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Fall of Giants by Ken Follett: A Gripping Audiobook that Spans the World Wars



Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (Audiobook): A Review




If you are looking for an epic historical fiction that spans the first half of the 20th century, you might want to check out Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. This is the first book in the Century Trilogy, which follows the lives and fates of five interrelated families across Europe, America, and Russia. In this review, we will explore what makes this book so captivating, and why you should listen to the audiobook version.




Fall Of Giants By Ken Follett (Audiobook)



Introduction




What is Fall of Giants?




Fall of Giants is a novel that covers the period from 1911 to 1924, a time of great upheaval and transformation in world history. It tells the story of how the events of World War I, the Russian Revolution, the Women's Suffrage Movement, and the Rise of Fascism affected the personal and political lives of the characters from different backgrounds and countries. It is a sweeping saga that combines historical accuracy with fictional drama, romance, and intrigue.


Who is Ken Follett?




Ken Follett is a bestselling author who has written more than 30 books in various genres, such as thrillers, historical novels, and non-fiction. He is best known for his Kingsbridge series, which includes The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, and A Column of Fire. He has sold more than 170 million copies of his books worldwide, and many of them have been adapted into movies and TV shows. He is also a philanthropist who supports various causes, such as education, literacy, and environmentalism.


Why should you listen to the audiobook?




There are many reasons why you should listen to the audiobook version of Fall of Giants instead of reading the print or e-book version. First of all, the audiobook is narrated by John Lee, a talented voice actor who brings the characters and scenes to life with his accents, tones, and emotions. He makes you feel like you are listening to a movie rather than a book. Second, the audiobook is more convenient and flexible than the other formats. You can listen to it anytime and anywhere, whether you are driving, working out, cooking, or relaxing. You can also adjust the speed and volume according to your preference. Third, the audiobook is more entertaining and immersive than the other formats. You can enjoy the rich and vivid descriptions, the dialogues, and the sound effects without any distractions. You can also get a better sense of the atmosphere, the mood, and the tension of the story.


The Plot




The Five Families




The plot of Fall of Giants revolves around the five families that are connected by blood, marriage, friendship, or enmity. They are:


The Williams Family




The Williams family is a Welsh coal-mining family that struggles with poverty, injustice, and labor unrest. The main members are Billy Williams, a young miner who joins the army during the war; Ethel Williams, his sister who becomes a housekeeper and a suffragette; and David Williams, their father who is a union leader and a pacifist.


The Fitzherberts




The Fitzherberts are an aristocratic English family that owns a large estate and has ties with the royal family. The main members are Earl Fitzherbert, a conservative and patriotic nobleman who serves as a diplomat and a politician; Maud Fitzherbert, his sister who is a liberal and progressive woman who falls in love with a German spy; and Lady Bea Fitzherbert, his wife who is a beautiful and ambitious American heiress.


The Dewars




The Dewars are an influential American family that has a prominent role in the politics and diplomacy of the United States. The main members are Gus Dewar, a smart and idealistic young man who becomes the president's advisor and confidant; Rosa Hellman, his lover who is a Jewish-German journalist and activist; and Robert Dewar, his father who is a powerful senator and a isolationist.


The von Ulrichs




The von Ulrichs are a noble German family that has a loyal and honorable tradition of serving in the military and the government. The main members are Walter von Ulrich, a brave and noble officer who becomes disillusioned with the war and the Kaiser; Greta von Ulrich, his cousin who is a talented pianist and a socialist; and Otto von Ulrich, his father who is a general and a nationalist.


The Peshkovs




The Peshkovs are a poor Russian family that suffers from oppression, hunger, and violence under the Tsarist regime. The main members are Grigori Peshkov, a courageous and ambitious worker who becomes a revolutionary leader; Lev Peshkov, his brother who is a charming and cunning rogue who escapes to America; and Katerina Peshkov, Grigori's love interest who is a nurse and a survivor.


The Historical Events




The historical events that shape the plot of Fall of Giants are:


World War I




World War I was a global conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918. It involved more than 70 million military personnel from 32 countries. It was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo. It resulted in more than 16 million deaths, millions of wounded, and huge social and economic changes. It was also known as the Great War or the War to End All Wars.


The Russian Revolution




The Russian Revolution was a series of political and social upheavals that took place in Russia from 1917 to 1923. It involved two major phases: the February Revolution of 1917, which overthrew the Tsarist monarchy and established a provisional government; and the October Revolution of 1917, which replaced the provisional government with a communist regime led by Vladimir Lenin. It resulted in the creation of the Soviet Union, the world's first socialist state.


The Women's Suffrage Movement




The Women's Suffrage Movement was a campaign for women's right to vote in various countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It involved various methods of activism, such as petitions, protests, marches, hunger strikes, civil disobedience, and violence. It resulted in women gaining suffrage in many countries, such as Britain, Germany, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.


