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    Description

    A huge novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women.

    It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family, is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to immigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. In a plot of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, FALL OF GIANTS moves seamlessly from Washington to St Petersburg, 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.

    ©2010 Ken Follett (P)2010 Penguin Audio

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de Fall of Giants

    Notations
    Global
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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      50
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      16
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      3
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    Interprétation
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Histoire
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars

    Compelling fiction woven on the canvas of history

    This was my first go at reading a fictional history book. History isn’t usually my cup of tea, but given the praising reviews, I decided to give it a shot. The least I can say is that it lived up to my expectations.
    The story takes you through this tough period of the 1st world war from the eyes of 5 families, from very different walks of life.
    The book sets the scene by diving into the main character’s backgrounds. Thanks to the amazing descriptions, you will quickly get engulfed in the story and the zeitgeist at this time. At first, the stories of the families may appear disconnected. Then, little by little, the pieces will come together, giving more depth to the big picture. As war slowly comes about, the characters try to find their place in this world, while building up their personalities.

    At times, the way characters run into one another might appear as too much of a coincidence and a bit artificial. But that doesn’t take away from the compelling story.

    History and fiction are intertwined in a very natural way. All the fictional characters nicely interact with real historic figures, without distorting the actual events.

    It took me some time to fully appreciate the complexity of the book. Keeping up with the sheer number of characters in the story can be a challenge. I would suggest you note down the character’s names as you go through the story. The audible version makes it particularly difficult to remember all of them otherwise.

    This book brings to light many reasons that led to the outbreak of war: pant-up resentment between the different social classes, gung-ho governments, to name a few.

    I consider this book to be a masterpiece of an historic based story. Not having any other history books under my belt, my review may be taken with a pinch of salt. I let you judge by giving it a go yourself.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars

    Exceptionnel ! Lecture parfaite !

    Ce livre est entraînant et nous plonge dans l'histoire de la première guerre mondiale avec un récit parfait. Le lecteur prend les accents anglais, américains, allemands, russes et gallois pour coller aux différents personnages, c'est très agréable.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars

    great listen!

    ken follett usual great balance between romance action and history!!! loved all forty some hours of it!!!

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars

    Best historical fiction

    After having repeatedly studied the First World War, its causes and consequences, this is the first time I really feel like I understood it. Through the lives of its fictional characters, the book takes through some of the most important moments of the early XX century in an extremely engaging manner. The reading by John Lee is superb. Highly recommended.

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars

    Bon livre

    Bonne performance, détails de l'histoire très intéressants.
    En revanche difficile de s'y retrouver avec tous ces personnages, mais c'est l'inconvénient du livre audio.

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    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      2 out of 5 stars
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    • S. R. Gibb
    • 04/09/2011

    Disapointing

    I really wanted to like this book. I have been a keen student of 20th century history since high school, 40 years ago.

    Alas I found myself unable to really engage with the characters, finding them rather cardboard cutout. I could not help feeling that each was created purely to act as a vehicle to show key historical moments and most of the conversations they had, tended to give us lengthy history lessons. The fact that they seemed to somehow turn up at key points of world events of the time, I found clunky.
    The book is redeemed to an extent by some great descriptions, the delivery of casulty telegrams being one good scene.
    Overall, while i have no argument with the accuracy of the events portrayed, I feel that Mr Follet may have been better to have reduced the scope of the epic and used history as a background to the characters lives rather than awkwardly dropping them into each significant event. Not a book I could immerse myself in, rather, I skipped along the top, unable to find a way in

    15 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Rev. Kate
    • 27/11/2011

    Powerful work; exceptional & gripping adventure.

    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This audiobook is worth every cent and every second. I would very happily recommend this book to family and friends.A masterful piece.

    What other book might you compare Fall of Giants to and why?

