2022 Reading Challenge discussion

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1)
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ARCHIVE 2015 > Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

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message 1: by ZaraS (last edited Feb 09, 2015 11:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments This thread is to discuss Ken Follett's book, Fall of Giants.


***Please remember to mark spoilers.***

Participants:
Caro, Kelsi, Jodi, Cassandra, Duaa, Samuel, Kadijah Michelle, Vicki, Stormie


ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments Suggested break down of reading so that you can check in and let us know how you're going. The following breakdown is purely a suggestion and is therefore not set in stone.

Rather than putting dates for each section I've done it so that it takes into account that not everybody will necessarily have the book at the same time.
Week 1: 124 pages
Week 2: 124 pages
Week 3: 124 pages
Week 4: 124 pages
Week 5: 124 pages
Week 6: 124 pages
Week 7: 124 pages
Week 8: 117 pages



message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

My mp3 audiobook is about 31 hours, so I'll listen to 4 hours each week for weeks 1-7, then finish up the rest in week 8.


ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments Abigail wrote: "My mp3 audiobook is about 31 hours, so I'll listen to 4 hours each week for weeks 1-7, then finish up the rest in week 8."

Sounds great Abigail


Caro (karopi) | 975 comments I will implement the style of chapters rule to control my reading... The book has 42 chapters, that means 5 or 6 chapters for book each week. Hopefully I will make it on time.


Kadijah Michelle (kadmich) | 2176 comments Hi, is it too late to join? I apologize, but I didn't realize you could join more than one buddy read in a month, and I joined The Lost Symbol last month.
I like the chapter idea of breaking down the book that Caro suggested.


Cassandra | 5832 comments Not too late at all! Welcome to the buddy read. :)


Cassandra | 5832 comments I usually don't read more than one book at a time, but I'm going to try to stick to the schedule for this one. It'll be an experiment!


message 9: by Sam (new)

Sam (siburgess) | 25 comments Will do my best to stick to the schedule and start reading from tomorrow - are we calling the week commencing on Sunday 1st Feb 'Week 1' for our purposes?


message 10: by Caro (new) - rated it 4 stars

Caro (karopi) | 975 comments The book is set to be read in 8 weeks. Some people will join later. The schedule and my chapter idea are just suggestions.


Cassandra | 5832 comments Yeah, the weeks are a little bit rough, especially since February is a short month. It does provide a nice guideline, though. But if we find that it's taking us a shorter or longer time to read, we can always adjust.


ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments Cassandra wrote: "Yeah, the weeks are a little bit rough, especially since February is a short month. It does provide a nice guideline, though. But if we find that it's taking us a shorter or longer time to read, we..."

You're correct Cassandra. The way I've set this up the weeks can start from whenever you start to read the book even if that happens to be after the buddy read is finished. They are only a guide so if it doesn't fit peoples' reading patterns then it's perfectly OK to design a reading method that suits.


message 13: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I am just finishing up a book in the next day or two, so I should be good to start before the end of the week.


message 14: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (littlequeenie29) | 6 comments Going to try this. Never participated before. Will see how it goes!


ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments Vicki wrote: "Going to try this. Never participated before. Will see how it goes!"

Welcome Vicki.


message 16: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (littlequeenie29) | 6 comments Thank you!


Cassandra | 5832 comments I'm a little behind on getting started with this one, but I'll catch up next week!

This week was midterms as well as a career fair, and now I have a cold. :( I'm hoping to get lots of reading in over the weekend, though.


message 18: by Caro (new) - rated it 4 stars

Caro (karopi) | 975 comments Cassandra wrote: "I'm a little behind on getting started with this one, but I'll catch up next week!

This week was midterms as well as a career fair, and now I have a cold. :( I'm hoping to get lots of reading in ..."

Good luck Cassandra hope you recover soon! Weather here is also terrible. We have two days of snow and strong winds. A lot of people is sick and I am having a lot of tea to not ended up in bed.

I will also start this week. I am a little bit behind have many things to organise at home but hopefully in the next two weeks I will be good to go.


message 19: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I have started, barely. I have a hard time with it because the chapters are so long. I prefer short chapters in a book. When my kindle says 1h45mins for a chapter, I know it is going to be slow going.


Cassandra | 5832 comments I'm okay with the long chapters in this case because the chapters are broken up into smaller parts. But I know what you mean!

I started reading last night and got through I of chapter two. I like it so far, even though nothing major has really happened yet. I really like the descriptions in this book. I felt like I could imagine what the choking air and darkness of the mine might be like. I'm interested to see how the King's visit to the Fitzherbert's house goes. It seems like a LOT of things can easily go wrong when you're entertaining the King.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know about this one. I'm into April 1914, and honestly the characters aren't ringing true to me. They don't feel like ... people. What do you guys think?


message 22: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I have only read the Prologue and almost finished Ch 1. I don't have time for long reading periods and the chapters are over an hour and a half each, according to my Kindle. So far I have really enjoyed the time down in the mine.


