Saturday, September 11, 2010

117 - Fall of Giants; Ken Follett


















I've been on a bit of a Ken Follett roll, having just recently completed Pillars of the Earth, which I LOVED. So needless to say, I was thrilled to be able to read and review, Follett's new, Book One of the new Century Trilogy, Fall of Giants debuts on September 28th. What did I think? It is wonderful!

Book One spans a period of about 14 years, beginning in 1911 and covering the period before, during and after World War I. In this installment, five families: American, German, Russian, English and Welsh, all related in some way, must endure the effects of both the First World War and the Russian Revolution.  Without going into all the characters (I think I counted 12), or the entire plot of this mammoth work, I'll just mention a few of the key players. There is Billy Williams who is just 13 when he is off working in the mining pits of Wales. Grigori and Lev Peshkov are orphaned Russian brothers, whose lives take dramatically different paths in life. There's the Fitzherberts who are wealthy aristocrats, and Lady Maud, finds herself falling in love with a Russian spy. Ethel, (Billy's sister) is the housekeeper for the wealthy Fitzherberts, challenging class distinction by having an affair with the earl for who she works. Gus Dewar is an American Law student, and son of a US Senator who finds himself in the War Room of Woodrow Wilson's cabinet.

I'm extremely happy I didn't let the nearly 1,000 pages of this novel deter me. The pages practically turned themselves, and I was not disappointed. The review copy had a lengthy list of the cast of characters which was very helpful to refer back to. I am sure the finished copy will have something similar as well. There is a lot to take in with this novel, but I especially enjoyed reading about the underdogs of this novel: servants, miners, factory workers, and peasants alike. Class distinction is vividly portrayed. I thought all the info on WWI was interesting, and a lot to take in, as I am very rusty on this time in history. I liked that the author used some actual historical names in Fall of Giants: President Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Kaiser Wilhelm, Lenin and Trotsky. By doing this, it made the story all the more engrossing and realistic. Another sweeping Follett epic, set in another place and another time - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

This novel's release date is September 28, 2010. This book would be a great choice as an eBook selection for those who have an eReader. It can be tiring on the hands if you read and hold the 3+ inch thick book for long periods. DON'T MISS THIS ONE!

RATING - 5/5 - Review Copy

19 comments:

  1. I've never read any of Follett's work, but it sounds like I need to.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooooo, I am so glad you liked this one. Got it on reserve and am looking forward to it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so excited to read this!! I posted about this here... http://bagsbooksandbonjovi.blogspot.com/2010/06/waiting-on-wednesday.html
    I'm jealous of those of you who received review copies. Happy to hear that it is as wonderful as I hope it will be!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Boy...wish I could review this one! I've been waiting for it! Pillars of the Earth and World Without End are two of my favorite books. I think Follett has a knack for historical fiction. And the mini-series was excellent. I thought it was very like the book.

    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Boy...wish I could review this one! I've been waiting for it! Pillars of the Earth and World Without End are two of my favorite books. I think Follett has a knack for historical fiction. And the mini-series was excellent. I thought it was very like the book.

    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've never read this author before, but it sounds like a good one for my Nook.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm looking forward to reading this one, perhaps this winter. I've enjoyed several of Follett's books. I like this time period as well and the inclusion of real people. Sounds like a good one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh man! I've got to figure out how to fit this one in! It's just sitting there waiting... and waiting.. and waiting....

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm one of those freaks who really did NOT enjoy Pillars of the Earth at all, so I admit I have steered clear of Follett since then. But your excitement for the book comes through loud and clear in this review :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. O my gosh you finished this chunkster? I have it to but have yet to pick it up. Glad to know it's a thumbs up. Yay! I've been touch and go with his stuff so we'll see.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a few of Follett's works but haven't read any of them. I ought to read PILLARS OF THE EARTH soon. Thanks for the review of this one.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I really liked this one too, to my surprise. I know what you mean about the pages turning themselves. I can't believe I got through it as fast as I did.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm really intrigued by this one, but I'm considering waiting until the other two come out to read it. I worry about investing so much time in a novel to forget the events before the next one. I'm glad to hear you loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I read and loved Pillars of the Earth, and have been really wanting to read World Without End as well. Did you see the mini-series? I started it, but haven't finished it yet. This sounds like another winner from Follett, and I am going to have to try it for sure. So glad you liked it, and great review!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I so want to read this one! Glad you recommend it!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have always wanted to read Ken Follet!
    I will definitely get around to reading it..

    ReplyDelete
  17. He seems to be specializing in big epics now. I'm amazed how fast you can read!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow. The length of this is a little daunting, but after reading how much you enjoyed it I may have to look into it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. In the Fall of Giants by Ken Follett , there are several interesting characters but it was the background which took my breath away.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)