You know the term “book hangover”? Well, suffice to say that I’m now experiencing it after finishing the final book in Follett’s The Century Trilogy. 3000 pages, countless characters, many different countries and time periods later, I have come to the end of this literary tour de force.
In the third installment, Follett allows us to experience life between 1960 and 1989 for all the different families. Pretty much every major event is covered, albeit in different levels of detail (I think it is fair to say that Follett’s interest in WWII is more apparent than his interest in the Vietnam War). We see the characters develop with the times, and indeed how their offspring handle various stumbling blocks in similar, or different ways than the previous generations.
As stated above, this series does run in at about 3000 pages. Don’t let that scare you though. Yes, it does seem to consume all your time, and you will become very invested in these characters. At the same time though, you will find that you fly through it and you’ll then find yourself wanting so much more.
The best way to describe how I’m feeling, and this will be a feeling many of us have shared, is that of knowing when something is so perfect that it has to end. That holiday romance that is full of passion, that meal at a once in a lifetime restaurant, that week on a tropical island… You don’t want it to end because it is perfect, but you also want it to stay a perfect memory, so you know it has to end…
I’m not sure how my brain is going to function without being in Follett’s world everyday, but I know that I’ll get over it and that it will always be a great memory.
Let yourself get swept away and give this series your undivided attention!
You can get all 3 books for about $20
The Century Trilogy (3 Book Series)
What a tour de force! So far, I’ve spent around 2000 pages, and countless hours inside the world that Ken Follett has created for his Century Trilogy. I’ve just finished Winter of the World – book two of the Century Trilogy, and all I can say is wow!
Continuing on from where book one left us, Winter of the World explores the lives of our favourite characters, as well as their offspring. Just like in book one, we are treated to a snapshot of these characters daily interactions against some of the major occurrences of the 20th century. As we know, Follett is an expert at covering huge events, with a huge amount characters, in a way that doesn’t leave the reader confused or exasperated. Setting his story mainly within WWII, and masterfully managing to show all the different perspectives that helped to shape this period, Follett allows us to see life – both from the view of everyday citizens and government officials – unfold, and indeed the consequences that occur from the smallest action, to the biggest action.
I’m not going to lie to you: When reading a book of this magnitude, page length and content matter included, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. You get so invested in Follett’s world, that you begin to forget your own world, and then when you get sucked back into reality, it can be hard to get back into the alternate reality. I had to take a break for a week or two, but after that, I got straight back into it and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Sequels are usually nowhere near as good as their predecessor; however, in this case, I actually enjoyed it slightly more. I think it was more to do with the time period rather than the actual writing or story, so do not let that put you off starting this trilogy. All in all, this is another 5 star result from Follett, and I cannot wait to get stuck into the final book!
Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy
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.
Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy