Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy #1)

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy #1)

by Ken Follett
3.6 2163


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Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy #1) by Ken Follett

Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. 

A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits. . . . An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House. . . . A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy. . . . And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution. 

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, Fall of Giants takes us into the inextricably entangled fates of five families—and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again. . . . 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142428283
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Series: Century Trilogy , #1
Pages: 13
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ken Follett is one of the world's best–loved novelists. He has sold more than one hundred million copies. His last book, World Without End, went straight to the No. 1 position on bestseller lists in the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France.

He first hit the charts in 1978 with Eye of the Needle, a taut and original thriller with a memorable woman character in the central role. The book won the Edgar Award and became an outstanding film starring Kate Nelligan and Donald Sutherland.

He went on to write four more bestselling thrillers: Triple, The Key to Rebecca, The Man from St. Petersburg, and Lie Down with Lions. Cliff Robertson and David Soul starred in the miniseries of The Key to Rebecca. In 1994 Timothy Dalton, Omar Sharif, and Marg Helgenberger starred in the miniseries of Lie Down with Lions.

He also wrote On Wings of Eagles, the true story of how two employees of Ross Perot were rescued from Iran during the revolution of 1979. This book was made into a miniseries with Richard Crenna as Ross Perot and Burt Lancaster as Colonel "Bull" Simons.

Ken Follett then surprised readers by radically changing course with The Pillars of the Earth, a novel about building a cathedral in the Middle Ages. Published in September 1989 to rave reviews, it was on the New York Times bestseller list for eighteen weeks. It also reached the No. 1 position on lists in Canada, Great Britain, and Italy, and was on the German bestseller list for six years. It was voted the third greatest book ever written by 250,000 viewers of the German television station ZDF in 2004, beaten only by The Lord of the Rings and the Bible. When The Times (London) asked its readers to vote for the sixty greatest novels of the last sixty years, The Pillars of the Earth was placed at No. 2, after To Kill a Mockingbird. (The sequel, World Without End, was No. 23 on the same list.) In November 2007, Pillars became the most popular choice of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, returning to No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The miniseries, produced by Ridley Scott and starring Ian McShane and Matthew Macfadyen, is due for broadcast in 2010.

After Pillars, Ken Follett abandoned the straightforward spy genre for awhile, but his stories still had powerful narrative drive, strong women characters, and elements of suspense and intrigue. Night over Water, A Dangerous Fortune, and A Place Called Freedom followed.

Then he returned to the thriller. The Third Twin was a scorching suspense novel about a young woman scientist who stumbles across a secret experiment in genetic engineering. Miniseries rights were sold to CBS for $1,400,000, a record price for four hours of television. The series, starring Kelly McGillis and Larry Hagman, was broadcast in the United States in November 1997. (Ken Follett appeared briefly as the butler.) In Publishing Trends' annual survey of international fiction bestsellers for 1997, The Third Twin was ranked No. 2 in the world, beaten only by John Grisham's The Partner.

The Hammer of Eden, another nail–biting contemporary suspense story, came in 1998. Code to Zero (2000), about brainwashing and rocket science in the fifties, went to No. 1 on bestseller lists in the United States, Germany, and Italy, and film rights were snapped up by Doug Wick, producer of Gladiator, in a seven-figure deal. Jackdaws (2001), a World War II spy story in the tradition of Eye of the Needle, won the Corine Prize for 2003. Film rights were sold to Dino De Laurentiis. Hornet Flight, about two young people who escape from German–occupied Denmark in a Hornet Moth biplane, is loosely based on a true story. It was published in December 2002. Whiteout, a contemporary thriller about the theft of a dangerous virus from a laboratory, was published in 2004 and made into a miniseries in 2009.

World Without End, the long–awaited sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, was published in October 2007. It is set in Kingsbridge, the fictional location of the cathedral in Pillars, and features the descendants of the original characters at the time of the Black Death. It was a No.1 bestseller in Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain, where it was the fastest–selling book ever published in the Spanish language, outstripping the last Harry Potter book.

