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A Goodreads user asked:

I'm looking to read my first Ken Follett book and I'm torn between Fall of Giants and Pillars of the Earth. Any suggestions on which one I should read first? I know they're both series-openers and completely different, but I'll gladly take any advice from people who are familiar with his work!

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Mary Jeanne By now you have read one I am sure. I hope it was PIllars of The Earth. It was head and shoulders above the others in my opinion.
James Mckay-mount Pillars of the Earth is one of my favourite books ever and the sequel is also brilliant. I am currently reading Fall of Giants and I would recommend it to anyone who prefers a more modern slant on their reading.
Julz Nathan Definitely Pillars in my opinion. Anyone who can make a story about the building of a cathedral fascinating (probably the equivalent in its day of building a jumbo jet today) has a gift. Well, it's more about the drama and characters around the town but what a page turner. The sequel was fantastic too. I am reading Giants now and it is very good, but had a very slow start. It's picking up now, but I still think it is not the socks on Pillars.
Billie Beaudette I just started Fall of Giants so I am unable to comment on this book. However, Pillars of the Earth was an excellent read. In fact, I was unable to put the book down. I would recommend Pillars of the Earth as a first read new to Ken Follett.
David Both are excellent, but Pillars is my all time favorite.
Kerr Smith I am in the middle of Fall of Giants and read Pillars of the Earth a couple of years ago. I don't think you can go wrong with either one. Because Follett started Fall of Giants knowing it would be a trilogy, there are more characters and more plot lines. However, my interest did not wane with either work. Also, Follet does a terrific job of developing the characters in both works. If you have a particular interest in one of the periods covered by the two works, then I would suggest reading that one first. If not flip a coin and just dive in. You will not be disappointed.
Jenna Thank you everyone!! I completely forgot I'd asked this question! I did start with Pillars, and will be reading Fall of Giants this year as I found the paperback for 50c at a yard sale... whoop!

*happy~reading*
Ginky Definitely Pillars of the Earth-in a lifetime of reading, the Pillars of the Earth series is one which I will always remember. I found both the characters and the glimpse into life of the medieval period to be fascinating. Unlike much of medieval history, this series focuses less on the elite, while bringing to vivid life the ordinary, everyday characters which populated this era. A thoroughly enjoyable read...
Nancy Cunningham Pillars of the Earth and World Without End were 2 of my favorite books ever ! Easy to get invested in the characters and details of the story line and be swept away !!!
Mark I read both and Pillars of the Earth is my vote to read first..
Smitha I read Pillars of the Earth - it was my first Ken Follett book. I am currently reading the Fall of the Giants. Both are excellent books. I think I enjoyed Pillars of the Earth just because I had no idea of the history and so it was more educative and great read. As for the Fall of Giants it has been a wonderful read so far. Since I know the time period's history in just as much detail, it makes me appreciate the tremendous work he put into it and yet it feels repetitive.
Debbie I found Pillars of the Earth riveting! I just started Fall of Giants and it already seems a bit more complicated. I think you would enjoy reading Pillars first.
Vivian De Lima Silva I have been the same doubt and I choose Fall of Giants because it was avaiable to buy. I am currently readind and I have fun so much!
But, remember that it is a trilogy, so if you start you need to finish! :)
Denise I'm at the midpoint of Fall of Giants and am enjoying it very much. I'll add Pillars of the Earth to my list.
Melissa Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite books ever. However, that said, it is also not very typical of Follett's work so it doesn't give you the best idea of his writing.
Kristine Maugans I was intrigued with the seeming continuation of family lines even between the two series. They are set hundreds of years apart, and yet in my mind, the lineage continues in the Century Trilogy. You can't go wrong with either series.
Chaoyi Pillars of the Earth
Cheryl Kosarek I am half way through Fall of Giants, and look forward to making some time each day to reading it.
Next I will read either the second book in trilogy or Pillars of the Earth
I love his book and will probably plan to read all of his books
Alan Leitch No contest - it HAS to be Pillars - it's a fabulous read!
Greene Wills It depends how much you would like to go back in History! Both books are great. I absolutely love Ken Follett. His first book I did read was The Eye of the Needle, then A Place Called Freedom. When it comes to the 2 you are undecided about, I would go for the Pillars of the Earth. I devoured it in 2 days (and it's a long one) and couldn't wait for the next one, set a few generations after that. I am sure you won't be disappointed.
M. Sasso I would suggest you start with The Pillars of the Earth. It is full of tension, suspense, impeccable pacing, action, intrigue, violence, passion, greed, bravery, dedication, revenge, and love. Immediately afterwards I suggest you read "World without End" which is my absolute favorite. It is set about two hundred years after The Pillars of the Earth, in the same imaginary city of Kingsbridge, and the characters at the center of the story are the descendants of the protagonists of the first novel. I have read many books by Ken Follet, but I will never forget the character of Caris in World without End...
Alberto I read virtually all Ken Follett's books until Whiteout (I haven't read the Giants Trilogy). I must be one of the very few who has not enjoyed Pillars. I recommend to start with Eye of the Needle.
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