A gripping tale of several families that at first outlook appear to be unrelated and furthermore unable to have any relationship given their distance and the time period, but nothing brings people in close proximity like a war. This book is rich with true history, but fictional in its main characters who are both likeable and dispicable. The story follows these families through their struggles and triumphs and characters both fall in and out of relationship with each other. It is a very engrossing read, but with over 980 pages, it takes some time to finish the entire book. The length of the book makes it difficult during the first 300 pages to remember the relatinoships and what characters belong to what class and country. Once fully emmersed in the book, the reader is able to read quickly and keep up without issue. Being that this is a trilogy, this reader is hopeful that the author is busy writing the next in the series so the reader does not have to relearn the characters and their relationships in two or three years. All in all I gave this book 4/5 stars. If you enjoyed this authors previous works, such as Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, you will no doubtly enjoy this one.
I enjoyed Follett's tale of World War 1, told from the perspectives of German, British, American and Russian characters. Its a long one and a bit slow to start but its the first in a series and once you get going it is well worth it.
I enjoyed this book, but very long. I thought the last 150 pages could have been cut and the story would have been just as good. I will not read the next book, not getting as good of reviews. Good read, but not his best
I give this tale 4.5 stars; Id go a full 5, but hesitate due to its length and complexity and lack of pace in some spots. Any book thats almost 1,000 pages long is going to drag in spots Id think though. However, as Ive said, great complexity and amazingly developed characters. Truly a masterpiece itll be a shame to have to wait for the other installments in this trilogy. Characters that you truly love or despise; some you wish ill of; and those you are rooting for against the odds
I really liked Billy Twice, Ethel, Gus, and Maud. I thoroughly despised Fitz and Otto and Lev. The rest fell in between but all were good.
You can see, or I can guess, how the second book will go - probably with the children of this first tale and with a backdrop of WWII.
A novel of love and war by master storyteller Ken Follett. Fall of Giants is the first in his new Century Trilogy, covering the beginnings of the twentieth century.
We follow five families from several countries through the period right before World War I up to the mid 1920s. Viewpoints of people and politicians from Russia, Germany, Britain, America and other countries involved in WWI were distinct. We see glimpses of battlefield trenches, espionage, diplomacy strategies, love affairs, and women contributing to the war effort from home. I learned a great deal about the political intricacies of the war, class struggle (fall of the aristocracy and rise of the working class) and the womens suffragette movement. Much time is spent on the politics of war, and while I would have preferred more plot development, I respect the research that went into this historical tome.
Each character is well-fleshed out and the plot nicely paced. I found the characters fascinating and distinct, but dwarfed by the ramifications of war. The love story between a British woman and German man was icing on the cake, but left me wanting for more information about them. My favorite character was a miner from Wales, William Williams (or Billy Twice). Two Russian brothers switch identities. The implications of that are fascinating. The cast of characters is nicely organized by country in the beginning of the book.
Many reviews on Amazon scrutinize and criticize the book for stereotypical characters according to ethnic origin. I read the book purely for pleasure and enjoyed being entertained and instructed. Nothing can compare in my mind to Folletts brilliant Pillars of the Earth, but perhaps I just prefer the medieval period. Still, Fall of Giants was compelling enough for me to want to read the next two installments in the trilogy.
Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont