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Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Ken Follett
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,649 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $7.00 (70%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

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.…

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series


  • Editorial Reviews

    Amazon.com Review

    Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: Welcome to the 20th century as you've never seen it. At over 1,000 pages, Fall of Giants delivers all the elements that fans of Ken Follett have come to treasure: historical accuracy, richly developed characters, and a sweeping yet intimate portrait of a past world that you'll fully inhabit before the first chapter is through. The story follows five families across the globe as their fates intertwine with the extraordinary events of World War I, the political struggles within their own countries, and the rise of the feminist movement. Intriguing stories of love and loyalty abound, from a forbidden romance between a German spy and a British aristocrat to a Russian soldier and his scandal-ridden brother in love with the same woman. Action-packed with blood on the battlefield and conspiracies behind closed doors, Fall of Giants brings the nuances of each character to life and shifts easily from dirty coal mines to sparkling palaces. There is so much to love here, and the good news is the end is just the beginning: Fall of Giants is the first in a planned trilogy. --Miriam Landis

    From Publishers Weekly

    Using characters from different countries—Russia, Wales, England, the U.S., and Germany—and from different classes, Follett's first book in the Century trilogy provides a compelling mesh of interactions that push the story forward and allow a panoramic view of WWI's burden on five families. With over 30 hours, this audiobook would be a challenge for any narrator, but John Lee proves a solid and engaging choice. His deep voice moves through the prose smoothly and forcefully; he manipulates his tone, emphasis, and accent to develop vocal personas for the extensive cast of characters, and keeps a solid pace through the dialogue. It's a marathon performance of a mammoth book that will leave listeners eagerly anticipating the next installment. A Dutton hardcover. (Sept.)
    (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1510 KB
    • Print Length: 865 pages
    • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (August 30, 2011)
    • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0052RDHTM
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    3,581 of 3,675 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Expert Storyteller/Enthralling Tale! August 5, 2010
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    I thoroughly enjoyed Ken Follett's epics, "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End". Though they are hefty tomes, the pages flew. Thus I jumped at the chance to read and review Follett's latest epic, "Fall of Giants" which promises to be the first in The Century Trilogy. When it arrived from Amazon at ~1000 pages and 4 inches thick, I found myself contemplating one of the advantages of having a slim Kindel (I don't). When the thing comes out in hardback in September it could be used a murder weapon!

    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.
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    695 of 734 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating epic tale! August 5, 2010
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (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.
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    185 of 200 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Solid from the first page. September 13, 2010
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    When Ken Follett's Fall of Giants arrived I was stunned at the size of the book. Nearly a thousand pages were before me. Then I wondered why I was surprised. We're talking Ken Follett here. Regardless of size, Follett's books are imminently readable and Fall of Giants is no different. Perhaps the most amazing fact is that Fall of Giants is simply the first installment of a promised Century trilogy. Amazing, but not surprising. I can't wait.

    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.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Review
    Enjoyed the fiction mixed with history.
    Enjoyed the fiction mixed with history.
    Enjoyed the fiction mixed with history.
    Enjoyed the fiction mixed with history. Read more
    Published 18 hours ago by Nicola
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    A well told story
    Published 22 hours ago by Matthew O'Brien
    5.0 out of 5 stars Ken Follet is one of my favorite writers. Although my favorite Follett...
    Ken Follet is one of my favorite writers. Although my favorite Follett books are of the WWII French underground variety, it's hard to put down any of his books. Read more
    Published 22 hours ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars History through fiction
    Interesting insight to a changing era in world history
    Published 23 hours ago by Ram Lady
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    this is very good historical fiction
    Published 23 hours ago by larry seiferling
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Fantastic
    Published 1 day ago by Fernando de Ovando
    5.0 out of 5 stars The fine points of history
    Mr. Follett has a genius for putting you in a period of incredible changes. This is my second reading of the trilogy and I'm finding facts and ideas I'd not noticed the first read.
    Published 1 day ago by Robert J Ewers
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
    Puts history into perspective.
    Published 1 day ago by potterta
    3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult book to read but excellent grasp of the intricate foreign...
    A difficult book to read but excellent grasp of the intricate foreign policies that drove WWI. However the characters are shallow and fleeting.
    Published 1 day ago by Vicki Cole
    4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, But Too Much Reliance on Coincidence
    I really enjoyed this book, I have a far better understanding of the causes leading up to WWI than I had before reading it. Read more
    Published 1 day ago by Beverly B
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    More About the Author

    Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning EYE OF THE NEEDLE, which became an international bestseller. His celebrated PILLARS OF THE EARTH was voted into the top 100 of Britain's best-loved books in the BBC's the Big Read and the sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, will be published in Autumn 2007. He has since written several equally successful novels including, most recently, WHITEOUT. He is also the author of non-fiction bestseller ON WINGS OF EAGLES. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire.

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    I just finished Pillars and World Without End. I am so disappointed that Fall of Giants is 18.99 on the Kindle. I am with A. Golden. Why does it cost so much! :(
    Jan 7, 2012 by Raeann Painter |  See all 7 posts
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