus and Rosa’s big-headed one-eyed children will have to fight another “world war.” If there’s a more awkward and clumsy way to set up the next book, I frankly really, really, really want to read it. For humor’s sake. Everything about Follett’s recreated world seems fake. It’s like a studio back-lot for a western movie: everything is a façade, with no actual dimensions. Every location, from England to Germany to Russia to the United States feels exactly the same. Follett’s research is a facile gilding. In Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, Follett demonstrated his inability to create memorable personages or write convincing dialogue. Yet he also did a marvelous job cramming period-specific detail into the story. I still shudder to think about medieval bread, thanks to Follett’s meticulous recounting of how it was made. Nothing like that level of detail is present here. Instead, famous events are often passed off in the form of exposition. Towards the end of the novel, there is a nice little scene showing rampant inflation in postwar Germany. This small, intimate, anecdotal moment, shows Follett at his best, working his research into his larger story. Mostly, though, things like Gallieni’s “Taxis of the Marne” and the rise of Lenin and Trotsky come through in clunky dialogues.Historical fiction gives you the chance to breathe new life into actual people. Follett decides to ignore this opportunity completely. Despite walk-on roles by dozens of famous people, none of them is giving even the hint of a spark. I'm not asking for something along the lines of Tolstoy's creative realization of Napoleon. But you have to do more than simply mention Sir Edward Grey's name and expect me to swoon at the verisimiltude. One of the odder things I’ve noticed about Follett is his inability to write a big set piece. His earlier work (Eye of the Needle, Night Over Water) showed him to be a precise plotter of containable dramas. Since he’s expanded his tableaus, however, he has lost his sure grip. I compare it to a movie director like Kevin Smith (director of small budget, dialogue-centric films) directing a big action movie. Follett just can’t do it. His battle scenes are silly and empty and fake. His big Russian Revolution moments are a confusing mess. And don’t even get me started on the bad sex scenes. There’s only one! I used to be able to count on Follett to prepare three or four euphemism-free adult encounters that would leave me searching for a bottle of wine. Not here. As Follett has reached his widest audiences yet, he seems to have toned down his erotic impulses. All we get is a handjob during an opera. That’s a shame. Perhaps the only interesting thing about this novel is its unusual political undercurrents. Generally, I think most people still hew to the Germans-were-the-aggresors-and-the-Allies-were-the-heroes line of World War I. (That casting is one of the consequences for Germany's actions in World War II). Follett takes a different tact, lingering on Great Britain's questionable decision to enter the war. His recollections of Unions and workers's revolutions is also generally favorable, though I doubt the masses realize they are reading their fake-history with a leftist slant. Even so…I am a slow reader. Since I do a lot of reading on the exercise bike, I have been able to track my pace. A sturdy hardcover history of the Civil War recently saw me at a 30 page per hour pace. Normally, I’m at around 40 hardcover pages in an hour. With Fall of Giants, though, it was 50 pages. His books go down easy. I think they are horrible in every objective way. (Though I give all credit to Follett for finding actual roles for his women. They are just as one-dimensional as everyone else, but they're never window dressing). Despite the quality of his latter-day novels, they are also fun to read. To me, the horribleness is even a bit endearing. And there’s no way I’m missing the sequel.

  • Graeme
    2018-12-07 06:35

    The story was enjoyable enough and certainly kept me entertained for a couple of days. The recreation of the early 20th Century was very vivid, and I was impressed by how well Follett applied his considerable skills in this respect to a variety of nations and social classes. To cover so many years in any decent amount of depth was a great challenge, to which Follett rises well. The story was fast-paced and the build-up to the War was particularly well managed. The particularly notable aspect of Follett's storytelling is that he manages to weave together a great many themes in one fluid story: the First World War; political reform in Britain; social upheaval in Russia and the development of the United States as a significant world power. This was well executed and allowed a free-floing narrative to become established. Given that long periods of time could elapse between two appearances of each character, anticipation builds significantly over the course of the story and it is interesting to see how each character's situation has developed over days, months or even years. Nevertheless, there are some problems with the book, mainly in characterisation and in the relations between the characters in the story. Rather than allow the characters to be merely players on a bigger stage, Follett insists on engineering direct connections between them, no matter how unlikely the circumstances. Many of the meetings and sightings between characters, particularly during the War, are highly contrived. For instance not once, but twice, two characters, one German, one English, are posted directly opposite each other in the trenches: convenient, given that they are old school friends. While this did allow a reunion over the Truce of Christmas 1914, enabling Follett to detail this interesting occurrence and add some emotional depth to the section, the second time it happens seems rather less well considered and seems to stretch the boundaries of belief. In another instance, the same German is noticed by an American soldier who believes he 'may have known him before the War'. Again, the sighting seems somewhat heavily contrived and does not add much in the way of emotion or character development. There are many occurrences like this within the book, and the more there are, the less easy they are to accept. It is a shame, as this does somewhat derail the narrative and as a result I could never quite find myself immersed in the story. One can't help but feel that the narrative my have been served better if Follett had not deliberately created links between so many characters, rather allowing more to progress through the story unnoticed by the others.Characterisation did also become a problem. For example, Earl Fitzherbert begins the story as very much a product of his time: a Conservative peer with a revulsion towards reform. However, he is not an unplesant person and, despite his infidelities, generally comes across reasonably well. When he reaches the War his natural gallantry and sense of honour come to the fore when he is forced to battle against the wills of stubborn senior officers in order to persuade the BEF to put up stauncher resistance against the Germans. Unfortunately, after this he becomes rather more of a charicature, almost becoming a pantomime villain towards the end. He becomes the typical 'donkey' officer, so beloved of mainstream history and so clear in the modern public imagination. Indeed, this is a problem with the recreation of the War throughout the book. Follett's is a modern, mainstream interpretation, mainly based on the thoughts of anti-war poets from the trenches and is firmly rooted modern perceptions. Much recent history on the period has demonstrated the gallantry of officers, as well as the numerous new tactics implemented by British high command in order to win the War: Follett prefers to rely on the popular imagining of waves of brave privates and NCOs being thrown repeatedly against barbed wire and machine guns while the officers sat safe in the dugouts. Such interpretations are not true. By the end of the War, the same officers, notably the much-maligned Douglas Haig, had turned a loose bunch of several million conscripts and volunteers into an extremely efficient military machine: no mean feat when one considers that the pre-War British army was only around 100,000 men at its height. Even during the peak of the Peninsular War and Waterloo campaign the army only reached the dizzying heights of 150,000 men. Moreover, Follett seems to create an anti-war feeling throughout the lower classes, with only the upper classes in all the countries in the book showing support for the War. This is certainly untrue and there is plenty of poetry from front-line troops who enjoyed their War and believed wholeheartedly in their purpose. I don't deny that there was anti-war feeling, but I do feel that Follett's interpretation is somewhat misleading in suggesting how widespread it was. The novel also seems to suggest that German support for the War extended no further than the upper classes and the diplomatic service: this is, again, disingenuous. I am no expert on the matter, but for a very convincing argument, Gordon Corrigan's 'Mud, Blood and Poppycock' is an essential counterpoint to many modern assumptions. Finally, the rapidity and ease with which the characters seemed to fall in love with each other became tedious. Every time it led to some rather stilted love scenes which broke the flow of the narrative. Furthermore, the relationships seemed reasonably unimportant and did not deserve as prominent a place in the overall story as they seemed to receive. The numerous times when characters declared their undying love for each other, or fell in love after the briefest of associations became irritating rather than engendering any emotional response to the situation.That said, I would recommend the book as it was an entertaining story and Follett's attention to historical detail is highly admirable, making it an enjoyable story. I look forward to the rest of the trilogy and my only hope is that the later characters might be more deserving of a response from the reader.EDIT: On reflection I'm not sure I would recommend this book. Since I wrote the review the sequel has come out and I haven't even thought about picking it up. It's a shame, because I had heard good things of him, and will probably still try Pillars of the Earth (which has sat on my shelf for far too long).