The Rise of Fascism




The Rise of Fascism was a phenomenon that occurred in several countries in Europe after World War I. It involved the emergence of authoritarian political movements that advocated nationalism, militarism, totalitarianism, anti-communism, anti-democracy, anti-Semitism, etc. It resulted in the rise of dictators such as Benito Mussolini in Italy, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Francisco Franco in Spain, etc.


The Characters




The Main Characters




The main characters of Fall of Giants are the ones who have the most significant roles and development in the story. They are:


Billy Williams




Billy Williams is a Welsh coal miner who dreams of a better life. He is loyal, brave, and compassionate. He joins the army during the war and fights in the trenches. He witnesses the horrors and atrocities of the war and suffers from shell shock. He falls in love with a French girl named Suzanne and marries her after the war. He becomes a father and a politician.


Ethel Williams




Ethel Williams is Billy's sister who works as a housekeeper for the Fitzherberts. She is smart, independent, and outspoken. She becomes a suffragette and campaigns for women's rights. She has an affair with Earl Fitzherbert and gives birth to his illegitimate son. She leaves her job and raises her son alone. She becomes a journalist and a feminist.


Earl Fitzherbert




Earl Fitzherbert is an English aristocrat who owns a large estate and has ties with the royal family. He is conservative, patriotic, and proud. He serves as a diplomat and a politician during the war. He supports the war effort and opposes any peace negotiations. He has a strained marriage with his wife Lady Bea and an affair with Ethel Williams. He loses his son and his estate after the war.


Maud Fitzherbert




Maud Fitzherbert is Earl Fitzherbert's sister who is a liberal and progressive woman. She is educated, adventurous, and rebellious. She falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a German spy, and marries him secretly. She moves to Germany and faces discrimination and danger as an enemy alien. She becomes a spy for Britain and helps Walter escape from prison. She returns to England after the war.


Gus Dewar




Gus Dewar is an American who works as an advisor and confidant for President Woodrow Wilson. He is smart, idealistic, and ambitious. He travels to Europe and witnesses the war firsthand. He supports Wilson's vision of a peaceful world order and helps draft the Fourteen Points and the Treaty of Versailles. He has a romance with Rosa Hellman, a Jewish-German journalist and activist.


Walter von Ulrich




Walter von Ulrich is a German officer who serves in the army during the war. He is brave, noble, and honorable. He becomes disillusioned with the war and the Kaiser's regime. He falls in love with Maud Fitzherbert, an English aristocrat, and marries her secretly. He becomes a spy for Germany and gets arrested by the British. He escapes from prison with Maud's help and returns to Germany after the war.


Grigori Peshkov




Grigori Peshkov is a Russian worker who becomes a revolutionary leader. He is courageous, ambitious, and charismatic. He suffers from oppression, hunger, and violence under the Tsarist regime. He joins the Bolsheviks and participates in the February and October Revolutions. He fights in the Civil War against the Whites and the foreign interventionists. He rises to power in the Soviet Union.


Lev Peshkov




The Supporting Characters




The supporting characters of Fall of Giants are the ones who have minor or occasional roles in the story. They are:


King George V




King George V is the king of the United Kingdom and the British Empire. He is a cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. He is a constitutional monarch who has limited power and influence. He supports the war effort and visits the troops and the wounded. He changes his family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor to avoid anti-German sentiment.


Woodrow Wilson




Woodrow Wilson is the president of the United States of America. He is a scholar, a reformer, and a visionary. He tries to keep America neutral and out of the war. He proposes a peace plan based on his Fourteen Points, which include self-determination, democracy, free trade, disarmament, and a League of Nations. He faces opposition from Congress and the public over his policies.


Winston Churchill




Winston Churchill is a British politician and a statesman. He is a member of Parliament and serves as First Lord of the Admiralty during the war. He is responsible for the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, which leads to his resignation. He rejoins the government as Minister of Munitions and later as Secretary of State for War and Air. He is a brilliant orator and a strategist.


Vladimir Lenin




Vladimir Lenin is a Russian revolutionary and a communist leader. He is the founder of the Bolshevik Party and the Soviet Union. He lives in exile in Switzerland until he returns to Russia with German help in 1917. He leads the October Revolution and establishes a dictatorship of the proletariat. He fights against the Whites and the foreign interventionists in the Civil War. He suffers from strokes and dies in 1924.


The Themes




War and Peace




One of the main themes of Fall of Giants is war and peace. The book explores how war affects the lives of millions of people, both directly and indirectly. It shows the causes and consequences of war, such as nationalism, imperialism, militarism, alliances, propaganda, diplomacy, casualties, injuries, diseases, refugees, etc. It also shows how peace can be achieved or prevented, such as through negotiations, treaties, interventions, revolutions, etc.


