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'Fall of Giants' by Ken Follett - Book Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

By

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Dutton

The Bottom Line

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett is the first book in a new trilogy that will take readers through the major events of the twentieth century by following five families. In Fall of Giants, most of the action centers on World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution, with some glimpses of domestic politics, especially in Great Britain. Although Fall of Giants is more than 1000 pages and has many characters, the story is remarkably intimate and connected. It is a page turner that made me wish the next two volumes were already available.

Pros

  • Although the novel is long, the chapters present very readable blocks and provide a good pace.
  • 'Fall of Giants' is a fun way to learn more history.
  • Romance, battle scenes, politics, family drama -- 'Fall of Giants' has it all.
  • Follett makes us care about specific characters while writing about huge events.

Cons

  • The characters cross paths more often than is believable.
  • Some may feel that events wrap up too neatly (although the end foreshadows future tensions).

Description

  • 'Fall of Giants' by Ken Follett was published in September 2010
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • 1008 pages

Guide Review - 'Fall of Giants' by Ken Follett - Book Review

There are some people in my family who love history. They could comment on how accurate the battle depictions and politics in Fall of Giants are. I must admit up front, I am not a history expert. Fall of Giants, however, made me want to learn more about history in a way that only good historical fiction can. It made me feel connected to the past, and I suddenly feel an urgency to read more about these events. History teachers with reluctant students -- this might be a way to ground a unit on the early twentieth century.

What makes Fall of Giants great is that it doesn't feel like a history lesson, but the historical facts make it feel real. Conversely, while the characters are involved in class drama, labor issues, war, and romance, all these story lines help the bigger historical events seem more grounded. Ultimately, Fall of Giants is fun to read for both these reasons -- great interpersonal drama between characters and an epic overarching narrative.

I am usually intimidated by books this long, but Follett grabbed my attention immediately. I became so invested in the characters that I was thankful I couldn't finish the book in a weekend. I wanted to spend more time with them. I can't wait to see how future generations affect the rest of twentieth century history.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Fall of Giants, Member BookclubJoy

Wouldn't this be a perfect book for high school World History 101 of World War One? Ken Follett's ability to entertain while educate is amazing. His portrayal of characters demonstrates the elite notion that their rights should be served above all of their servants, whether born into it or forced into servitude through conquest. Follett's ability to paint a picture of the fashion of the day, the elegant mansions, and stunning food served was stimulating, while he also portrayed the darkness of the miners homes, clothes and scrapings of food; the many factories of filth and danger, then home to sleep many to a single room. Although an assassination started WW1, Follett tells the story of superior greed and stupidity causing millions of deaths, as well as the rise of America as a world power to bring the madness to it's knees. Good for President Woodrow Wilson and his 14 points, but sadness to the world that open wounds from the outcome of WW1 leads directly to WW2. Korea? Vietnam? Middle East? Northern Africa? Will we ever learn? My book club groaned when they heard how many pages, but I believe our discussion will be lively when asked, ""Which character's story did you enjoy most and why?""

5 out of 5 people found this helpful.

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