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2018-12-02 07:34

    Ken Follet’s style quickly engrossed me into the characters and their lives. The book follows the lives of several families in the events that led up to the First World War and the crisis afterwards. We see it from the perspective of an English Noblemen, an English working class family, a pair of Russian brothers, a German with strong prospects in government and an undersecretary working for the Wilson administration. Through this we get a multi-dimensional view of the war.A complete picture of major powersThis allows the reader to understand the turmoil these events caused on everyday people from both sides of the fence. We see the effects the war had on ordinary people, and how political events that did not really concern them changed their lives. I think this does wonders to evoke the time period this was set in; it captures the opinion of nations and their fears towards a world that is quickly becoming enveloped in War. In addition to this, we see the nobility, and the gentry, respond to the crisis in ways that reflects their station. I think through combining these perspectives we get a strong admission for what the world was like during world war one. Moreover, the characters themselves are incredibly interesting people. Their lives are not exactly remarkable, but I think the way Follet writes captures something that many authors fail to do. It may be because they are realistic; thus, they can be related to very easily. They feel like the kind of person that would have existed at the time, and the problems they face reflect the age in which they lived. Indeed, the book covers social issues such as inequality of women and racism, mostly toward Jews. This again enhances a reading experience that is true to the age. It’s very rare that in a book with as many points of view as this one that none of the characters stands out in particular, to me, because they are all equally well written. A neutral judgement of the war I especially like the way the book is told from a neutral sense. The Germans are not blamed for the war, by the author, as they were at the time by other nations. Follet hints at what could have happened during the war if the Germans made different decisions. Through his narration he suggests that if the Germans were less concerned with their country’s honour, and the appearance of power, then perhaps the war would have had a different resolution. I think this is an interesting social comment because the Germans, at the time, were blamed for a war they didn’t really start. The English too, and the French, could have quite easily made some war avoiding decisions. “In every country, those who were against war had been overruled. The Austrians had attacked Serbia when they might have held back; the Russians had mobilized instead of negotiating; the Germans had refused to attend an international conference to settle the issue; the French had been offered the chance to remain neutral and had spurned it; and now the British were about to join in when they might easily have remained on the sidelines.”This is a very long book, but it does not feel like one. Follett’s prose writing is fantastic as this book only felt as long as it needed to be. The only reason I gave this book four stars, and not five, was that I personally prefer reading novels based upon ancient or medieval history. I really liked this book, but I would have preferred to see Follet spend his time writing more books like The Pillars of the Earth and The World Without End. Follet is one of my favourite authors and because of this I read a book that isn’t my personal taste. I’m glad I read it, but I could only ever give it four stars because the history is too recent for my liking.A strong four stars

  • Denise
    2018-12-03 14:52

    5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating epic tale!, August 5, 2010 This review is from: Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy) (Hardcover) Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?) This is a fantastic epic, the first in a planned trilogy by the author of The Pillars of the Earth (now a miniseries) and World Without End. I simply raced through the pages, unable to put this book down even though it was a hefty nearly 1000 pages. The story moves seamlessly and logically, starting in 1911 and ending in 1925, and has a large cast of characters -- all so beautifully developed that the reader comes to care about each one -- the good and the bad. A helpful CAST OF CHARACTERS is provided at the beginning of the book that may be copied and used as reference, but it is really not needed as the reader is introduced to each and they are so memorable that it's easy to keep them straight. The families are American, English, Scottish, French, German and Austrian, Russian, and Welsh. There are Lords and Ladies, Dukes and Duchesses, Kings, Queens, Earls, Dukes -- even the servants, miners, and other assorted people populate this work of fiction. The author has also inserted real historical figures into the story, and their interaction with Follett's characters is very well done. Book one of the CENTURY TRILOGY is set in Europe before, during and after World War I. From a mining town in Aberowen, South Wales, to the drawing rooms of the privileged aristocracy in Russia, Britain, Germany, and to the War Room in the White House of Woodrow Wilson -- the narrative captivates as it tells the tale of the people involved in the conflict and their lives during this period of change in the world. The story is intriguing and complex, but eminently readable. The violence and gore that were present in Follett's previous works is absent here, and the action is fast and the storytelling fantastic. I have a fondness for historical fiction, and this work does not disappoint as the author has obviously thoroughly researched the era and has rendered it beautifully. I won't and can't provide a synopsis of this book other than to say that it's a drama about life and love during these fateful years and I promise you that this will go down as being one of the best books you've ever read. I cannot recommend it highly enough and can't wait for the sequel! Historical fiction at its best.

