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Fall of Giants

(The Century Trilogy #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  288,783 ratings  ·  14,582 reviews
This is an epic of love, hatred, war and revolution. This is 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, aristocra
Hardcover, 985 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Berkley
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Helene Definitely. I finished it in 1 week - only reading it on my commute which is 30 minutes. I also loved Pillars of the Earth but that one took me 5 trie…moreDefinitely. I finished it in 1 week - only reading it on my commute which is 30 minutes. I also loved Pillars of the Earth but that one took me 5 tries. This one I got into immediately. Only sorry I didn't carry the 2nd book with me.(less)

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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  288,783 ratings  ·  14,582 reviews

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Beth Bedee
It's a little disappointing that people are rating this book on Amazon out of protest of its price. It's low rating does not give the book the recognition it deserves. This is my first Ken Follett novel, and I am hooked. I've read where some people have not been that interested in the subject matter of Fall of Giants and prefer the Middle Ages. I'm fascinated with 20th Century history, so this is right down my alley.

This novel covers the years of WWI and the Russian Revolution and follows 5 fami
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
“Men were the only animals that slaughtered their own kind by the million, and turned the landscape into a waste of shell craters and barbed wire. Perhaps the human race would wipe itself out completely, and leave the world to the birds and trees… Perhaps that would be for the best…”
- Ken Follett, Fall of Giants

This book is utter trash.

Is that too harsh? Let me rephrase.

This book is a steaming pile of garbage.

Still a bit mean?

It doesn’t matter. Ken Follett does not give a whit. His editor an
Melissa Rochelle
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
One of the early reviews I read stated that this book lacked one of Follett's infamous villains. I disagree. The ultimate villain in this enormous book is clearly war and perhaps the arrogance of world leaders.

I've always had a difficult time understanding the why surrounding World War 1 and this book helps put it in perspective (even if it is fiction). I remember learning in history class that the US got involved because the Germans torpedoed the Lusitania. And it did play a part, but that hap
Dana Ilie
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sweeping epic with the pace of a thriller, I could scarcely put it down.
This ambitious novel, the first of a projected trilogy covering most of the 20th century, tells the story of five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English and Welsh—as they negotiate the tremendous events of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. Through the various characters—and there are quite a few—we witness the First World War in the trenches and in the halls of government, from each side of
Genia Lukin
Sep 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Do not say that I don't like historical fiction - because I do. Do not even say I don't like Follett - because I rather do. In fact, this highly praised - and very thick - volume I'd been anticipating eagerly, both because I had pleasant memories from The Pillars of the Earth and because currently I am rather WWI mad; I read Tuchman's classic works, Maddox Ford, not to mention Hemingway and Remarque, because I am fascinated by the subject.

So what in the world went wrong with this book?

This story
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, favourites
After being highly impressed with the Pillars series created by Follett, I hoped to find as much depth and development in the Century Trilogy.The premise, following the fates of five interrelated families against a backdrop of world events is brilliant in its imagining and stellar in its delivery. The reader is introduced to Billy Williams early in the novel, as he enters the Welsh mining pits. His family acts as a wonderful bridge as Billy's sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fit ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the way historic events are intertwined with the fate of five families of different walks of life and nationalities. Ken Follett manages to tell a story and include details describing the end of the Edwardian era, the dawn of the Russian empire and the Prussian military ambitions. This is an epic tale that equally focuses on Welsh miners or Russian workers and on the aristocrats. The fourth star is for keeping me interested.
Jun 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
The story was enjoyable enough and certainly kept me entertained for a couple of days. The recreation of the early 20th Century was very vivid, and I was impressed by how well Follett applied his considerable skills in this respect to a variety of nations and social classes. To cover so many years in any decent amount of depth was a great challenge, to which Follett rises well. The story was fast-paced and the build-up to the War was particularly well managed. The particularly notable aspect of ...more
R.K. Gold
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So addictive!
I am posting a review on YouTube. My review is entirely character-based, because the plot is just World War I. If you enjoy multi generational family sagas this trilogy is a must read. It has a healthy batch of heroes and assholes that make your skin crawl. I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll just end this with Eff you Earl Fitzherbert you’re a selfish prick 😂
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
At 985 pages, Fall of the Giants is a massive tome and the first book in The Century Trilogy, 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.