Cassandra | 5832 comments I made it through the first week's pages.

I think this book focuses more on the world and events than the characters because of it being this sweeping historical fiction novel. I do feel like the main characters, at least, are being developed. I also think Grigori's stories of his childhood felt pretty real. I feel like Fitzherbert is probably the most boring character so far, but that may change.


message 24: by Jodi (last edited Feb 10, 2015 07:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I was wrong about where I was. I just started chapter 3. I don' t know when I got to chapter 2. No wonder the chapters seemed so long. I do find the characters interesting. (view spoiler). I do think I will like this book. I am a fan of Ken Follett. If anything doesn't make sense above, I apologize, I am on my phone and it is hard to see what I have done.

It is hard to know where I am because my kindle doesn't have page numbers. I know I am not where I am supposed to be but not sure how far behind I am. As I said I am just starting ch 3. BTW I have to agree with you Cassandra about Fitz being a boring character. Maybe it is because he is an " aristocrat" who is so concerned about appearances and proper etiquette that at least for now, he isn't that interesting.


Stormie ~ Book Dragon ~ (stormiebookdragon) | 94 comments I would like to join in on this discussion if I could. I just got the book from the Library...well I purchased it from their donations room...


message 26: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments Hi Stormie! Please do join us! We are all kind of starting at different times because of other reading commitments. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments Stormie I've added you to the list. Welcome.


message 28: by Jodi (last edited Feb 12, 2015 09:37PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I only just now have made it to April 1914. I have been so tired the last few nights that I have only been able to read a few pages at a time. I will try to read more this weekend. I do like Billy and I like reading about his sister too. I think they will both be pretty important throughout the book. They both seem to be strong leaders.

Cassandra I too really felt Grigori's story of his childhood was terrible and felt so bad for him and his brother.


message 29: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments How are people doing with the book? I am only about 30% finished on my Kindle. I have to write report cards this weekend, so I won't get very much reading done. I am hoping next week I can devote more time to the book.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm at part 8 of 27 in my audiobook, and I have 2 exams this week, so I'm not reading too much either :P


Cassandra | 5832 comments I'm just a few pages away from being done with chapter thirteen.

I'm enjoying the book, but this part of the book has left out several characters I'm interested in. Ethel comes in again toward the end of the week three selection, but Lev and Billy have been conspicuously absent. I want to know more about them, and I hope that they will be central parts of the story as it progresses. Maud is one of my favorite characters, though, because she seems more three-dimensional than some of the others, and I'm glad there's been a focus on her.

(view spoiler)

How familiar are you with World War I history?


message 32: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I don't know much about World War I at all.

I just finished part one last night. I love (view spoiler)


Cassandra | 5832 comments I expected so much better out of Billy and Ethel's father, since he seems to be this ethical, religious man. But it turns out that he's pretty closed-minded after all.


message 34: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I agree Cassandra! I did love (view spoiler)

I will not get to read much tonight because my report cards will take me late into the night. Goodreads is a nice break in between comments.


Berit | 140 comments I read this book last October I think. If you guys read the next in the trilogy next month I will join you. I need a little push, I like the book, but it is long. Enjoy!!!


Cassandra | 5832 comments Next month we're actually continuing this book, making it a two-month buddy read. I don't know if I plan to read the next book in the series, but there may be some interest! Feel free to propose it as a buddy read as we get a little closer to April.


Berit | 140 comments I will, it is not an easy read, but I think I learned a lot from it, about a time in history I wasn't all that familiar with.


message 38: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I know I will continue with the series. I really like Ken Follett but I don't know if I can fit it in this year. I have several books planned out for the near future already. I don't know how I will be able to manage reading them all.


Berit | 140 comments I can definitely wait tell next year :-) not really in that big of a hurry! Just think I would enjoy it more if I was reading it was someone else.


message 40: by Jodi (last edited Feb 27, 2015 04:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I think I am about 54% finished now. I do find at some points I don't remember who some people are.