  • Dem
    2018-11-16 14:40

    At 985 pages, Fall of the Giants is a massive tome and the first book 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.These characters find their lives inextricably entangled in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of the coal mines to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty.As with all Ken Follett novels the characters and historical events are extremely well researched. I love his attention to detail. I really enjoyed following the lives of all the families involved as well as reading the dramatic historical events at the beginning of the 20th Century. I think Follett’s prose flows and his storytelling is effortless which makes a novel of this volume so easy to read.I love books that can incorporate history with fiction and not make the reader feel bogged down with facts but yet you come away with a little more knowledge than you started with. Fall of Giants is a big read and I started the novel by listening to it as an audio book but switched in favour of a paperback.For me this was a great historical read and I am really looking forward to Part Two of this trilogy.

  • Lavonne
    2018-12-06 10:53

    I have loved just about everything Ken Follett has written, but I think this one fell short of his usual standard. Most of his novels grab you from the beginning, with fully-drawn characters and gripping plot lines. I wasn't even done with the second chapter before I began to wonder if I was even going to like this. I think he may have tried to accomplish too much with this story. There were so many characters with so much going on in their lives. There was not enough time to give more than a glimpse of each character's personality and motives, even though the novel was almost a 1,000 pages long. I will grant that quite a lot of research had to have gone into it before the writing. However, the political details read more like a history book and made it very hard to dredge though.One part that did make me chuckle was when one of the characters had a chance to view a chapel that was built around 1000 AD. He couldn't figure out why other people were so enchanted with old churches. Remembering "Pillars of the Earth", which might be argued as Follett's greatest novel, I think that was a little "tongue-in-cheek".This is the first book of a planned triology and I probably will read the others. I will wait until they come out in paperback, though. This novel didn't leave me breathlessly waiting for the next.

  • Nikoleta
    2018-11-25 14:58

    Ένα εκπληκτικό πέρασμα σε μια από τις πιο σημαντικές δεκαετίες του ταραχώδη 20ου αιώνα. Γραμμένο με ευλαβική προσήλωση στην ακρίβεια των ιστορικών αναφορών και ταυτόχρονα με διασκεδαστική δράση. Οι ήρωες είναι πολλοί, Άγγλοι ευγενείς και Άγγλοι ανθρακωρύχοι, ένας Γερμανός πρέσβης, ένας Αμερικανός και δυο ρωσικά αλητάκια. Βιώνουν απίστευτες στιγμές της ιστορίας και μέσα από τις υπέροχες περιγραφές του Φολλετ, και εμείς μαζί τους. Βιώνουμε τον πρώτο παγκόσμιο πόλεμο από την σκοπιά της Αγγλίας, της Γερμανίας της Ρωσίας και της Αμερικής και όχι μόνο από την μεριά των πολιτικών και των στρατιωτικών αλλά και του απλού λαού. Επίσης βιώνουμε και τις κοινωνικές αναταράξεις. Από μια απεργία ανθρακωρύχων στην Ουαλία, τις διαδηλώσεις των σουφραζετων στο Λονδίνο, μέχρι την Ρωσική επανάσταση (δεν σήκωσα κεφάλι σε εκείνα τα σημεία, ο Φόλλετ τα έσκισε). Και φυσικά πολλά πολλά κουτσομπολιά. Το ξέρατε ότι ο Λένιν έβριζε σαν βόθρος; Ότι ο Τσόρτσιλ ήταν μικρόσωμος και άσχημος αλλά σαματατζής και απρόβλεπτος ; Τώρα αν με ρωτάτε γιατί έβαλα 4 και όχι 5 αστεράκια εφόσον λέω τοοσο καλά λόγια, θα σας πω ότι σαν κλασικο κοριτσάκι που είμαι, δεν συμπαθώ τόσο τις μάχες και τις πολιτικές συζητήσεις. Σε αυτό το βιβλίο βρέθηκα χαμένη σε ένα μεγάλο πλήθος από αυτές.

  • Margarida
    2018-11-23 13:01

    Antes de se começar a ler, o tamanho do livro pode ser assustador (930 páginas), mas depois adora-se! Pessoalmente, se tivesse outras tantas páginas teria continuado a ler com o mesmo prazer! A escrita é extraordinária, a história fantástica... Liga de forma soberba realidade e ficção. Dá-nos uma lição de História sobre o início do Séc. XX que, sem ser demasiado aprofundada (para isso existem os livros especializados), nos dá o suficiente para que possamos entender melhor uma época conturbada onde guerras, revoluções, lutas por novos caminhos estão na ordem do dia. Acima de tudo “espevita-nos” para que façamos a nossa própria pesquisa pessoal. A ideia de criar personagens de países, estratos sociais, culturas e políticas tão diferentes foi magistral. A sua interligação e interacção foi, na minha opinião, extremamente bem conseguida e dá-nos uma visão, ainda que romanceada (no fim de contas isto é um romance e não uma aula de História) dos sentimentos que moviam pessoas e nações naquele início do século dando através delas voz à insatisfação, aos medos, às ansiedades e inseguranças e às lutas que começavam a nascer e que deram origem a muito do que hoje somos e temos! E no meio de tão intensa época não esqueceu aquilo que move o mundo e a Humanidade: o Amor!Foi com tristeza que cheguei ao fim. Queria ter podido continuar a acompanhar aquelas personagens que já me eram tão familiares… Resta-me a consolação que muito brevemente vou ler o segundo volume! Ken Follett sabe mesmo como contar uma história que nos envolve desde a primeira à última página!Correndo o risco de me repetir, só tenho uma palavra para descrever o livro: FANTÁSTICO! Recomendo!

  • Maria
    2018-12-12 09:54

    Esta foi a minha estreia nos livros de Ken Follett. E foi uma excelente estreia! Adorei o tema, a escrita, os personagens... A única coisa que tenha a dizer é que de facto é um livro muito, muito grande, difícil de transportar e até de ler, pelas suas dimensões. Compreendo que o autor tenha querido pormenorizar o mais possivel a história e não senti que fosse demais, mais por favor, quando for assim dividam o livro em 2 volumes... Recomendo a leitura, sem duvida e espero ansiosamente a leitura do próximo, que já foi editado no nosso pais

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2018-11-23 14:52

    Definitely my favourite WWI history novel I have read thus far. Beautifully captures the troubles of WWI on all spectrums, not just politically or on the battlefield.

  • Allison
    2018-12-11 13:49

    Fall of Giants is a door stopper, one of those books that makes me glad I have an e-reader for the sake of my wrists. At close to 1000 pages, it's long, and at times it feels like it. The first time I tried to read it, I didn't have the patience, but this time, I settled in for the long haul, determined to give it some time. That patience made all the difference. This is an astounding historical epic. It takes the events leading up to World War I and the Russian Revolution and fills them with characters on all sides that you can relate to and feel for. I didn't like all of the characters, but I understood them and their motivations, and they were so real. Follett paints them in neat brushstrokes - just a few lines here and there for each character that bring them to life. And then he proceeds to take you through the war and its aftermath through their eyes, through dashed hopes and picking up the pieces of lives. It is surprisingly not bleak, and surprisingly spends little time on the actual battles of the war. Those are only the focus when they move something forward, when they are pivotal for a character or for the direction of the war. Even then, the focus is more on strategy or what is happening to the character than on the violence. (Not that you don't get a sense of that, too, but it's not a battle slog.)I really appreciated that it didn't get bogged down in the trenches, dwelling on the horror and slaughter. Instead, it stepped back and looked at the reasons why people did what they did, and how the world got into such a mess and then couldn't get back out. It's been a while since I learned about the Great War in school, so this was a fantastic way to refresh my memory - and to realize with my more adult understanding that there was good and bad on all sides, humans exploiting others and grasping for power, and other humans just trying to find a way to live in peace.If anyone was bad in this take on history, it was the upper classes, not restricted to any nation - although Russia got the worst of it. It was the elite who dragged the poor working people into the war, who oppressed them and allowed them to starve while they continued living in style. It was the elite men who didn't want working women to have the right to vote, etc. So this addresses social issues such as class and women's rights, and just briefly, race. And it does it in such a readable way. There were only a couple of times that I felt it was slow, and that was when the focus was on characters that I wasn't so interested in. I'm amazed at how easy it seems for Follett to bring all of these strings of sweeping historical and social change together in real people that you fear for, and make it understandable as well as engrossing. It is magnificent and deeply personal at the same time. Highly recommended to anyone who reads historical fiction and is in the mood for a rewarding epic. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Initial DNF Review, September 19, 2012:I gave this a decent try, but just couldn't get into it. I really enjoyed the The Pillars of the Earth - it was one of the first historical fiction novels that I discovered and loved - but I felt more connected to the characters and their challenges, not to mention the epic cathedral project, from the beginning. This one is more 'sweeping' as it has been described. For me, that's not necessarily a good thing. The difference of time period may also be a factor - I enjoy reading about the Medieval Era, but have never really been able to get into books about the 20th Century wars. Pillars was centered around a priory town with lots of political intrigue and the building of a cathedral (cool architectural stuff!) and how ordinary people were affected by these things. Since that initial experience, I've discovered by trial and error that not all historical fiction is for me (it turns out I'm picky), and I think this is simply another mismatch for me. Whatever the reason, I put it on hold when I was tired of trying so hard to like it, and never felt compelled to come back to it. I suppose that could still change, but for now I'm happy to leave it where it is.

  • StoryTellerShannon
    2018-11-26 10:46

    The first of a promised trilogy. Focus is on the early 1900s detailing a vast array of characters affected by the coming Great War (WWI) which helps along the process of women's suffrage, trade unions, topples nobility and the rise of the Bolsheviks in Mother Russia. WWI focus is less on the battles and more on the suffering. The very end of this 1000 page tale shows the aftermath of the war and the ominous foreboding of another World War to come. TRIVIA: Woodrow Wilson was the first president to leave the U.S. on official business according to the book but Wiki claims it was Theodore Roosevelt. CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B to B plus; STORY/PLOT POINTS: B; SETTING: B plus to A minus; OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus; WHEN READ: September to November 2010.

