Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep, beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated familiesAmerican, German, Russian, English, and Welshas they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.
Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man's world in the Welsh mining pits...Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson's White House...two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution...Billy's sister, Ethel, 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 Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London...
These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, 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 a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. It is destined to be a new classic.
In future volumes of The Century Trilogy, subsequent generations of the same families will travel through the great events of the rest of the twentieth century, changing themselves-and the century itself. With passion and the hand of a master, Follett brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.
In the epic tradition of Leon Uris's Trinity and James Clavell's Shogun comes Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, the first of a planned trilogy that will follow five families through the major historical moments of the 20th century... With its sweeping plot, larger than life characters, and accurately presented history, it is a perfect example of great historical fiction. The only downside is that it is the first of a trilogy, and the second installment is not set to hit bookstores for a few more years. In the meantime, you may want to read this one a few times. It's just that good. (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).
The Washington Post - William Sheehan
Once its basic elements are in place, the narrative acquires a cumulative, deceptively effortless momentum…Perhaps the major reasons for the novel's ultimate success are Follett's comprehensive grasp of the historical record and his ability to integrate research into a colorful, engaging narrative.
While this tome doesn't achieve the emotional depth of the best historicals, it is a remarkable and wonderfully readable synthesis of fact and fiction.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by MaribethK Fall of Giants Ken Follet is one of my favorite authors - unfortunately I do not think this is one of his best books. I truly enjoy historical novels but I got a bit bogged down with the sometimes tedious sidebars on World War II. The Russian history part was... Read More
Rated of 5
by Gail L. Follett Never Disappoints Ken Follett is my all-time favorite author because of the detailed research and style in which he writes. Fall of Giants was a great book, although not one of my favorites. The characters were interesting and I will definitely be waiting to see how... Read More
Rated of 5
by Vivian H. Not Follett's Best, But Still An Engrossing Tale "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End" are among my favorite books of all time. I love Follett's style of writing and his in depth research. While I enjoyed the story told by "Fall of Giants", I did not love... Read More
Ethel and Maud's agitation for women's suffrage is a critical element in Fall of Giants. According to Follett: "of all the massive changes that took place in the 20th century, the biggest was equality for women."
Though there were instances of agitation for a woman's right to vote in Britain prior to the formation of the National Society for Women's Suffrage (NSWS), women's suffrage as a national movement did not begin until 1872 when the NSWS brought women's suffrage to national attention. The NSWS was critical in bringing the movement forward, but little was...
It's 1897. Gold has been discovered in the Yukon. New York is under the sway of Hearst and Pulitzer. And in a few months, an American battleship will explode in a Cuban harbor, plunging the U.S. into war... This is history rediscovered through the lives of the people who made it happen.
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