As some of you may know, I recently set myself a little challenge to read Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy, back to back. At around 1000 pages per book, this initially would seem like a lot of reading! However, I knew going into it that Follett is the master of pace, and having read his previous books (also 1000+ pages in length), Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, I knew that the sheer number of pages would not be a chore; Follett’s skill at making the reader feel as though that even though they’ve just read this huge book, they still want more, is matched only by very few authors.
In The Fall of Giants, we are presented with several families from around the world – Wales, England, America, Russia and Germany. Follett begins in 1911 and continues on until the early 1920’s. In this narrative, we see several families, and how various circumstances, actions and indeed how WWI, have a huge irreversible effect on these people.
Although this novel is work of fiction, Follett does incorporate authentic characters and events that did actually happen in this time period. Thankfully, an author of such caliber as Follett, managed to do this in a non caricature kind of way. This novel is one of those rare ones that are able to teach the reader a lot, whilst still entertaining them, and therefore, I think that anyone with a passing interest in history or even the avid history buff, will enjoy this novel.
Now, I will be the first to admit that I am perhaps one of the most cynical people on this plant, and when I saw that there was a list of characters in the beginning of the book, I did wonder if there would be so many of them that I wouldn’t be able to relate to them, or care about the direction that Follett takes them in. Well, I am happy to report that I was completely and utterly wrong! My cynical and jaded self was pleasantly surprised! Each character (the main ones at least) was well fleshed out, authentic, and I was able to see the point of view of each one. There are a couple of them of whom which I cannot wait to see where they are taken by Follett.
I really can’t recommend this book enough. This is a great first part of the trilogy, and I can only hope that books two and three are just as captivating.
Do yourself a favour and get hooked in this wonderful world that Follett has helped to create for just $2.50.
Until next time ~ Pegasus.