  • Srividya
    2018-11-28 13:44

    My teens was when I first and I think last read Ken Follett. I wasn't really impressed then with his books, despite those books being touted as some of his best works ever. Well, goes to show how different individual liking can be. So, when I chose to read this book, it was more for the subject than the author, although I had heard a lot of good things about the way the author had written the book etc. Nevertheless, I was sceptical and wasn't really expecting anything better than an average read, which I thought would take me a long time to finish, given that I a naturally disposed towards other shinier books all the time! However, I was in for a surprise. Not only did I finish the book quickly (at least according to me it was quick) but it was a page turner and non put-downable book (okay that phrase is mine and not correct English but believe me, it is worth that tag)!Ken Follett, through the lives of five families, recounts some of the world's most important historic moments and what's more is that he does it with a certain panache and pace that is definitely worth praises. In the beginning when I started the book, I wondered how he will link and manage to keep the families right along with their successes/defeats/growths/setbacks etc. but he doesn't fail one bit in the handling of the characters or their lives or their stories. Nowhere are you left wondering what happened to X character or Y character. What is even better is that he incorporates real life historical figures into the storyline with aplomb and it never feels artificial or contrived. I loved the plot building and character building in this book. What I loved most was the fact that the two were intertwined with each other and supported each other really beautifully. The events led to the casual growth of the characters and the characters growth led to the events and the two did meet beautifully. Another aspect that I loved of this author in this book is his presentation of his characters. Each of them have shades that are unique and nowhere does the author force you to think of them as good or bad. In fact, he leaves all the judging to you and allows himself the freedom to develop them in a way that perhaps speaks to him whilst also speaking to us. I loved and hated and then loved all the characters through their journey, such was their impact on me. Nowhere did I continue to feel the same way for any character, except perhaps Billy and Grigori, both of whom I was rooting for throughout the book. The beauty of the characters created by Ken Follett is such that even when they are doing something wrong, they do it with such a style that you end up admiring them for that rather than hating them. One such character is Lev who I feel is the best and the worst character (one you love and hate and hate that you love) in this book.A few discussions regarding the book in the past brought to my notice that some of the historical facts stated here in the book were either wrong or somewhat exaggerated. While it did bother me a little in the beginning, given the fact that the author has done more than 20 years of research and consulting experts in all fields before penning this book; I would like to say that it didn't take away from me the enjoyment given by this book while I read it. I think it was fun and while moving along with the characters in their lives, I was more caught up in their fictional tales rather than the historical aspect. This meant that I enjoyed it so much that I was reluctant to take away even a single star from my rating. However, if you are a history buff and are well versed in the World War scenarios, some of it might irritate you, I am not sure. In such cases, I guess you need to read it as a fictional tale set in that historical period and just let go of the historical accuracies or inaccuracies, if any. For myself, I am not well learned or read in the matters of that period, so I took everything that came my way as the truth or as much truth as it can be and enjoyed the story. If you are willing to enjoy a good tale, with some real and imagined characters, set in the backdrop of one of the world's most important times, please go ahead and read it. I assure you, you won't be disappointed.Finishing the book last night, I felt akin to losing a part of myself and that to me is the best thing a book can do. I was so engrossed in it that I forgot everything else, except maybe periodically updating my progress here in GR. LOL! Once I put it down after it ended, I wanted to rush and start the next book in the series and believe me I almost did that. However, sanity prevailed and I stopped myself...the reason being that I largely wanted to dwell and drift in the thoughts and feelings created by the first book in my mind. While I do that and also look forward to reading the next book, why don't you give this one a try? Rest assured that you will be entertained! :)Happy reading! :)

  • Matt
    2018-11-26 13:46

    First and foremost, happy 2015! What a novel to begin a new year reading and absorbing!After being highly impressed with the Pillars series created by Follett, I hoped to find as much depth and development in the Century Trilogy.The premise, following the fates of five interrelated families against a backdrop of world events is brilliant in its imagining and stellar in its delivery. The reader is introduced to Billy Williams early in the novel, as he enters the Welsh mining pits. His family acts as a wonderful bridge as Billy's sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step outside her accepted caste. Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory, bridging the story into another family, when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a German living in London while tensions mount and the Great War is imminent. Filling out the cast of characters is Gus Dewar, an American law student who begins new career in Woodrow Wilson's White House, and two Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, who seek the freedoms that America alone can offer them. Follett lays the early foundations of a very powerful and deeply intertwined novel sure to grow as history progresses, putting families, nationalities, and alliances to the test throughout.The historical arc of the novel, 1911-1924, covers a great deal and touches on some very important events. With the rise of the Great War developing throughout the early part of the novel, the reader is pulled in to view things from all sides. Additionally, the snapshot of Russia shows the discontent seen in the streets and the eventual rise of revolutionary sentiment. Underlying these political changes, discussion about universal suffrage cannot be ignored or discounted as important both within Europe and North America. Follett captures these threads and spins them inside the larger character development seen throughout the novel. It only adds to the greatness and intricate detail of this novel.This was my second reading of this novel, the first coming soon after its release. I felt that once the trilogy was done, I ought to take the time to read all three and see, with no interruptions, how the series grows and its characters develop. Fans of the Edward Rutherfurd multi-generational sagas will surely fall in love with this book, as will those who loved the nuanced character development of Jeffrey Archer (who is currently penning his own multi-generational series). Follett has bitten off much in this trilogy, but has shown his ability to keep all his characters under control and following a decisive path. He captures the reader's attention and allows them to choose a favourite storyline, knowing full well that it may merge with another before the novel is done. I cannot wait to see how things develop as families intermingle and offspring hold alliances that may and will clash. Stellar work and I am so glad I came back to this for its full effect.Kudos, Mr. Follett for this wonderful opening novel in the series. You have my rapt attention.Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/

  • Renata
    2018-11-21 09:59

    Ken Follett is a spellbinding storyteller. You can count on him to create a complex plot around an almost dizzying array of characters with a vast range of character traits from scoundrels to nobly inspiring as well as throwing in real historical figures. I listened to his Century Trilogy last year and was thoroughly caught up in both the history and the often times soap opera of the many characters lives. I never really count listening to audio books as reading, but I probably need to revise my perspective on that as I am listening to almost as many books as I read. The first book in the series is my favorite for several reasons. Most importantly I enjoyed it because Follett did an exceptionally fine job of portraying in some detail the political climate in England, Germany, Russia, and to a lesser extent the United States in the years leading up to WWII. He did this quite artfully by giving voice to an array of characters from different social levels as well as nationalities. I could feel my blood pressure rise during their debates and verbal exchanges. Prior to this my knowledge and understanding of the period leading up to WWII was a sketchy skeleton of key words: the Versailles Treaty, the Archduke of Sarajevo, the overall social unrest and economic hardships throughout Europe and in America.It has also remained my favorite in the series because I thoroughly enjoyed the various groups of characters he introduced - the Welsh coal mining family was one of my favorites. The stories were also enriched because Follett showed how different the thinking and perspectives were across generations. Later in on series I grew quite tired of some of the characters and some of the plot contrivances made me roll my eyes in exasperation. But now I laugh and think what an impressive job he did in creating a compelling pageant of those war years with a focus on the social as much as the political upheavals. He allowed us walk in the shoes of many men and women throughout Europe and America - he created a world perspective.

