Review: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

 

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Five families are bought together through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the struggle for votes for women. 

It is 1911, and the coronation day of King George V. Thirteen year old Billy Williams begins his first day at work in a coal mine. 

The Williams family is connected 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 Gus Dewar, ambitious young aide to US President Woodrow Wilson. Two orphaned Russian brothers soon become involved, but Grigori and Lev Peshkov’s plan to emigrate to America falls foul of war, conscription and revolution.

This is a massive book and looks like a daunting read, but the story flows and gels extremely well. Seamlessly going from England to Russia onto America.  It is extremely well written (I don’t expect any less from Ken Follett) and I feel that I have gotten to know the characters really well, with both their strengths and hideous weaknesses.

I currently have 150 pages to go (out of the daunting 850) and am  just starting to struggle.  It feels like it is starting to repeat itself a bit and the story line has slowed right down from how fast paced it was at the beginning.  It has only taken me 2 weeks to get this far, so I am very impressed with myself (I have 3 young kids), but the last section is certainly taking longer than the first.

I would definitely recommend this book if you like long sagas, it reminds me a little of Edward Rutherford and his books Sarum, London etc rather than Ken’s other awesome book Pillars of the Earth.

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