Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Published by Pan Macmillan UK

About the Book:

An epic of love, hatred, war and revolution.

A huge novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women.

It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family, is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution.

In a plot 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.


I am going to admit that I didn’t read this, I listened to it. The book alone is a feat matched for Hercules himself! For those avid booklovers who feel audio books are “not really” reading well pick up this gargantuan of a novel and you will be ready to baptise yourself in an endless stream of audio fiction dam.

I have only one way to describe this HUGE novel; an indulgence that can satisfy all guilty pleasures, insomniac bouts, wartime interest, history knowledge, “bodice ripper” indulgences, scandalous love affairs and opulent aristocracy. An epic love story that not only holds the reader in suspense and great writing, is simplistically complex. Complex being that this story revolves around 5 very different families; a Welsh coal mining family, a British aristocrat family that owns the coal mine, Walter von Ulrich-a spy at the German Embassy in London, 2 Russian orphaned brothers and an ambitious young American man in the service of US President Woodrow Wilson. Each of these families are about to collide as each character’s destiny begin to intertwine.

An extremely turbulent read, yanking you back and forth, up and down from America to Germany to Russia. Ken Follett doesn’t disappoint the reader with sloppy writing, brushed over details, un-climatic events, and cheesy love scenes. A LARGER-THAN-LIFE novel in both size and story is definitely the MUST READ fiction of the month for me.

I have only one issue with this colossal book...


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.

Follow Ken Follett on Twitter

Listen to Ken Follett talking about Fall of Giants

- Review by Kelly Ansara


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

wow! Sounds like this one is awesome!! Great review!!

Monica said...

Hi there.

I've wondered for a while about Follet. You make this one sound good. Will add to my tbr list. Thanks.

Katie said...

Wait... why can't you read it in the bath? Bring your cd player! lol.

I watched the Pillers of the Earth mini-series and was really a fan, but so far I haven't managed to actually pick up a Ken Follet book, much less actually read one :)

We do have a big car trip coming up, so I'm thinking KF via audio might be the way to go...

Thanks for stopping by Book Love!! Have a great weekend :)

Cataluna6 said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog earlier. My flatmate read this and loved it, but I've never gotten around to it - which could be because I don't want to break my nose falling asleep part way through :)

Lu said...

Wow great review!! I love Ken Follet :)
Sigh what am I going to do if I can't read it in the bath? :(

Anonymous said...

I started this book on an airplane March 5, and finished reading page 985 on March 13th - and I work 50 hrs per week and have 2 kids!
I liked Pillars of the Earth, Loved World Without End (listened to that one on tape), and have no words for this book. Apparently Part II comes out this fall, can't wait. Great review, awesome book!

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