Follett is masterly in conveying so much drama and historical information so vividly. He puts to good use the professional skills he has honed over the years—giving his characters a conversational style neither pseudo-quaint nor jarringly contemporary. That works well. And for all his belief in the redemptive quality of liberal humanism, he makes sure not to endow his characters with excessively modern sensibilities. As for the occasional cliche—well, unless you're Tolstoy, you're not going to have the time or the ability to be original throughout your 1,000-page blockbuster. Ken Follett is no Tolstoy, but he is a tireless storyteller, and although his tale has flaws, it's grippingly told, and readable to the end.
Roger Boylan - New York Times
[I]n every way, a Big Book.... Just as Herman Wouk did in The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, Follett creates a large cast of fictional characters and deploys them across the globe, using their private experiences to illuminate the catastrophic events that marked the early years of the century.... [Follett] knows how to tell a compelling, well-constructed story. Once its basic elements are in place, the narrative acquires a cumulative, deceptively effortless momentum.... Perhaps the major reasons for the novel's ultimate success are Follett's comprehensive grasp of the historical record and his ability to integrate research into a colorful, engaging narrative.
William Sheehan - Washington Post
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 1000-page book intrigued and wanting more.
Follett's greatest virtue as a novelist that he has been able to bring forward a writing style he perfected in his earlier thrillers.... Essentially, he's writing several interrelated books at once, without ever losing the inevitable forward impulse. And while it sounds bizarre to consider a book this huge a 'page-turner,' that's exactly what Fall of Giants is.
The Seattle Times
Fall of Giants stands with Ken Follett's best... Fall of Giants is classic Follett. It's long—almost 1,000 pages; it's populated with hundreds of characters whose lives are intertwined; it's set on a tumultuous world stage; it's a good read.... Everything in this novel is oversized, from the scope of history it covers to the characters he creates. It's a book that will suck you in, consume you for days or weeks, depending upon how quick a reader you are, then let you out the other side both entertained and educated. That's quite the feat.
A big Book, Follett's hugely ambitious saga is a sweeping success. Ken Follett has hit another one out of the park with the initial installment of the hugely ambitious Century Trilogy. His fans will rejoice at the richness, complexity, historical sweep and simmering lust in a saga spanning the years 1911 to 1923.
Newark Star Ledger
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.
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