A board game based on The Pillars of the Earth was released worldwide in 2007 – 2008 and won the following prizes: Deutscher Spielepreis 2007, Game of the Year 2007 in the United States (GAMES 100), Jeu d'annee 2007 (Canada), Juego del ano 2007 (Spain), Japan Boardgame Prize 2007, Arets Spill 2007 (Norway), and Spiele Hit 2007 (Austria). It was a nominee in Finland, France, and the Netherlands, and got a recommendation in Germany by the Jury "Spiel des Jahres."

In 2008 Ken was awarded the Olaguibel Prize by the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos Vasco–Navarro for contributing to the promotion and awareness of architecture. A statue of him by the distinguished Spanish sculptor Casto Solano was unveiled in January 2008 outside the Cathedral of Santa Maria in the Basque capital of Vitoria–Gasteiz in northern Spain.

His next project is his most ambitious yet. The Century Trilogy will tell the entire history of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of five linked families: one American, one English, one German, one Russian, and one Welsh. The first book, Fall of Giants, focusing on the First World War and the Russian Revolution, will be published worldwide simultaneously on September 28, 2010. He is already at work on the second book, provisionally titled The Winter of the World, about the Spanish civil war, the Second World War, and the development of nuclear weapons.

Ken Follett is married to Barbara Follett, a political activist who was the member of Parliament for Stevenage in Hertfordshire for thirteen years and minister for culture in the government of Gordon Brown. They live in a rambling rectory in Stevenage and also have an eighteenth-century town house in London and a beach house in Antigua. Ken Follett is a lover of Shakespeare and is often seen at London productions of the Bard's plays. An enthusiastic amateur musician, he plays bass guitar in a band called Damn Right I Got the Blues and appears occasionally with the folk group Clog Iron playing a bass balalaika.

He was chair of the National Year of Reading 1998 – 99, a British government initiative to raise literacy levels. He was president of the charity Dyslexia Action for ten years. He is a member of The Welsh Academy, a board director of the National Academy of Writing, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Literature (D.Litt.) by the University of Glamorgan as well as similar degrees by Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan—where his papers are kept in the Ken Follett Archive—and by the University of Exeter in 2008. He is active in numerous Stevenage charities and was a governor of Roebuck Primary School for ten years, serving as chair of governors for four of those years.

He was born on June 5, 1949, in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector. He was educated at state schools and


Hertfordshire, England

Date of Birth:

June 5, 1949

Place of Birth:

Cardiff, Wales


B.A. in Philosophy, University College, London, 1970

Customer Reviews

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Fall of Giants 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2163 reviews.
Catbluize More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of a new series. Starts with Welsh miners in early 20th century and intermission (ends) in the 1920's. The interaction historically is wonderful, the characters are extremely varied and it's amazing how they tie together. Follett goes into great detail of the characters. The book is very instructional on the politics of the era and the various characters are examples of the points of view of the period and how the politics eventually affect them. This is not a book you can read 5 pages at a time. Chapters are 50 pages. Find a comfortable chair, a good bottle of wine, and plan on a weekend of wonderful reading. If you're a part of a book club, plan on chapter discussions, they will be extremely stimulating. IF I had a complaint, it's that the book jumps between the characters. I plan on reading the book a second time, a character at a time. A definite for your Library. You'll want to keep a copy to reread when the second comes out.
SanvenFW More than 1 year ago
Having had the opportunity to actually read the book, I can tell you that Mr. Follett is spot on yet again. His razor sharp story telling, character development and interwoven storyline are all realized brilliantly. The entanglement of these characters with each other leads to a complex yet seamless journey around the globe. The book is fast paced, almost impossible to put down and sure to be an instant classic! I can not more highly suggest a title, this one was incredible. That being said, while I agree that the eBook price is outrageous, please note that the price is not set by Mr. Follet, it is in fact, set by his publisher. While I can say this book blew me away, I'm do not think I would purchase this title until Penguin decides to stop punishing those of us who have decided to invest in the future of electronic publishing. Book: 5 stars, ebook price: 0 stars.
PiratesGold More than 1 year ago
To all who have complained about the price of this novel, I will be the first to admit, it is worth every dollar. Fall of Giants falls into the status level of 'Gone with the Wind.' I would have paid $40 to have the experience of reading Margaret Mitchell's timeless classic. Price is relative to all and all will have their different thresholds. I spent twenty dollars to have a fascinating journey into the early 20th century. The same day, I spent twenty dollars on cleaning supplies for my kitchen. Guess which will have the most lasting impact on my life? This is an exceptional story with Follett creating depth into his characters in which very few authors can achieve. The list of characters in the beginning of the novel can be daunting but Follett introduces his characters to the reader as if they were part of your family. You understand their thought process and inner workings to the point where emotions are evoked, similar to the way family members evoke certain emotions at Thanksgiving... for better or worse. This historical fiction has the abilty to open eyes to the complicated yet simplistic world of politics. Find a weekend with no commitments then buy this novel, a bathtub shelf, bubble bath, and a bottle of wine. On Monday, tell me what the price is to your mind and soul, of having the opportunity to enjoy the luxuries of a warm bath with an amazing novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greed by the publishers take over again. Last Christmas, when I got my Nook, ebooks were about $10, then 4 months later $15, now $20. Love the books by Follett but not at this price. All who read this should put off buying this book until its $10, maybe the publishers may see the error of their ways.
denverbroncosgirl More than 1 year ago
It's unfair to rate this book with one star because you're upset with Barnes & Noble's ebook price. That has nothing to do with a book review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This ,as other books by KF is a worthwhile read. I suggest borrowing it or get it from libraryor get it used - - the ebook is too expensive! I borrowed it, and it's bulky snd cumberson compared to the nook, but it was free. and definitely worthwhile!! On line go to contact us" in customer service - mention the cost of the e books there too!! This is the responce I received when I did. eBooks are an emerging category and many pricing models are being tested from both publishers and retailers. What's important for all of our customers to know, is that we are committed to providing them with the widest catalog of digital books and ePeriodicals, that they can read and take with them on more devices than any other ebookstore. However, Barnes and Noble does not control the pricing of eBooks. Publishers, for the most part, control the pricing of digital books. The move to publisher pricing happened very quickly and this change became official recently.
Messenger1 More than 1 year ago
I like Follett and would love to have downloaded this one, but not for $20. I'll wait until it comes out in paperback.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can not begin to rave enough on the brilliance and quality of the writing, research, and sheer story telling by Ken Follett in Fall of Giants. The story is full of historical details, but Ken Follett finds a way to keep the story moving at an easibly readable pace. No matter if you are a history ethusiast or an average book reader you will love this novel. All who boycott it simply due to price are missing out.
LADYHEARTWELL More than 1 year ago
I am writing this as a rebuttal for all the NEGATIVE "reviews" that were posted for FALL OF THE GIANTS. Barnes & Nobles, or any other book store, should NOT permit comments re: pricing to be listed as a review. THIS IS NOT A BOOK REVIEW!! PERIOD. END OF STORY. I'm confident we will not be disappointed in this book; so far I've not been disappointed in any of Ken Follett's books. It will be wonderful to read a trilogy about a more modern time that we might be able to relate to. Perhaps some of our ancestors came from some of the places KF wrote written about. I can't wait to get started!! For those of us who plan to enjoy ourselves page by page; HAPPY READING!! :-) As for the rest of the complainers about price, etc., KEEP THESE COMMENTS OUT OF THE BOOK REVIEWS! SEND YOUR COMPLAINTS DIRECTLY TO BARNES & NOBLES; THAT'S WHERE THEY BELONG---NOT HERE! WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BOOK--NOT THE PRICE!!!
BeckyLynn More than 1 year ago