These characters find their lives inextricably entangled in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg,
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
*** 3.33 ***

"...“Men were the only animals that slaughtered their own kind by the million, and turned the landscape into a waste of shell craters and barbed wire. Perhaps the human race would wipe itself out completely, and leave the world to the birds and trees, Walter thought apocalyptically. Perhaps that would be for the best.”..."

Here we are again, reading another tome by Ken Follett and trying to pinpoint my feelings about it. Not an easy task, I tell you that. As always, he is being ha
Sean Barrs
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ken Follet’s style quickly engrossed me into the characters and their lives. The book follows the lives of several families in the events that led up to the First World War and the crisis afterwards. We see it from the perspective of an English Noblemen, an English working class family, a pair of Russian brothers, a German with strong prospects in government and an undersecretary working for the Wilson administration. Through this we get a multi-dimensional view of the war.

A complete picture of
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Definitely my favourite WWI history novel I have read thus far. Beautifully captures the troubles of WWI on all spectrums, not just politically or on the battlefield.
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating epic tale!, August 5, 2010

This review is from: Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (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
Jun 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I have loved just about everything Ken Follett has written, but I think this one fell short of his usual standard. Most of his novels grab you from the beginning, with fully-drawn characters and gripping plot lines. I wasn't even done with the second chapter before I began to wonder if I was even going to like this. I think he may have tried to accomplish too much with this story. There were so many characters with so much going on in their lives. There was not enough time to give more than a gl ...more
Fall of Giants is a door stopper, one of those books that makes me glad I have an e-reader for the sake of my wrists. At close to 1000 pages, it's long, and at times it feels like it. The first time I tried to read it, I didn't have the patience, but this time, I settled in for the long haul, determined to give it some time. That patience made all the difference.

This is an astounding historical epic. It takes the events leading up to World War I and the Russian Revolution and fills them with ch
The first of a promised trilogy. Focus is on the early 1900s detailing a vast array of characters affected by the coming Great War (WWI) which helps along the process of women's suffrage, trade unions, topples nobility and the rise of the Bolsheviks in Mother Russia. WWI focus is less on the battles and more on the suffering. The very end of this 1000 page tale shows the aftermath of the war and the ominous foreboding of another World War to come.

TRIVIA: Woodrow Wilson was the first president t
My teens was when I first and I think last read Ken Follett. I wasn't really impressed then with his books, despite those books being touted as some of his best works ever. Well, goes to show how different individual liking can be. So, when I chose to read this book, it was more for the subject than the author, although I had heard a lot of good things about the way the author had written the book etc. Nevertheless, I was sceptical and wasn't really expecting anything better than an average read ...more
Normally I can rate a book pretty quickly, without giving much thought to it, but this one, was difficult. I'm fairly neutral with how I feel about this book. I've definitely read worse, but then I've read better as well. This has been hailed as a masterpiece. This is no masterpiece and in my experience, it quickly became a headache.
There are some aspects of the book that I did like, though. I liked the fact that the characters Maud and Ethel were from very different backgrounds but were both c
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ken Follett is a spellbinding storyteller. You can count on him to create a complex plot around an almost dizzying array of characters with a vast range of character traits from scoundrels to nobly inspiring as well as throwing in real historical figures.

I listened to his Century Trilogy last year and was thoroughly caught up in both the history and the often times soap opera of the many characters lives. I never really count listening to audio books as reading, but I probably need to revise m
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Meh. I love Ken Follett. Seriously, has a better epic period novel been written than Pillars of the Earth? I even like his other more basic stuff like Whiteout and A Dangerous Fortune. Sure they are simple beach novels but they are good reads. Fall of Giants seems like it can't decide if it wants to be the beach novel or the epic period novel. So the result is flat characters, a listless storyline, and rocket paced love affairs. This is Grey's Anatomy meets World War I, without the hospital. Jus ...more
Elyse  Walters
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I liked it...
I liked it...
I liked it...

