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Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy Mass Market Paperback – September 4, 2012
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But we all know that size doesn't matter when you've got an expert storyteller weaving an enthralling tale. I became so engrossed that I'd look up and 100 pages would have flown by. What is it that makes Follett so consistently "readable"? In "Fall of Giants" it's because the book is so well researched about the period (early 20th century especially WWI) with information on coal mining, trade unions, women's suffrage, protocols and manners of the minor royalty, politics, government, revolution and war. The story flows from this rich period but the riveting characters are at the forefront. Even the largely unsympathetic characters, such as the Earl, are made at least understandable because Follett thoughtfully portrays their motivations. There are few totally good or evil characters here, as it should be. (Though Follett seems none too fond of Russians and priests - be they Catholic, Anglican or Orthodox!)
In past reviews I have criticized authors that I believe would benefit from more editing (e.g., Steven King, John Irving) so why don't I find Follett's book to be too long? Because there are no slow spots, no political point pushing, and no self-indulgent purple prose.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
The story revolves around five European families from 1911 to 1925. This period of time encompasses the First World War. The period of late the Victorian Age was a time when society was rigid with "manners". The upper classes new their place and weren't shy about letting everyone else know their place as well. If the code of conduct was firmly set for the upper classes and royalty, so was it set for the lower classes as well! If you were a member of the "working" class you knew who your "betters" were and behaved accordingly. Life was hard and took its toll on the masses. Follett does a masterful job at describing the world as it existed at that time and he spends a good deal of time examining the class struggle which went on in much of Europe during this time.
His characters are so numerous that he provides an index of them at the book. In most cases he provides us with clear descriptions of those who inhabit his fictional world. I can only assume that character development will continue in the two additional books we are promised. I thought this was a strong point in Pillars of the Earth.
The Fall of Giants is a sweeping novel not because of the time period it covers, only 14 years, but because of the story he is telling and because of the era in which it happens.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good story woven into pre-WWI history and through the war. Not as gripping as a Jeffrey Archer story but it has a broader perspective - Welsh, English, Russian, German and... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very much enjoyed the character development of all the characters and how this was intertwined with the historical facts of World War 1. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Enjoyed the the book, I thought it brought an insightful perspective to me.Published 6 days ago by Bob Zell
Great book that puts common people at forefront of historic world events. Liked it a loot.Published 8 days ago by John
Not exactly a thriller but historical novel could not have been written in better wayPublished 8 days ago by dr.pkgupta