  • Adam
    2018-11-28 14:35

    Meh. I love Ken Follett. Seriously, has a better epic period novel been written than Pillars of the Earth? I even like his other more basic stuff like Whiteout and A Dangerous Fortune. Sure they are simple beach novels but they are good reads. Fall of Giants seems like it can't decide if it wants to be the beach novel or the epic period novel. So the result is flat characters, a listless storyline, and rocket paced love affairs. This is Grey's Anatomy meets World War I, without the hospital. Just the romantic interests...oh and more marriages.It is strange to say, but the backdrop of World War I is so trivialized that it is almost casual. Follett managed to bring significantly more pathos and emotion to the building of a Cathedral than the battles of Russia, Germany, England, Austria, and the US combined. Don't get me wrong, his effort here is no less sweeping and dramatic than Pillars, it just falls woefully short of making me care about any of the characters. I'm still surprised he managed to say so little in 985 pages.

  • Michael Smith
    2018-12-05 13:01

    This first novel in the Century trilogy is truly excellent, and it lays a magnificent foundation for what I hope are equally impressive parts two and three. There is striking development in all the major characters as they move through two decades in the early twentieth century. Follett meshes his skills as a thriller writer with his even greater talents in historical fiction, so that this massive book, with its interrelating families from America, Britain, Germany, and Russia, is much like a page-turning thriller in its own right.The book fleshed out a lot of history for me, including events leading to World War I and the Russian Revolution. While Follett has an afterword explaining his historical approach as building on either absolute fact, or what might have happened within the bounds of actual history, the level of trust Follett builds with the reader means that you instinctively know that you have real history in front of you as you move through the novel. You know for instance that there is not going to be a Lloyd George speech in Parliament that’s totally made up, or which changes history to drive some sub-plot.I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by John Lee, who magnificently brought out numerous accents, including different kinds of Welsh accents.

  • La Talpa
    2018-11-25 08:52

    Ein grandioses historisches Meisterwerk über die Zeit des ersten Weltkriegs ❤️ Absolut faszinierend und fesseln ❤️❤️❤️Die Geschichte startet kurz vor dem ersten Weltkrieg und man folgt den verschieden Personen unterschiedlicher Nationen durch diese Zeit und ich bin begeistert, dass es Ken Follett geschafft hat, dass es zu keinem Zeitpunkt langweilig wurde. Es war einfach genial wie er es geschafft hat Geschichte einem so nahe zu bringen.Man weiß ja eigentlich was geschichtlich zu dieser Zeit alles passierte und dennoch war es total spannend die Geschichte neu aufleben zu lassen und die Ereignisse durch die Augen der Protagonisten zu erleben, ihre Gedanken zu erfahren und ihre Schicksale kennenzulernen. Dabei fand ich es besonders herausstechend wie nahe mir die Protagonisten gekommen sind und wie betroffen mich ihr Schicksal machte.Ich habe das Buch als Hörbuch gehört und auch der Sprecher hat das Buch nochmal zu etwas Besonderem gemacht.Eine absolute Empfehlung für alle, die historischen Romanen nicht abgeneigt sind! Für mich ein wahres Meisterwerk 😍😍😍

  • Teresa Proença
    2018-11-22 10:44

    Há cinco meses que carrego os Gigantes. Cheguei a meio e estou a cair de esgotamento. Preciso descansar. Mas prometo que no dia em que festejar o meu centésimo aniversário, recomeço a ler a Trilogia do Século. As conversas dos senhores da guerra aborrecem-me;as descrições das batalhas fazem-me sono; as partes romanceadas emocionam-me menos do que ler a bula dos antibióticos - pois com essa até posso assustar-me imaginando as consequências das contra-indicações.Reconheço-lhe valor pela lição de história, mas para isso tenho para aí uma enciclopédia, de alguns dez volumes, isenta de personagens e peripécias de ficção enfadonhas e desprovidas de realidade (noites de núpcias que não lembram nem ao diabo; mulheres a parir sozinhas como se estivessem com uma ligeira cólica intestinal; e mais uns quantos disparates de que já não me lembro.) Agora não me apetece pensar nas estrelas...vou deixar essa tarefa para daqui a cinquenta anos...Só me chateia ter "rebentado" o meu Challenge de 2014 com uma desistência...

  • Leila
    2018-12-15 12:00

    I didn't realize I'd end up finishing the book in less than a week but yeah, it's that readable and engrossing and entertaining that I couldn't put it down. So much of the events of WWI have become clearer to me now. (For the longest time, as far as I was concerned, World War I was just a collective term for that war in Europe, and even as I was aware of its impact, it never occurred to me that this was a major turning point in the history of most European countries and the United States, maybe even more than WWII was.)Pillars of the Earth is still a much better read than Fall of Giants, and contains much more historical context, but Fall of Giants still follows the usual Ken Follett tradition.

