“Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett is the first book in the Century Trilogy and an amazing read. I’m not even sure the best way to convey how much I enjoyed this book without rambling on for pages and pages. In an effort to minimize my gushing, I’m going to try to keep this short.
Ken Follett begins “Fall of Giants” shortly before World War I breaks out. It was interesting to see how different parts of the world actually relished the idea of war. “Thinking it over as he smoked his after-breakfast cigar, Fitz realized that the thought of war did not horrify him. He had spoken of it as a tragedy, in an automatic way, but it would not be entirely a bad thing. War would unite the nation against a common enemy, and dampen the fires of unrest. There would be no more strikes, and talk of republicanism would be seen as unpatriotic. Women might even stop demanding the vote.” (Fall of Giants, pg 69). Fitz was one of the more frustrating characters in this book. At first glance he seemed like a good guy, but the more I got to know him, the more I came to dislike him. There were many characters that I had similar feelings for and then there were others that I loved who kept making such stupid decisions that I just wanted to scream at them! Following five different families as they navigate the unpredictable world at war made for such a good read.
I think a large part of what makes this book so successful is the steady progression through different countries before, during, and after World War I. Following the different families allowed for various perspectives during the same time period. There were so many moving parts to this novel that there was never a dull moment. Being able to pull off an exciting read with almost a thousand pages in your novel is admirable. Well done sir.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely – Ken Follett is one of those writers that always tangles me up in his world. His writing is so good that I always give my husband a fair warning before I start a new one of his books. With his intricately detailed but exciting writing, Ken Follett is hands down my favorite way to read about history. I think “Fall of Giants” would appeal to a wide range of readers. Even if you don’t think that you can read a book that big, once you pick I up you won’t be able to put it down. I highly recommend this book and I cannot wait to start the next book in the Century Trilogy.