I have enjoyed reading about the characters in the States. (view spoiler)

The war: I have felt that parts of the war have dragged on a little. It isn't that I don't like reading about the war, but I just feel like those sections don't need to be as long. (view spoiler)

I love that Maud (view spoiler)
Ethel: (view spoiler)

I am finding that this book is taking me quite some time to get through. I like it but I don't remember it taking me so long to get through Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.


message 41: by Caro (new) - rated it 4 stars

Caro (karopi) | 975 comments I most admit I am starting late has quite a hard month and got sick (winter virus) put me a little bit behind most of you... Really started a couple of days ago and is my first book from Ken Follett. So far I am liking it a lot, I do not find it slow read, just the very beginning, but after that the book is almost unveiling itself and is hard for me to put it down. I just move for the first part in United States and really want to know what will happen next. In the next weeks I will have more time so I expect to finished on time. Despite the other books that I will also read. I may consider to read the other two books this year if most people is willing to join the conversation. So far the characters in all countries are very interesting and I already develop a hate in Bea.... From what it seems it will only increase in the book. I will read the spoilers of Jodi when I am that advanced.


message 42: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments Caro, if you like this book you have to read The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End

I am glad that you like it. I do like it too. Which characters are you connecting with the most?


message 43: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I find Grigori's role in the war quite interesting. Not sure what I think about it but I can't say I blame him.


message 44: by Caro (new) - rated it 4 stars

Caro (karopi) | 975 comments Ok so for my reading so far I really like Maud and Walter both characters and their story. I am looking forward to see how their romance develop, as well as I love Maud personality and independence for that time. I also like a lot Billy and the way that he confront the crisis in the mine. I most admit that so far I have mixed feelings for Ethel, for some parts you can see that she has a good heart and that she is also really hard worker trying to provide the best for her family... But (view spoiler). But this is of course coming from a person that still does not read 50% of the book so I must see. And yes Jodi I think that later I will read The Pillars of the Earth but first I will finish this trilogy... Really looking forward for many books of Ken Follett


Cassandra | 5832 comments I haven't quite been keeping up with this one. It's not that I don't like it but that there are so many other books to get distracted with. I'm about ready to start Chapter 14 and now that I'm actively reading this one again I should catch up quickly.


ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments Cassandra wrote: "I haven't quite been keeping up with this one. It's not that I don't like it but that there are so many other books to get distracted with. I'm about ready to start Chapter 14 and now that I'm acti..."

I know exactly how you feel Cassandra


message 47: by Jodi (last edited Mar 07, 2015 04:58PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I am 73% done. I would really like to finish this one because I have two other buddy reads that I want to get to. (I have started our twin read Zara, but just haven't gotten far because of this book).

The farther I get into Fall of Giants, the more I like it. I really like Grigori. He just had a really long chapter (view spoiler)

All I am going to say is Lev is a pig and I hope he gets what he deserves. I am worried (view spoiler)


ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments Hi Jodi,

That's fine re our buddy read. I have started also. I just haven't got far into it at the moment.


message 49: by Jodi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I finished Fall of Giants today. Here are my thoughts about the book. I don't think there are any spoilers in it.

What can I say, I love Ken Follett! I feel like it took me a long time to finish this book, but it was worth the time. What I liked about this book was that the story revolved around families from different countries and how they were connected. I loved reading about the history leading up to the war. I really do not know that much about WWI or about that time frame in history, but after reading this book I want to learn more. What's funny is I have a buddy read this month for Gravity's Rainbow, which is written around WWII.

I loved reading about the Ethel and Maud and the women's movement, fighting for women's rights during that time and fighting for the right to vote. As a teacher, I belong to a union, and I loved reading about the history of the labour movement with the Welsh miners.

I really enjoyed the characters and felt they were well developed. It was interesting watching them mature and change over time because of their circumstance or because of the war. I loved the strength that Maud and Ethel had and it was interesting watching where life took them over time. They both made some really difficult decisions that impacted the rest of their lives. I loved Billy and how he was his own person, who stood up for what he believed in and thought was right, no matter the consequence. I really liked Walter and how he thought critically about the war and did everything in his power to make sure it didn't happen. I loved his devotion to Maud and how he remained so faithful to her. I really liked how selfless Grigori was and how he did everything for everyone else, often sacrificing what he wanted and what would make him happy. I was glad he found happiness with Katerina.

I really disliked Lev, Grigori's brother, who was so selfish. He was a liar and a thief. He used and hurt everyone around him. I also disliked Fitz, who was an Earl, who also used people and didn't take any responsibility for his decisions. I wasn't a big fan of Gus either. I felt like he didn't really have any strength. I felt like he did what other people wanted for him. Initially he was engaged to Olga, daughter of a Russian thug, in the United States but when she wasn't faithful to him, he just kind of was blah to me. Then what a "shock" when he fell in love with Rosa. That was a little corny to me.

There were a few things I struggled with in this book. There were quite a few characters and some of them we wouldn't see for a while. I found it quite hard to keep the characters straight for a while. The other part I thought was hard was I found some of the war scenes to drag a bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I am looking forward to continue with the series.


ZaraS  *book reviewer | 2365 comments Jodi wrote: "I finished Fall of Giants today. Here are my thoughts about the book. I don't think there are any spoilers in it.

What can I say, I love Ken Follett! I feel like it took me a long time to finish t..."


Well said Jodi. I agree with everything you said especially about Grigori's brother - he was a nasty piece of work.


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