  • Filipa
    2018-12-07 14:02

    4,5 starsUma trilogia, um retrato de um século. O primeiro volume da trilogia "O Século" intitulado A Queda dos Gigantes, inicia um ciclo que pretende retratar a vida, o quotidiano, as diferentes realidades, as tristezas, os sucessos e as alegrias do século XX, uma das épocas mais importantes a nível mundial. Neste primeiro volume, começamos a viagem em 1911 e acabamos em 1925. Ou seja, vamos viajar até à Europa nos anos em que a Primeira Guerra Mundial grassou um pouco por todo o território europeu. O leitor vai poder transportar-se para esta época conturbada que teve um impacto a uma escala mundial, na medida em que após este conflito, a sociedade como era conhecida, nunca mais voltará a ser o que era. A Grande Guerra veio significar muitas coisas, mas a mais notória é o massacre de vidas humanas, em número abismal. Mais de 16 milhões de pessoas morreram neste conflito e esta guerra encontra-se na tabela dos conflitos da história mundial que mais mortes e causalidades causou. O acontecimento que originou a Primeira Guerra foi o assassinato do Arquiduque Francisco Fernando de Áustria, em 28 de Junho de 1914 , o príncipe herdeiro do trono de Áustria Hungria, que resultou depois num ultimato por parte dos Habsburgos contra o reino da Sérvia. Rapidamente se desencadearam outros desenvolvimentos e o sentimento de fatalidade e guerra instalou-se, logo de seguida, nas mentes dos europeus, dos russos e do mundo em geral.Ken Follett acaba por pegar num conjunto de personagens que provêem, todas elas, de realidades muitos distintas e acaba por transportar o leitor para a vida destas pessoas que serão todas afectadas por este período de grande instabilidade, em todas as áreas das suas vidas. 5 famílias que não poderiam ser mais diferentes e conhecendo todas elas realidades opostas (não só pela questão da nacionalidade), vão cruzar as suas vidas de uma forma ou outra e a questão permanecerá no espírito de cada um de nós: conseguirão todos eles, sobreviver, para ver o mundo renascer? Uma família alemã, uma inglesa, uma escocesa, uma russa e outra americana. Todas elas vão ser tocadas pelo conflito que grassa na Europa e muitos deles vão ver a sua vida virar-se de pernas para o ar. Uns, tentam fazer com que o amor que os unem não se escape por entre os seus dedos. Outros ainda tentam agarrar as suas crenças com a maior força possível, defendendo o sufrágio feminino e melhores condições nos locais de trabalho. A luta pela sobrevivência encontra-se em cada linha, palavra, parágrafo, capítulo deste livro. É impossível não nos sentirmos tocados de alguma forma por este relato histórico, que conta com personalidades também elas históricas, hoje em dia, os nossos exemplos (tanto para o bem como para o mal). Lenine e Winston Churchill, Woodrow Wilson são alguns deles. Podemos acompanhar uma geração inteira de lutas, de traições, de guerra, de sobrevivência, de amor, de perseverança e de esperança. São 14 anos de história que se encontram retratados, descritos e apresentados, sendo fruto de uma pesquisa histórica muito cuidada e de uma mestria narrativa sem igual.Esta não é a primeira obra do autor que leio. Nem a maior, de facto. Os Pilares da Terra (como um todo) ainda conseguem superar, em quantidade de páginas, a extensão deste A Queda dos Gigantes. O que eu quero dizer é que este autor já me é familiar em ambas as vertentes - policiais/thrillers e romances históricos. Tendo em conta que são duas vertentes diferentes, seria de esperar que tivesse preferência e que gostasse mais do estilo do autor numa do que noutra. No entanto, não é isso que acontece. O autor tem uma escrita fabulosa nas diferentes vertentes e nunca deixa de me conquistar com os seus livros, com as suas tramas e sobretudo com a sua narrativa. Ken Follett é um escritor brilhante, não só dotado de uma mestria narrativa, como antes referi, como também sabe como captar rapidamente o leitor, sem que este perca motivação com a extensão dos seus livros. Estes romances históricos são sempre obras que levam uma quantidade enorme de tempo a preparar e a planear. A pesquisa histórica que é necessária para construir estes livros tem de ser tomada em conta de uma maneira especial, sendo que o autor tem de saber discernir o que é fulcral para o seu enredo e aquilo que não o é. Por isso mesmo, o autor tem que decidir qual é a informação histórica que vai apresentar e integrar no seu romance e tem que se certificar que esta é de rigor, não se limitando a "despejar" factos históricos sem qualquer veracidade. O autor fez isto e tudo mais. É notável, logo à partida, que a pesquisa feita para este livro foi extensiva e exaustiva. Os pormenores históricos estão aqui presentes numa quantidade incrível, descritos de forma clara e explícita. O facto de a obra ser estruturada de forma cronológica, facilita ao leitor transplantar-se rapidamente para a época que se vive no livro e mais facilmente o leitor cria empatia com as personagens e com o enredo. Devido ao elevado número de personagens, a primeira metade do livro pode às vezes ser confusa, mas o índice de personagens ordenado por nacionalidade, ajuda muito o leitor a colocar as ideias em ordem.Diria que este livro é uma noção de história, mas é bem mais que isso. Além de factos verídicos, contexto histórico, pude realmente imaginar como seriam as vidas de quem passou por tal período na história do nosso mundo. Pude apreciar a paz que vivemos no nosso país hoje em dia e pude estabelecer alguns paralelos entre a realidade do que foi e a realidade do que hoje é. Pude também colocar-me no lugar de todos aqueles homens, soldados que deram a sua vida, o seu contributo para que hoje em dia possamos viver num entendimento (às vezes precário), possamos viver em paz. Possamos compreender e aceitar as nossas diferenças e não partir logo para a guerra, como antes parecia acontecer. De facto, pude imaginar-me a mim a viver naquele tempo e não no de hoje e a desesperar por não ver um fim à guerra, ao tempo de miséria, ao tempo de constante estado de instabilidade. Fez-me também ver em que aspectos progredimos e em que aspectos não progredimos. Ken Follett cria um equilíbrio flexível entre a realidade histórica e a ficção, mas nem isso tira paixão à narrativa. A escrita do autor, em nenhum momento, se torna aborrecida, embora ache que existiram certas passagens em que era desnecessário tanta descrição. Contudo, foi um livro que apesar de ser muito extenso, sempre me deu alento para continuar a minha leitura e quando, ao fim de mais de 900 páginas, poisei o livro senti que um peso me tinha libertado (literal e figurativamente - porque o livro é bem pesado!). Chegando ao fim da longa jornada, senti-me preenchida com a história complexa, mas por demais completa, que o autor nos apresenta. É um dos melhores romances históricos que já li, onde o romance e a história se harmonizam de uma forma perfeita. Um livro que ninguém deve perder, pela riqueza cultural, pela viagem ao passado e pela roleta russa de emoções que nos faz sentir.

