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Extended Audio Sample Fall of Giants Audiobook, by Ken Follett Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00001224482336 out of 54.00001224482336 out of 54.00001224482336 out of 54.00001224482336 out of 54.00001224482336 out of 5 4.00 (54,717 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ken Follett Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Century Trilogy Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781101436844
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Fall of Giants is the glorious new historical saga from Ken Follett. Book one in The Century Trilogy, it traces the intertwined paths of five families — Welsh, English, Russian, German, and American — as they experience the dramatic events of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the women's suffrage movement.

13 year old Billy Williams becomes a man, going to work as a coal miner in Wales. His sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the wealthy Fitzherberts, climbs fatefully above her station, while Lady Fitzherbert enters dangerous territory, falling in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London. Gus Dewar, a heartbroken American law student, begins a new career in Woodrow Wilson's White House. Brothers Grigori and Lev Peshkov, Russian orphans, begin wildly divergent journeys when war and revolution disrupt their plan to emigrate to The United States.

In an complex, epic drama, these characters find their fates inseparably intertwined. The plot flows effortlessly between St. Petersburg and Washington, from a shimmering palace to a dusty and dangerous coal mine, and from the bedrooms of the powerful to the halls of government. In true Follett form, the characters are alive with emotion and depth, historical details are exhaustively researched and portrayed, and the pages turn themselves. Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1 is sure to be considered a classic work of historical fiction.

Ken Follett burst onto the literary scene with the award winning Eye of the Needle in 1978. His celebrated Pillars of the Earth, and its sequel, World Without End were are among the international best sellers that followed. Ken lives in London and Hertfordshire with his family.

Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins, as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.

A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits. An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House. A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy. And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution.

From the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty, Fall of Giants takes us into the inextricably entangled fates of five families—and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Follett is masterly in conveying so much drama and historical information so vividly . . . grippingly told. The New York Times Book Review

    "Follett entwines fiction and factual events well. . . . This is a dark novel, motivated by an unsparing view of human nature and a clear-eyed scrutiny of an ideal peace. It is not the least of Follett's feats that the reader finishes this near thousand-page book intrigued and wanting more.
  • A good read. . . . It's a book that will suck you in, consume you for days or weeks . . . then let you out the other side both entertained and educated. That's quite the feat. USA Today
  • Fall of Giants is a book for you to savor, one in which you can lose yourself for hours on end. It is a big book that tells a big story, but it is one you will not want to end. The Huffington Post 

    "Fascinating, in a big way.

  • A suspenseful epic. The Seattle Times
  • Tantalizing. Newsday
  • Follett conjures the winds of war. The Washington Post
  • "Grand in scope, scale, and story. The Associated Press

  • “Follett is ­masterly in conveying so much drama and historical information so vividly…Grippingly told.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Fall of Giants is classic Follett.”

    USA Today

  • “Action-packed with blood on the battlefield and conspiracies behind closed doors, Fall of Giants brings the nuances of each character to life and shifts easily from dirty coal mines to sparkling palaces. There is so much to love here.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

Listener Opinions

  • 4.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 5 Heather | 8/28/2017

    " I really appreciate the historical fiction Ken Follett produces. Very interested in finishing this trilogy. This author has a keen way of getting inside the head of his characters and can bring an intimate feel to a sweeping saga. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Traci Ambrose | 1/25/2014

    " A lot of historical detail on WWI with a good amount of "story" interwoven. Good read, but long. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joan | 1/24/2014

    " To technical and boring. Could only read half before i gave up. It was more work then it was worth. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 1/24/2014

    " I was really enjoying this book and wanted to finish it to find out how all the characters fared. However, I had to put the book down due to language and sexuality. So if you do not like f-words or to read about people having sex in fairly explicit detail, this book is not for you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyla Carlson | 1/14/2014

    " Meh. I'm not very knowledgeable about WWI, but I also think I am just not that fascinated by it. I learned quite a bit from this book, but I had to work to finish it -- there was a bit too much war for me, and I'm not overly enamored with Follet's characters. I find them shallow, stereotypical, and predictable. That said, I think one can stand to learn a ton from this book and it is easily accessible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicki | 1/12/2014