Love and Betrayal




Another main theme of Fall of Giants is love and betrayal. The book depicts how love can transcend or challenge boundaries, such as class, nationality, religion, ideology, etc. It shows how love can inspire or motivate people to do good or evil things. It also shows how betrayal can destroy or strengthen relationships, such as family, friendship, romance, etc.


Class and Power




A third main theme of Fall of Giants is class and power. The book illustrates how class and power shape society and history. It shows how class and power create inequality and injustice among people. It also shows how class and power can change or remain constant over time.


Freedom and Oppression




The Audiobook Experience




The Narrator: John Lee




The narrator of the audiobook version of Fall of Giants is John Lee, a British voice actor who has narrated more than 300 audiobooks. He is a master of accents, tones, and emotions. He gives each character a distinct and consistent voice that matches their personality and background. He also conveys the mood and the atmosphere of the scenes with his voice. He makes the audiobook a captivating and enjoyable experience.


The Length: 30 Hours and 40 Minutes




The length of the audiobook version of Fall of Giants is 30 hours and 40 minutes. This might seem daunting at first, but it is actually a reasonable and rewarding length for such an epic and complex story. The audiobook is divided into six parts, each with several chapters. You can listen to it at your own pace and convenience. You can also use bookmarks, notes, and speed controls to enhance your listening experience.


The Benefits: Immersion, Convenience, and Entertainment




The benefits of listening to the audiobook version of Fall of Giants are immersion, convenience, and entertainment. By listening to the audiobook, you can immerse yourself in the story and feel like you are part of it. You can hear the voices of the characters, the sounds of the events, and the music of the language. You can also enjoy the convenience of listening to the audiobook anytime and anywhere, whether you are driving, working out, cooking, or relaxing. You can also have fun and be entertained by the audiobook, as it is a thrilling and engaging story that will keep you hooked until the end.


Conclusion




In conclusion, Fall of Giants by Ken Follett is a magnificent historical fiction that covers the first half of the 20th century. It tells the story of how the events of World War I, the Russian Revolution, the Women's Suffrage Movement, and the Rise of Fascism affected the lives and fates of five interrelated families across Europe, America, and Russia. It is a sweeping saga that combines historical accuracy with fictional drama, romance, and intrigue. It is also a captivating and enjoyable audiobook that is narrated by John Lee, a talented voice actor who brings the characters and scenes to life with his accents, tones, and emotions. If you are looking for an epic historical fiction that spans the first half of the 20th century, you might want to check out Fall of Giants by Ken Follett.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Fall of Giants by Ken Follett:



  • Is Fall of Giants based on a true story?



Fall of Giants is based on true historical events that occurred from 1911 to 1924. However, some of the characters and details are fictional or fictionalized.


  • Is Fall of Giants part of a series?



Fall of Giants is part of the Century Trilogy, which follows the lives and fates of five interrelated families across Europe, America, and Russia throughout the 20th century. The second book is Winter of the World (2012), which covers the period from 1933 to 1949. The third book is Edge of Eternity (2014), which covers the period from 1961 to 2008.


  • How many pages is Fall of Giants?



Fall of Giants has 985 pages in its hardcover edition.


  • Who are some similar authors to Ken Follett?



Some similar authors to Ken Follett are James Michener, Edward Rutherfurd, Leon Uris, Colleen McCullough, etc.


  • Where can I buy or listen to Fall of Giants?



FAQs




Here are some more frequently asked questions about Fall of Giants by Ken Follett:



  • What are some of the main themes of Fall of Giants?



Some of the main themes of Fall of Giants are war and peace, love and betrayal, class and power, freedom and oppression.


  • How accurate is Fall of Giants in terms of historical facts?



Fall of Giants is generally accurate in terms of historical facts, as Ken Follett did extensive research and consulted with experts and historians. However, he also took some artistic liberties and made some changes or simplifications for the sake of storytelling.


  • How does Fall of Giants compare to other historical novels by Ken Follett?



Fall of Giants is similar to other historical novels by Ken Follett in terms of its scope, style, and structure. It is also different in terms of its setting, period, and characters.


  • What are some of the challenges and benefits of listening to Fall of Giants as an audiobook?



Some of the challenges of listening to Fall of Giants as an audiobook are its length, complexity, and number of characters. Some of the benefits are its narration, convenience, and entertainment.


  • What are some of the lessons or messages that Fall of Giants conveys?



Some of the lessons or messages that Fall of Giants conveys are the importance of understanding history, the impact of individual choices on collective outcomes, the value of diversity and tolerance, the need for justice and human rights, etc.


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