9 reviews

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy)
by Ken Follett

Published: 2010-09-28
Hardcover : 1008 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 7 of 9 members
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 ...
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(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 families-American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh-as 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.

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

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Discuss which characters you liked and why.
Discuss the political decision points during the time frames mentioned in the book and which family was most affected by that decision.
How did the decisions the German government made about U Boat blockades impact the turning points of the war?
by CynKing57 (see profile) 07/16/11

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by Donna C. (see profile) 05/11/23

by Katherine P. (see profile) 05/22/20

by Nelly S. (see profile) 03/10/20

by Cathy W. (see profile) 08/03/17

  "Fall of Giants"by Nancy S. (see profile) 08/13/14

Learned so much reading this book. Really enjoyed the WWI history.

  "Who's better than Ken Follet??"by Carrie K. (see profile) 01/27/12

I've read almost everything Follet has written. The only real disappointment for me was his sequel to "Pillars of the Earth." "World Without End" plodded along and failed to excite. "Fall of Giants" is... (read more)

  "Great protrayal"by Chary P. (see profile) 11/15/11

of the Great War from different point of view. I learned a lot about that period of time and at the same time I enjoyed the story of different families from different countries and/or backgrounds. A must... (read more)

  "Fall of Giants - we loved it"by Cindy S. (see profile) 09/12/11

  "World War I epic"by Cyndee K. (see profile) 07/16/11

Ken Follett has achieved a wonderful 20th century historical narrative, focused on families in Great Britian, Russia and the US during the opening and subsequent years of World War I. The reader becomes... (read more)

  "fall of giants"by chris h. (see profile) 04/10/11

I too expected to love this book as I had Pillars of Earth and End of Time, but found myself uninvolved with the characters and the plot. Lot of history but lacked intrigue and interplay of characters... (read more)

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