    " Book One of the Century Trilogy and author Follett are magnificent. Rich with history, the book connects real and fictional characters as they get involved, from within their respective countries, with the start and end of World War 1. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 1/5/2014

    " Just what you want from a Ken Follet novel. Loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Weezie | 12/31/2013

    " A good read. A good learning experience! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 12/29/2013

    " Loved, Loved, Loved it!!!!! Can't wait for the 3rd book to be finished !!!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim Bailey | 12/26/2013

    " I listened to audio book from the public library. It is a fascinating story, as well as a history lesson of World War I. The narrator is outstanding. I highly recommend the audio book, & look forward to listening to the second book in the trilogy by the same narrator. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debra Gutenson | 12/4/2013

    " Another Follett epic. Wonderful. Not quite as good as pillars, but still wonderful. Amazing how Follett weaves so many people!s stories together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonja | 9/25/2013

    " Loved it! WWI was such a mistake. But sure was great way to learn history! Off to WWII now in the next book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mar | 9/1/2013

    " It is long, but interesting. Good reminder of the complexities of WWW I and the Russian Revolution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauretta | 7/10/2013

    " I listened to the audiobook "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn Feltus-atkinson | 3/4/2013

    " An excellent book, though some parts dragged. The characters were well developed and interesting. If you like Downton Abbey, you will like this book. I will read the follow up,Winter of the World,eventually. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Totoy17ny | 12/24/2012

    " History or fiction? A book I can't wait to to get to the end! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samik Biswas | 11/2/2012

    " Not so great at the other classics of his. Bit of a let down for me "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 8/18/2012

    " I really knew almost nothing about WWI before I read this book. I have been happily educated. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorna Driscoll | 7/20/2012

    " I really like historical fiction and Follett is no doubt a master. But this book....I thought it was maybe three or four hundred pages too long. A little disappointing. Lots of interwoven family characters and events, but rather too convenient and coincidental sometimes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl | 3/21/2012

    " liked it a lot. thought the history behind the stories was presented w\really well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Magie | 1/25/2012

    " ALGUIEN QUE ME REGALE WINTER OF THE WORLD. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine Sutphin | 10/25/2011

    " I just finished fall of giants and liked it very much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill | 8/5/2011

    " I love historical fiction. This book was fabulous! Like a "pillars of the earth" set in a different era. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blair Speakman | 7/24/2011

    " I'm a third through this book and I'm already in love with it. If you're interested in world war 1, the russian revolution and the woman's suffrage movement with fictional characters, interweaving plots and characters then this is the book for you :D "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 6/10/2011

    " I have to say that I learned a lot of history in this book about WW1. I was worried that it was going to be very dry and factual. It was factual, but it also has great characters. I got caught up in the family struggles and was worried about the character. I am looking forward to reading book two. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 5/24/2011

    " An excellent book and look into the era of World War I. Looking forward to the next generation's tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 5/19/2011

    " I'm now desperately waiting for the remaining two books. Definitely one of my favourite authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 5/19/2011

    " I learned so much about the beginnings and reasons for WWI and the beginnings of the Soviet Union
    . A really good historical novel!
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brittany | 5/17/2011

    " An incredible story with complex characters! I love the way the author creates ways for the seemingly unrelated characters to cross paths and for their stories to intertwine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 5/17/2011

    " It's great - very Pillars of the Earth/World Without End, but with a major emphasis on war and politics, instead of architecture and religion. Gets pretty intense, so had to take a few breaks from it for a day or two, but really enjoyed it. Can't wait to read the next two of the trilogy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jkesser | 5/17/2011

    " facinating to watch the country powers/leaders and what probably lead to the first world war, mixed in with personal relationships affected by the years of war. Long read but so worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry | 5/17/2011

    " i love historical fiction and this was one of the best fascinating and an excellent read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/16/2011

    " As always, Ken does a fantastic job with character development. I loved how everything tied together. The best historical fiction writer by far. "

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About the Author
Author Ken Follett

Ken Follett burst into the book world with Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller and international bestseller. After several more successful thrillers, he surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth and its long-awaited sequel, World without End, a national and international bestseller. Follett’s magnificent historical epic, the Century trilogy, opened with the bestselling Fall of Giants. He lives in England with his wife, Barbara.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.