  • Erin
    2018-11-20 12:37

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....I can't really say what kept me from picking up this behemoth when it came out, but Ken Follett's Fall of Giants never demanded my immediate attention. I stumbled over it here and there, but it wasn't until I saw the audio edition available for check out through Overdrive that I really considered tackling the title.I wont lie, Fall of Giants is long, the story lines are unbalanced, the cast is unusually large, the characterizations are not complex, and many of the individual arcs are not satisfactorily concluded by the final page. That said, the book is not about any one person, it is about an intense period of time, a few short years that changed the course of human history, and in that light I feel the novel an indisputable success.A fully comprehensive snapshot would be impossible to create, but Follett's representation is the next best thing. He captures the experiences of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and social standing and pairs it with the political, international, and social issues that dominated their lives. The end result is an intensely personal and multifaceted illustration of both WWI and the Russian Revolution.Follett's work is meticulously researched, but his ability to deftly weave together the stories and experiences of five families against such a massive and immersive backdrop sets Fall of Giants apart. It's intimidating as hell to look at, but if anyone ever asked if I would endorse it, my answer would be an immediate and enthusiastic yes.

  • Carmo
    2018-12-01 12:51

    Num livro tão grande teria que encontrar forçosamente, coisas boas e coisas menos boas.Leio Ken Follet há tanto tempo que posso dizer que tenho acompanhado o evoluir da obra do autor; desde os policiais até aos romances históricos, sendo esta trilogia O Século, a sua aventura mais ambiciosa.Escrever um livro desta dimensão, com uma vertente histórica explorada ao máximo, sem descorar pormenores e com todo o rigor, foi com certeza uma tarefa hercúlea. Sabe-se que tem uma grande equipa nos bastidores, mas ainda assim, há que lhe render a devida homenagem. Por coincidência, o canal História tem andado a passar documentários sobre a 1º Guerra Mundial. Eu gosto de História. Gosto mesmo muuuito de História! Daí que nestes últimos dias tenha dedicado um alargado tempo à temática. Tem sido tanta guerra cá por casa que já há quem me olhe de lado! ignorantes!! Depois desta maratona, posso dizer que não encontrei discrepâncias. E isso é bom. É bom sabermos que houve um exigente trabalho de pesquisa, para que não houvesse informação errada. Informação essa, que é tão pormenorizada, que por vezes cansa. Pela sua dimensão, é um livro que demora a ler. Os relatos extensos e as personagens um tanto mornas, convidam por vezes, a pô-lo de lado. Faltou a esta obra a intensidade d'Os Pilares e as personagens arrebatadoras. Havia aqui pano pra mangas; esperei por um confronto Bea/Ethel - não houve - nem sequer foram apanhados e a relação morreu na praia. Não teve surpresas de maior e correu tudo sem imprevistos. À semelhança do percurso de Lev na America, o autor bem podia ter criado umas situações de "faca e alguidar" do lado de cá, e apimentado a coisa.E agora por pimenta! Os momentos de alcova foram uma pobreza; onde é que o autor se terá inspirado para criar aqueles homens?! E não é por ignorância sua, já encontrei cenas bastante arrojadas noutros livros dele. Nem me venham falar da época que isso não é desculpa, até porque as raparigas mostraram-se mais atrevidas que eles.O Fitz, revelou-se o sacana que se antevia desde o inicio, Grigori e Billy foram os mais honestos. Ethel, uma das minhas favoritas, cometeu a maior sandice de sempre. Uma rapariga independente e determinada, resolve fechar-se em casa para ter o filho sozinha! Isto não é uma atitude corajosa, é estupidez, que vindo duma personagem inteligente, não faz sentido e desacredita a obra. Apesar destes pequenos percalços, gostei do livro e quero ler os restantes. Até porque a seguir vem a 2ª Guerra Mundial - nas últimas páginas já se falou de Hitler - e estou com muita curiosidade e com alguma esperança de que as relações inter-familiares e as personagens espevitem e o livro não se salve só pelo lado histórico.Família, preparem-se...vem aí mais guerra!

  • Glee
    2018-12-14 07:43

    A disappointment. I was so taken with The Pillars of the Earth, I really looked forward to this book. However, this has a real paint-by-numbers feel and while reading it was a notch above reading my high school history tomes, it wasn't by much. It was sort of interesting to have characters inserted into World War I events (pre- and a tiny bit post-), but it still felt like plodding through a textbook. And the Russian Revolution. Sheesh. What a bunch of ideological/philosophical claptrap... it reminded me of the worst of Kim Stanley Robinson's lecturing on not just forms of government but the actual forming of government in the Red/Green/Blue Mars trilogy. Whether or not you agree or disagree with Robinson's world view, I found it hard to appreciate 50 pages of dialog of actual floor debates. And now to my disappointment, Follett does the same thing with the Bolsheviks, the Mensheviks, the revolutionaries, the counter-revolutionaries, the Reds, the Whites.... I have a headache. Important issues of justice and civil liberties turned into an absolute bore.Nevertheless, I do feel I understand the whys and wherefores of WWI in much greater depth than I did before. And I can really appreciate the citation for bravery that my grandfather earned in France in 1917-1918 (signed by Pershing, no less). What a nightmare those never-ending battles were. So, while I can't recommend this book unless you are looking for a way to avoid reading an actual history text, I am glad I read it. And I'm really glad I'm done.As always, historical fiction is much easier to digest than straight history.

  • Donald Jordan
    2018-12-11 08:36

    The Fall of Giants takes place between the years 1914 and 1924 and is the first in a trilogy that supposedly will cover most of last century. As with most Ken Follett books, the characters are engaging and well drawn out, though his pacing is a bit off. The story follows 5 families in England, Germany, Russia, and America as the old world begins its death throws in the violence of WWI. One of the dangers with epic stories like this is that inevitably the reader gets drawn to one story line more than the others, but in this case, there seems to be very little consistency between the amount of time the author spends on one story line from the others; some story lines are given depth while others surface for a few pages only to disappear for several months or years before it is picked up again. These are minor plot annoyances, however. Overall, the book is an interesting study in how a war altered the fabric of society, weakening the aristocracy who's concepts of honor were largely responsible for the death of millions, the rise of the working class, and the birth of the recognizably modern world.

  • Elyse
    2018-12-08 13:33

    I liked it...I liked it...I liked it...When is the next one coming out?