“He’s pulled it off again with Fall of Giants: it’s classic Follett with the brewing cataclysm of war given a human angle.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
An awesome, awesome book!
Historical fiction is a favourite genre of mine and I have read a lot of great books about the world wars that brought out the human suffering and destruction that was caused.
I have cried and laughed with the characters and marveled at their ability to hope.
But… to write a novel that so brilliantly chronicles the events leading to WW1 and the years of war that followed, through the lives of its characters… is simply amazing!
It boggles the mind that a story of this scope has been written with a level of simplicity that makes it possible to understand everything that happened and yet doesn’t trivialise it.
From the delightful Billy twice to the suave Walter Von Ulrich and Lady Maud, from the self centred Earl Fitzherbert to the selfless Grigori Peshkov, the book takes the reader on a journey that spans the world.
From what caused talk of WW1 to the desperate and disparate efforts to stop it or at the very least contain it to one corner of Europe, to the fight for women’s suffrage and the Russian Revolution taking shape, all historical events are presented through the eyes of people who lived through and hence were affected by them.
The conversations and dialogs along with the thoughts of each person as they went through war, saw bereavement, prayed for a loved one, hoped to be reconciled with a lover and in some cases simply did what they had to to survive, were simply astounding.
The book contains 1065 pages, easily one of the biggest, if not the biggest book I have ever read and yet I never wanted to put it down and felt bereft when it ended.
I was so absorbed in it that I just wanted to read on and on.
Of course this is the first of a trilogy so I have two more tomes to savour.
And I want to read all that Ken Follet has written immediately, every single book, that’s how much I loved this one!
Added 1st March 2018