    Ken Follett is an outstanding author. Yet, I find it very hard to compare one skilled writer's work with other skilled writer's work, even of the same genre, as their styles often differ quite dramatically... and so attempting to compare their work is a bit like debating which is the best type of friut.I can, however, state that there is no better wordsmith for his standard and style of work. The way he keeps your attention from start to finish, never under nor overstating life and it's bare,sometimes brutual, sometimes sensual, but always honest realities. He just weaves you into the lives of his characters and never lets you breath until he's finished.

    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard John Lee's performance before, but his reading style is personable and clever. His interpretation of humour is simple and real, and his ability to hold your utter attention in dramatic moments is highly skilled. Brilliant performance... and I will be pleased to listen to any of his other readings.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I certainly laughed at times. And, I was certainly provoked to deep consideration of incidents and experiences, astonishment for the intricate manipulations of the war machine of the early 20th century, disgust for the polarised standards of rights and responsibilities, and I was prompted to empathy,sadness and even tears for the distainful attitude of negligence for life.

    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant work. Exceptional story. Plot and networking to real events was outstanding. An utter pleasure that I was sad to finish. A clever, highly skilled work that will stay with listener for some time... Superb!!

    7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • mr
    • 17/02/2012

    A bit overambitious1

    This is an enormous book. It tells the story of 5 different families in the years from 1910 to 1924. The research involved must have been immense and the book is almost successful. Perhaps this should be two books because I felt that the different stories all lost dynamism in cutting from one to the other. Nonetheless this is what might be called a 'jolly good read'.

    I felt that the writing about the fighting on the Somme, the leading up to it and the reasons for it's dreadful body count were among the best I have read.

    The audible version was rather spoilt for me by the reader who attempted numerous accents with varying degrees of success. I also cannot see why a German or Russian needs to speak with a strong German or Russian accent if he is speaking in his native tongue.

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • karen
    • 22/11/2011

    A story to get totally lost in!

    Would you listen to Fall of Giants again? Why?

    Yes absolutely!! Fall of Giants is compulsive listening. I got so involved in the characters lives, loves and losses. A great insight to the different classes of the time and how war impacts on them. Love Ken Follett books - this is the third novel I've listened to.

    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I love this narrator! I so enjoy listening to him, he has wonderful tone and a beautiful accent and he reads at the right pace - not too slow, not too fast, and I was able to absorb the story fully. He can switch accents several times in one sentence - amazing, and brings the characters to life! I actually look for books that are read by John Lee now.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Jane
    • 26/11/2011

    Compelling

    This was a book really worth listening to. Not only was this due to Follett's strong narrative skills but because it was read by John Lee: he read with calm objectivity which linked his outstanding management of the many voices and the accents ??? wonderful acting.

    This is an interpretation of the major events of one hundred years ago ??? the causes and the conduct of the first world war, rise of the Bolsheviks, the Versailles treaty and unionism, amongst many compelling themes. Follett demonstrates the human tragedy, the waste and pointlessness of war, the foibles and careless decisions of many of the leaders, both military and industrial (leaders coming from the so called ruling classes), the fights for women's rights. He clearly shows where he feels the seeds for future wars were laid.

    And all this is very human as he interlaces stories of the personal lives of interesting characters.

    So, one hundred years later, what have we achieved from the hell of the battle of the Somme? It was not easy to watch the news and ask whether the modern decisions of giants, the desperate current revolutions are just mirror images of the limits to humanity that Follett presents.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Anita Kristensen
    • 04/05/2020

    Educational

    In these days, or any days, it’s healthy with a bit of a glimpse into history. It seems to be repeating itself.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Amazon Customer
    • 09/08/2019

    History and fiction in an interesting mix

    I really enjoyed this. A perfect blend of fiction intertwined with historical figures and events makes this a very entertaining introduction to 20th century history. Good, strong characters and very well narrated.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Anonymous User
    • 24/06/2019

