Ken Follett – The Fall of Giants
- Publisher : Dutton Adult
- number of pages : 985
- Part of a series: Yes – It is the first part of a trilogy.
Billy Twice (his real name is Billy Williams) is a thirteen-year-old boy, who goes to work in the coal mine underneath the fictional Welsh town of Aberowen in June 1911 for his first time. This is the beginning oft the novel. Three years later the main story begins: Earl Teddy „Fitz“ Fitzherbert of Aberowen, gives a party with many powerful people from around the world as his guests. For example there are Maud Fitzherbert, Fitz’s liberal sister, the German Graf Walter von Ulrich, his Austrian cousin Graf Robert von Ulrich, the Amrican Gus Dewar, a close adviser to the President Woodrow Wilson, Bea Fitzherbert, Fitz’s wife, a Russian Princess an King George V and his wife. Their lives and those of their families are followed by the reader during the coming years. Other important characters are the two Russian orphans Gregori and Lev Pushkov, who work in a railway factory, and have good reason not to like Bea an the rest of her family. The book ends in January 1924, so it plays during the time of World War 1, the Russian Revolution and the woman´s suffragette movement.
I liked this book very much. It is brilliant, how Follett brings in the five families an combines their lives. So history becomes alive and you can understand how it all fits together. I like it that Follett explains the time from the different perspectives of the five families, which each belong to a different country: America, England / Scotland, Germany and Russia. I am impressed how he manages to mix their lives and makes the reader understand how difficult life was in this time. The big, exciting, historical narrative is told by telling many little personal and individual stories of the people. I like the love-stories between Ethel an Fitz as well as the one of Maud and Walter most. I love the many little details of their live and the way Follett tells them in a lovely way. It is a good mixture of love and war and I, who normally isn´t very interested in history, likes the way it is presented here as well as in many other books by Ken Follett. Although it was a very long book, especially for persons like me, who are not as good in the English language, I am happy I decided to read it, because it was easily understood and a wonderful story. So I am locking forward to read the next part of the trilogy and experience, how the stories go on and the families come together again.