Fall of Giants
By Ken Follett
Reading Level: Medium/Hard
Similar Novels: Only Time Will Tell by Jeffery Archer, Company of Liars by Karen Maitland, New York by Edward Rutherfurd
“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, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. In a plot of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, “Fall Of Gaints” moves seamlessly from Washington to St Petersburg, 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.” (Goodreads)
I believe that the first three words that left my mouth after I’d finished reading this book was, “That was amazing.” I’m not entirely sure of where to begin – the insightful and realistic characters, the intricate and beautifully executed plot, the way Ken Follett tells a story, and doesn’t just write a book… This book is breathtaking. I’ve read quite a lot of good books, recently, but now I feel like going back and changing all of them because they can’t amount to Fall of Giants. Ken Follett has this way of making the characters come to life… I just love it. I didn’t completely hate one of the characters, nor did I completely adore one of them – just like people, in real life. Follett has completely avoided, what I like to call, the Perfection Dilemma.
(The Perfection Dilemma is when the author makes some of the characters so incredibly and awfully perfect, that the entire book just becomes unrealistic – nobody is perfect.)
I also really like the way Follett follows these 5 families through the course of several years, and you get to see how they develop and evolve in a way that you don’t get to see in other books – it’s brilliant.
My Dad recommended this book to me, and at first I was a little against it, because I am more of a vampire/paranormal/werewolf kind of reader, but now I am thrilled that I read it. Yes, it is almost a thousand pages, and yes there were times when you just wanted to strangle the “power-crazy-politicians,” but I’m so happy that I read it.
I recommend this book for perhaps someone a little older, because of some of the more “mature themes” (which we all know means sex and violence, basically) that occur throughout the novel, but otherwise anybody who likes to read books.
Such a good book…