No Spoiler Book Review: Fall of Giants - P.O.W. Report

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

No Spoiler Book Review: Fall of Giants

This is a massive 986 page book, so it's not for the faint of heart but it captures your attention from the very beginning.

Before I go on, I recommend finding the 'audio book' for FREE through the [Alaska Library Program]. You can set up an account for FREE through the Craig Public Library and you can rent either audio books or ebooks for seven day rentals. I used this program and listened to the book (it was about 24 hours long and I had to borrow the audio twice to get through the whole thing.)

The book takes place right before and during WW1 with multiple characters set in America, England, Russia and Germany. The introduction to the book states:

This is an epic of love, hatred, war and revolution. This is 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.

I was first introduced to Ken Follett through his book "Pillars of the Earth" that I found laying in the book bin in one of the state ferries during my travels. To my delight, after I finished the book, I discovered that a [mini-series] was also filmed--that lived up to my expectations and I highly recommend as well.

Back to Fall of Giants:

I'm somewhat of a History Nerd and i've read quite a bit on European history from Ancient Greece all the way through to WW2, so this historical fiction was a natural draw to my sensibilities. What I really appreciated most is that this book makes you really sympathize with all the different nations leading up to WW1. Growing up in America there is often a historical bias that Germany was the "Bad Guy" but after reading this book it helps put a lot of historical actions into perspective. 

This book really does have an allure for everyone, there is drama, romance, and history expertly interwoven between all sorts of characters and their day to day survival in a world that is rapidly changing. As the Goodreads teases: 

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 emigrate 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.

I don't want to give anything away but if you are looking for a great summer read (or listen) I can't recommend this book enough. I'm sure one of the libraries has the book in actual physical copies but like most of you, I can't seem to make time to read an actual physical book so I opted for the audio version.

So, stop by the Craig Public Library and ask them about setting up an account with [the Alaska Digital Library] it takes quite actually 60 seconds and will gain you hours of entertainment.

P.S. If you have a smart phone it's much easier to listen on the go but you can always still use your home computer to listen or read the books from there.

I'm now on Book 2 "Winter of the World:"

Read More: Book Review (Part 1) The Essential Marcus Aurelius

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