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The Resource Fall of giants, Ken Follett

Fall of giants, Ken Follett

Label
Fall of giants
Title
Fall of giants
Statement of responsibility
Ken Follett
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Follows the fates of five interrelated families--American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh--as they move through the dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage
Member of
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Award
Goodreads Choice Award, 2010.
Review
  • After a sequence of spy thrillers, Follett burst onto the historical fiction scene in 1989 with the megahit The Pillars of the Earth, set in twelfth-century England, and nearly two decades later (having written many other novels in the meantime), he followed with a sequel, World without End. His new book inaugurates what is to be a trio of historical novels (called the Century Trilogy), and it duplicates in structure the two novels mentioned above: showcasing the lives of five families from all walks of life and involved in various ways with the issues of the day from the outbreak of WWI to the early 1920s and reflecting these issues over a broad geographical range, the families here being from Britain, the U.S., Russia, and Germany. The social range of this big, sweeping, completely enveloping novel is announced in the very first line: “On the day King George V was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London, Billy Williams went down the pit in Aberowen, Wales.” Actual historical figures populate the narrative along with fictional characters, all of whom experience in different ways war, revolution, and the fight for women’s rights. -- Hooper, Brad (Reviewed 07-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 106, number 21, p6)
  • /* Starred Review */ This first in a century-spanning trilogy from bestseller Follett (Eye of the Needle) makes effective and economical use of its lead characters, despite its scope and bulk. From a huge cast, eight figures emerge to play multiple roles that illustrate and often illuminate the major events, trends, and issues of the years leading up to and immediately beyond WWI: American diplomat Gus Dewar; Earl Fitzherbert, a wealthy Englishman; Fitz's sister, Lady Maud; German military attaché Walter von Ulrich; Russian brothers Grigori and Lev Peshkov; Welsh collier Billy Williams and his sister, Ethel, whom Fitz hires as a housemaid. Ingenious plotting allows Follett to explore such salient developments of the era as coal mine safety in Wales, women's suffrage, the diplomatic blundering that led to war, the horrors of trench warfare, and the triumph of the Bolsheviks. While this tome doesn't achieve the emotional depth of the best historicals, it is a remarkable and wonderfully readable synthesis of fact and fiction. 1,000,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed July 12, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 27, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Moving from the medieval world of the best-selling The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End , Follett's new historical novel is the first volume of a projected trilogy that follows five families—Welsh, English, German, Russian, and American—through the turbulent 20th century. Covering the period 1911–23, the narrative moves from family to family, country to country, as the Great War impends, happens, and closes. In the first pages, a Welsh boy enters the coal mines; he has just turned 13 that day. He can expect a short and dirty life, but it doesn't turn out that way. The book closes in confrontation: the ninth-richest man in Britain, Earl Fitzherbert, is forced by his own sense of manners to shake the hand of a bastard son he has never acknowledged. Fitz seduced the boy's mother when she was his housemaid. Now she's a Labour MP in the postwar coalition government. Fitz is the past. She's the future. The Great War has changed everything, even for the winners. VERDICT Though lengthy, Fall of Giants never seems too long or confusing. Great fun, this is sure to be one of the best sellers of the fall season. The global broadcast of a TV miniseries based on The Pillars of the Earth starring Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland is sure to garner even more attention. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/10.]— David Keymer, Modesto, CA --David Keymer (Reviewed July 1, 2010) (Library Journal, vol 135, issue 12, p70)
  • A massive, cat-squashing, multigenerational and multifamilial saga, the first volume of what Follett (World Without End, 2007, etc.) promises as a trilogy devoted to the awful 20th century. The giants in question, metaphorically, are the great and noble families of old Europe, a generally useless lot with a few notable exceptions. One such worthy, Lord Fitzherbert (try not to think of Bridget Jones here), is a sun around which lesser planets circle, a decent fellow who had been an admiral, British ambassador to the tsar's court at St. Petersburg, and a government minister. His son, Earl Fitzherbert, is less notable, if fabulously wealthy: He "had done nothing to earn his huge income," and the presence of the awful Liberals in Parliament, Winston Churchill among them, keeps him from coming into his own as the great foreign secretary he wishes he could be. Into the Fitzherbertian orbit fall the Williamses, Welsh colliers of sweet voice and radical disposition; if Follett's sprawling story has a center, it is in Billy, who is but 13 as the saga opens and has a great deal of growing up to do. In the outlying reaches of the galaxy is Grigori Peshkov, plotter of the Bolshevik victory and slayer of tsarist officers in a scene straight out of Doctor Zhivago, a confidant of Trotsky's, who figures in the later pages ("Trotsky took the bad news calmly. Lenin would have thrown a fit"). He's just one of history's greats to bow into Follett's pages: Churchill figures into the story, as does Woodrow Wilson. But so, too, does a full six-page dramatis personae, so that there's never a dull or unpeopled moment. Throughout it all, Follett keeps a dependable narrative chugging along; if the writing is never exalted, it is never less than workmanlike, though one wonders about anachronisms here and there. (Did Woodrow Wilson, college president and master diplomat, really say "Heck"?) With an announced million-copy initial printing and a national author tour, this is sure to be one of the season's inevitable and unavoidable blockbusters—and not undeservedly.(Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2010)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
355851
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Follett, Ken
Dewey number
823/.914
Illustrations
maps
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6056.O45
LC item number
F35 2010
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
First in the Century trilogy
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Twentieth century
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Great Britain
  • Great Britain
  • Soviet Union
  • United States
  • Germany
Target audience
adult
Label
Fall of giants, Ken Follett
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Map on endpapers
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm.
Extent
xiv, 985 pages
Isbn
9780451232571
Lccn
2010009279
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Note
Imprint varies.
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
  • 462899076
  • (OCoLC)462899076
Label
Fall of giants, Ken Follett
Publication
Copyright
Note
Map on endpapers
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm.
Extent
xiv, 985 pages
Isbn
9780451232571
Lccn
2010009279
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Note
Imprint varies.
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
  • 462899076
  • (OCoLC)462899076

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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