Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins 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. . . .
Look out for Ken's newest book, A Column of Fire, available now.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Even in a story packed with history, Ken Follett manages to keep things edgy and engaging. Combining richly descriptive details with a barely restrained emotional intensity, the first book in his Century Trilogy is set in the early 20th century. Following a teenage miner in Wales, two Russian orphans, and an American law student, Follett balances sweeping storytelling with intimate accounts of these characters’ lives. He brilliantly intertwines his story lines with big early-20th-century moments, from King George V’s coronation to the Russian revolution, while still managing to pull emotional strings by vividly personalizing the political.
This first in a century-spanning trilogy from bestseller Follett (Eye of the Needle) makes effective and economical use of its lead characters, despite its scope and bulk. From a huge cast, eight figures emerge to play multiple roles that illustrate and often illuminate the major events, trends, and issues of the years leading up to and immediately beyond WWI: American diplomat Gus Dewar; Earl Fitzherbert, a wealthy Englishman; Fitz's sister, Lady Maud; German military attach Walter von Ulrich; Russian brothers Grigori and Lev Peshkov; Welsh collier Billy Williams and his sister, Ethel, whom Fitz hires as a housemaid. Ingenious plotting allows Follett to explore such salient developments of the era as coal mine safety in Wales, women's suffrage, the diplomatic blundering that led to war, the horrors of trench warfare, and the triumph of the Bolsheviks. 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. 1,000,000 first printing; author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Ken Follett Does It Again
Well written, the interweaving of multiple main characters is the best I have ever witnessed. The grand tale encompasses a most trying time of the 20th Century...and Follett kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire book.
Sadly, when the magnificent story ended, I realized it would be Fall of 2012 before I could continue with this awesome saga.
Well worth the money. Enjoy.
Fall of the Giants
I am a fan of Ken Follet. This is the third book I've read of his and each time I get enthralled. The conversations among his characters make me feel as if I am present in the scene as well.
Not What I'd Hoped For
Am I the only one who felt like I was plowing through a textbook when I read this? I do enjoy historical fiction and I'm a diehard fan of Follett, but it seems to me the I could've done with fewer historical details and more of a story. The plausibility factor of these characters encountering each other by "chance" across continents, wars, and general upheaval was a challenging, but obviously useful tool for constructing a cohesive story. I practically inhaled Pillars of the Earth with its unforgettable, very human characters. Wish I could say the same here.