Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett.....

Image from Ken-Follett.com.

From Ken Follett's website: Fall of Giants is a magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in the Century trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families – American, German, Russian, English and Welsh – as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.

This is one of those books I might not have picked up if it had been in book form (I downloaded it and read it on my iPad). Its 852-page heft might have intimidated me. Maybe not, but I'm still glad I didn't have to hold it up every night while I read in bed.

I was drawn to this book because I read The Pillars of the Earth and was struck by Follett's powerful writing. I'm not that big a fan of historical fiction, but Follett's books tend to make me want to change that about myself.

Reading this book taught me way more about World War I than I ever learned in school. (That may give you some idea of what kind of social studies student I was. I blame it on Wilhelmina Bowles, who scared the bejeezus out of me but couldn't intimidate me into learning, and Evelyn Grant, whom I wrote off as a fraud when she was wrong about how a word was spelled.)

As soon as I finished the book, I excitedly went to the Amazon website to look for the next book, because I was thrilled that it was part one of a trilogy. Sadly, the second one doesn't come out until this fall. By then I'll have to reread all 852 pages of THIS one!

Follett's writing is superb. He is an excellent storyteller, and his use of language is magnificent. (I'm running out of adjectives here.) Even when he gets into the political and social issues of the time (which normally bore me, especially the political ones), the reading is just as compelling as the sex parts. And yes, it has those! (Tastefully -- almost always -- done, of course.)

As a grammar snob, I am always on the lookout for grammatical errors in published writing, but I don't remember encountering any as I read this book. That means one of two things: A) there weren't any; or B) I was so enamored of Follett's story that I forgave him for them. Either way, I think it's a good sign.

You won't be sorry if you take time to read this book.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Did you read World Without End, the sequel to Pillars? I have it on the shelf, but read the first book so many years ago I haven't felt like trying to refresh my memory in order to read the sequel.

I love historical fiction and will keep this series in mind.