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Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, Book One) Hardcover – September 28, 2010

6,341 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Century Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Century Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951650
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6,341 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3,617 of 3,711 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lins TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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703 of 742 people found the following review helpful By Denise Crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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193 of 208 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko VINE VOICE on 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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