    Outstanding

    John Lee is an incredibly talented narrator. A masterpiece created by Ken Follett. Together they make history come alive. Thank you both so very much.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Amazon Customer
    • 27/02/2021

    very good story

    Follett has once again written an excellent story. His storytelling skills are extraordinary. However, there are parts of the novel which are more of a history lesson than anything else. It's obvious Follett did tons of research and at times it seemed like he had to get all his discoveries into the story. That said it was good except for those history lesson portions. I am not sure how to feel about Fitz, I have a love hate relationship with him. I wanted him to die, but I wanted him to live. He is the most realistic character and even in our modern times there are still people like him. Lev is selfish beyond words and people like are here too. I won't go on about the other characters but those too hurt me the most. I feel sad for the Russians they swapped one bad situation for another and it still haunts them today. This novel reminded that there is futility in the separation of people into religion, class and all the rest of it because we are all the same.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • K. Wainwright
    • 23/02/2021

    Great characters and narration

    I really enjoyed this book and more ready to dive into his next book. The narrator is excellent!

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Gryffindor
    • 12/07/2012

    Ein langes Hörbuch!

    Rezensionen über den Buchinhalt gibt es genügend, sodass ich nur kurz auf das Hörbuch eingehen möchte.

    Das Hörbuch ist ungekürzt und kommt daher mit 30 Stunden daher. Der Sprecher ist sehr gut und gibt den Menschen passende Dialekte und Akzente. Der Nachteil daran ist, dass er dadurch viel schwieriger zu verstehen ist. Und unbedingt langsam spricht er auch nicht, aber sobald man sich an dies gewöhnt hat, möchte man das Hörbuch nicht mehr ausschalten.

    Klare Empfehlung von mir, wenn man die Zeit dafür findet!

    7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • BikerJoe
    • 04/06/2015

    Epic History of World War One

    No doubt, this is a great book.

    It is a very balanced and accurate recount of World War One and what led to it. Ken Follett stayed close to the historical events, but managed to tell a gripping and passionate story. It is a story about the people living through these horrible and disruptive times, their dreams crushed by tragic events, their losses and sufferings and their heroism.
    The overall theme is the struggle and fight of mankind against oppression and exploitation, the undefeatable desire to fight for freedom and equality.

    Ken Follett manages to link the major historical trends and events of that era to a fascinating narrative. The revolution in Russia, the plight of the prewar labor class, the insufferable oppression of women, the horror of the trenches in the battlefields of France are seen with the eyes of the participants. Their accounts are authentic and ring true, they go right to your heart.

    Events in the UK, Germany, Russia and the United States entwine the fate of families of different classes and origins. Some of the main characters are:
    Earl Fitzherbert, a typical British nobleman with all its strength and weakness, tries to stem the tide of political changes. His disrespect of the working class does not keep him from having an affair with a servant, but makes him a stubborn enemy of socialism and real democracy.
    Lady Maud Fitzherbert, Fitz's sister and a passionate suffragette, falls in love with Walter von Ulrich and this love is put to a hard test during world war one.
    Walter Ulrich is a German nobleman and a former schoolmate of Fitz. Regardless of his patriotism, he is open minded and fighting for peace, quite the opposite of his extreme conservative father Otto von Ulrich.
    Billy Williams grows up in a mining town of Wales, fights in France and Russia, gets a first hand impression of poor leadership of officers and becomes on his return to England a fierce fighter for the rights of the working class.
    His sister Ethel, repudiated by her family, has to raise a child all by herself and becomes a leading figure in the struggle for women's right to vote.
    Gus Dewar, the son of a rich New England family and a friend of Fitz and Ulrich, becomes the political advisor of the American president Wilson.
    Grigori and Lev Peshkov grow up as orphans in Russia under the Zsar. While Grigori becomes a leading member of the Bolshevik party, Lev flees to the USA to become a mobster.

    Ken Folletts "Fall of Giants" might lack some of the incredible fascination of his "The Pillars of the Earth", but it is one of the best historical novels I read. I am looking forward to read the sequel.

