7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Readable and informative.....,
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This review is from: Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy) (Paperback)
Ken Follett sets out to tell the story of the first quarter of the last century. He uses characters from USA, Germany, Austria, France, Russia, England and Wales and interweaves their fictional lives with real people and real events. The result is a highly readable, enjoyable and informative book. The story includes many of the main world events of the time: women's suffrage, imperialism, the labour movement, war, the Treaty of Versailles, the Russian Revolution and prohibition. It begins with the coronation of King George V in Westminster Abbey and ends with the imprisonment of a young National Socialist in Germany whose name is Adolf Hitler.
The book spends a considerable amount of time on the lead up to the Great War - the best I can remember outside a history book. Follett is skilful enough to inform the reader about world events while at the same time using his characters to move the action on. This is not a literary masterpiece and there are definitely a few clichés sprinkled through it. There is a coal-mine, so we know there will be an explosion and mining disaster. If there is a pretty young house maid we can guess she will be seduced.
The research is all very impressive and many interesting facts are included. He mentions the large number of Indian soldiers that took part in the war. (Look for their names if ever you visit the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.) And he includes the counter-revolutionary war against Russia supported by Britain and America. I did wonder, however, if he had given the United States a bit of an easy ride? I will reserve judgement until I have read Part 2.
A highly enjoyable epic.