I was somewhat hesitant to purchase this book because of the reviews, but I am so glad I did. The characters are engaging and I love the fact that it is about World War I. There are not that many historical novels about the politics and events of this time period. It reminds me of The Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk, both of which I totally loved. I am eagerly awaiting the next in the series!
Queen-Reader More than 1 year ago
Ken Follett never disappoints and he is one of the few who gets better with age. I didn't think I would enjoy any book as much as Pillars of the Earth. Fall of Giants is my new favorite! I hope he doesn't make us wait too long for the second book of the trilogy. I can't recommend this book enough. The characters are interesting, the storyline is so smooth and the writing is suburb. 1000 pages of pure joy!!!!!! Keep 'em coming!
CONSTANTREADERMO More than 1 year ago
I remember my Grandmother telling me how the world was when she was 15 when the US entered WWI. This book gave me a global view which was fantastic. The only thing that the book did not truly expose was the effects of gas warfare and the world-wide Influenza that killed around 25 million people. But other than that, I found it very very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again, Ken Follett has given us a dramatic look into history with this sweeping epic. Follett is a master at fleshing out an extraordinary number of characters. It can be a bit overwhelming when you read the character list at the start of the story, however, by about a third the way into the book I found myself thoroughly engrossed in their lives. The action picks up about half way in and although there are a few chance encounters that seem a bit too contrived, overall the story flows well and the historical aspects make for a fascinating read. I'm now well past the half way point and can without a doubt say that if you liked "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End" the Century Trilogy will be right up your alley. This first book covers what is probably the most patchy area of 20th century history for me, I've learned so much through the course of this book and especially find the story of the Russian Revolution engrossing. Cannot wait to see what Books 2 & 3 have in store!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was fantastic from start to finish. The price however was hard to swallow for an e-book. However, I won't punish the rating of the story based on the price. This books is up their with "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, and I read tons of historical fiction. I was stunned at the number of "bad" reviews from people who obviously haven't bought or read the book. If you don't want to pay for it, don't buy it. But you will miss a really great read. Although it follows the lives of several characters over time, it was easy for me to follow and very captivating. I have read Ken Follett's other novels and this ranks as one of my very favorites.
ReadingSoccerMama More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Follett's previous epic novels, but couldn't be more disappointed with this one. I'm no prude by any means, but had all of the explicit sex and descriptions been left out, this might have been a decent novel. The idea behind the historical story line would have been wonderful to follow through this proposed trilogy, but I will not read any more of them. The author writes like a horny teenaged boy in this novel taking away immensely from the important historical aspects that he tries to cover. In short---rating of ZERO...don't waste your money or time.
yowen2010 More than 1 year ago
Usually, I'm a avid fan of Ken Follet's book however, this book bored me and I found it hard to stay awake. I did read the entire book and along the way wished for something great to happen but instead, I was thrown for reading "encyclopedia of world war I"....big disappointment!!
KJEJ More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Fall of Giants and can't wait to read the 2nd book in the trilogy. I planned ahead to read it on my vacation due to the length of the book and my inability to put a book down once I start reading. I downloaded it onto my nook and enjoyed every moment of being transported to another place and time. For those of you complaining about the eBook price compared to other eBooks, I say this: we are paying for the content, not the method of delivery. We are paying for a talented author, a well-researched history-based story, quality writing, and a beefy novel you can sink your teeth into. A fast-food burger is not the same (and doesn't command the same price) as a gourmet burger. The same is true for books, so sit back, relax, and savor every page (all 790 nook pages) of a great story.
Donald Dale More than 1 year ago
Great account of history, politics, and the human condition weaved into a gripping historical fiction. Thourghly enjoyed the pace of the book and appreciative of the great length Follett takes in developing his characters. Not quite on the epic level of 'Pillar's'.... just yet but has the potential to be a close second. CONS: slow start(pg. 1-100) but really picks up and of course PRICEY!!! If you can wait for it at the library CHEERS!!!......if not, no worries, you'll get what you pay for. TO ALL WHO ARE REALLY MAKING AN EXAGERATED FUSS OVER PRICE research Aggregate Demand...simple economics. ; )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're like me, you are not very good at remembering all that history they shoved into your head in school. This book appealed to me because I do have an interest in historical matters, though I lack the attention span for most of it. The way this book presents the historical facts makes it easy to pay attention and enjoy learning. The character interactions are a bit repetative and predictable, but overall the story is a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nook buyers bought a nook in order to have a chance to read new books at a better price. Perhaps having this book's rating lowered by our protest will catch the publisher's attention and prevent future price-gouging. Or maybe they will lower the price on this one. You can buy the hardback from Amazon for less than the nook price, which is crazy. I'll read it at the library.
flyguynv More than 1 year ago
There must be a pricing error for this book. If everyone does not stick together and refuse to purchase this book, all E-books will be priced like this in the future. You wanna pay that for all E-books? Very greedy publisher.
SirSebastionGedner More than 1 year ago
Ludicrous I say! Laughable! The mere notion of paying $20 dollars for an e-book is absurd! That is all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well developed characters. Marvelously detailed. In-depth research prior to writing is obvious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit too much time on the battlefield for me.