    By the way, John Lee did a great job. He managed to give the individual characters a distinct voice and dialect without overdoing it. A real pleasure to listen to.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • E
    • 11/06/2013

    Better than any history lesson

    Although I'm very interested in history, I only grasped the whole problematic that led to World War I after reading this book. The stories, as always in Ken Follett's books brilliantly interweaving, are most fascinating, and the historical background is most carefully researched. I really, really enjoyed listening to this audiobook and can recommend it full-heartedly.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Mona
    • 27/11/2012

    Great book

    An amazing audiobook. Love the narrator who actually tries to make everybody sound according to the background they are coming from by using different accents. Anyways one of Ken Follet's greates books and very well narrated, would recommend it to anybody.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Phoenix
    • 10/10/2016

    Erstklassig, dramatisch, emotional + Bildungswert!

    Was mochten Sie an der Handlung am liebsten?

    Bei der gesamten "Century-Triology" handelt sich m.E. um das Meisterwerk von Ken Follett: Auf unglaublich spannende, beeindruckende und bewegende Weise wird die Geschichte des vergangenen Jahrhunderts mit all seinem Elend und Errungenschaften erzählt (in diesem Buch ca. 1914-1920). Geschickt verwebt Ken Follett die Ereignisse mit den persönlichen Schicksalen von 5 Familien in Deutschland, Großbritannien, Russland und den USA, sodass alles hautnah aus der Perspektive einfacher Menschen als auch politischer Entscheider vermittelt wird. Etwa alle 30-40 Minuten gibt es einen emotionalen und dramatischen Höhepunkt, der einem nicht selten die Tränen in die Augen treibt. Die Triologie vermittelt so hervorragend die Grundlagen unserer jüngeren Geschichte und die Entwicklung unseres Moral- und Wertesystems und ist daher neben erstklassiger Unterhaltung auch eine exzellente Auffrischung wichtiger Allgemeinbildung, die im Schulunterricht meist viel zu trocken behandelt wurde und bei vielen daher zu schnell in Vergessenheit geraten sein dürfte!

    Haben Sie vorher schon ein Hörbuch mit John Lee gehört? Wie würden Sie beide vergleichen?

    John Lee gehört wohl zu den besten englischsprachigen Vorlesern. Seine klare, deutliche und äußerst wohlklingende Stimme ist immer wieder ein Genuss. Bei diesem Werk läuft aber aber geradezu zur Höchstform auf, wenn er verschiedene englische Dialekte (Englisch, Walisisch, Amerikanisch, Cockney, ...) und internationale Dialekte (russisch, deutsch, französisch etc.) performt. Durch Ken Folletts gut verständlichen Schreibstil und John Lees klare Aussprache ist es auch für Nicht-Muttersprachler absolut hörenswert und verständlich!

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Amazon Kunde
    • 04/09/2013

    Perfect reader

    The story is great. Like most or maybe even like all stories Ken Follett wrote. I however especially want to express my great admiration for the reader: John Lee. I really enjoyed to listen to the way he personified a number of people from various nationalities by his intonation and pronunciation of the English.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      1 out of 5 stars
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      1 out of 5 stars
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      1 out of 5 stars
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    • Amazon Kunde
    • 08/11/2020

    Extrem langweilig.

    Hab's nach ein paar Kapiteln abgebrochen und kann mich zu nichts in der Welt durchringen es weiter zu hören.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Inga
    • 10/09/2019

    die Geschichte erleben

    der Sprecher hat eine sehr angenehme Stimme und artistische Erzählungsweise. da die historische Ereignisse aus der Sicht der Charaktere gezeigt werden, lässt sich die Geschichte ganz besonders und mit den Augen verschiedene Parteien erleben und verstehen.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Alex T.
    • 31/07/2019

    Excellent history lesson

    I love historical novels as a casual way to learn about history and checking facts along the way - and this is a really good one.

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      1 out of 5 stars
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    • SUSANNEB
    • 15/05/2019

    Too much war Talk

    There was too much war talk for my liking, which I found boring. Not one of my favourite books.