When is the next one coming out?
Chris Berko
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. I very much enjoyed reading it and was impressed by the way it went from being personal and intimate to grand and sweeping seamlessly and sometimes over the period of only a couple of sentences. Very memorable characters and from page fifty on I was in love.
My suspension of disbelief could only be put on hold for so much and I got really tired of the coincidences and the characters running into one another in the middle of a war multiple times got really old. Talkin
Rohit Enghakat
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply stupendous and engaging ! This is a sweeping historical saga from 1911 to 1924 covering principally, the World War I. The myriad characters mingled with the historical events was so interesting that it keeps you hooked. The best part I enjoyed were the opposing views and reasons of both the Germans and the Allies for the occurrence of World War I. The author gives a dual perspective with awesome finesse.

Will take some time off from the Peshkovs, von Ulrichs and Fitzherberts. Whew !!
Michael Smith
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This first novel in the Century trilogy is truly excellent, and it lays a magnificent foundation for what I hope are equally impressive parts two and three. There is striking development in all the major characters as they move through two decades in the early twentieth century. Follett meshes his skills as a thriller writer with his even greater talents in historical fiction, so that this massive book, with its interrelating families from America, Britain, Germany, and Russia, is much like a pa ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019

All he could see was the slag heap, a slate grey mountain of tailings, waste from the coal mine, mostly shale and sandstone. This was how the world appeared on the second day of Creation, Billy thought, before God said: “Let the earth bring forth grass.” A gentle breeze wafted fine black dust off the slag onto the rows of houses.

Ken Follett’s most ambitious project ever. The mother of all epics to cover the painful creation of the modern world through the blood drenched trenches of the first t
Tom LA
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audiobook. Realized with horror that i had bought the abridged version about half way through. Still, I enjoyed this book immensely. I might even read the hardcover now.

I think many reviewers are completely missing the point when they say, arching their arrogant eyebrows, "this is not intellectual enough", or "it's not literature", or "it's not War and Peace". First, if Tolstoj was alive and writing today, no publisher would ever accept to publish his over-long and over-detailed
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I can't really say what kept me from picking up this behemoth when it came out, but Ken Follett's Fall of Giants never demanded my immediate attention. I stumbled over it here and there, but it wasn't until I saw the audio edition available for check out through Overdrive that I really considered tackling the title.

I wont lie, Fall of Giants is long, the story lines are unbalanced, the cast is unusually large, the characteri
Jen from Quebec :0)
Wowzers- this powerful novel was SO very wonderful that I do not yet have the proper words to explain. If you like history, especially the history surrounding the 1st World War, you should be reading this book at this very moment. I immediately sought out the 2nd book to continue this epic saga of families from 5 of the major countries involved in the battle, complete with familial character charts ala George RR Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series. This book is every bit the same sort of ma ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
WARNING: This is a fiction book!

It took me 10 years to finally remove this book from my shelves.
I don’t know why I felt so intimidated by its size. It’s such an easy read. And I have read bigger books.
I guess I was expecting too much politics (and I’m glad that I was wrong).
Despite of some “convenient coincidences” and some predictability of some events, I really enjoyed this book.
The writing is solid and engaging.
The plot (and the characters) was well developed.
There is plenty of drama.
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Pick-a-Shelf: A Fall of Giants - Buddy Read 48 25 Mar 21, 2020 11:22PM  
Goodreads România: || Ficțiune istorică || Căderea uriașilor 9 52 Dec 05, 2019 05:14AM  
Book Snails Book ...: Buddy Read: FALL OF GIANTS by Ken Follett 254 38 Jul 22, 2019 04:53AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Corrections 2 220 May 31, 2019 01:50PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Format correction 3 10 Feb 01, 2019 05:05AM  
Luke Sippel 2 13 Dec 20, 2018 06:52AM  
Earl Fitzherbert 3 79 Dec 11, 2018 06:09PM  

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Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 170 million copies of the 36 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.

Born on June 5th, 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in Philosophy – later to be made a Fellow of t

Other books in the series

The Century Trilogy (3 books)
  • Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)
  • Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy, #3)

Articles featuring this book

He made the Middle Ages come to life in The Pillars of the Earth, and now the history buff starts fresh in the 20th century with a new epic...
64 likes · 26 comments
“A baby was like a revolution, Grigori thought: you could start one, but you could not control how it would turn out.” 89 likes
“President Wilson says a leader must treat public opinion the way a sailor deals with the wind, using it to blow the ship in one direction or another, but never trying to go directly against it.” 44 likes
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