Fall of Giants by Ken Follett – My reading experience

By Subhashree Hari

December 19, 2018

The century trilogy
Ken Follett, a British author of thrillers and historical fiction novels is one of the world’s most successful authors. Follett’s novels, Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity, make up the Century Trilogy.

Fall of Giants (2010) followed the fates of five interrelated families – American, German, Russian, English and Welsh – as they moved through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the struggle for women’s suffrage. Having heard so much about Ken Follett and his works I’d never read even one of his 33 books until now, and I’m so glad I finally read Fall of Giants and I couldn’t have asked for a better book to start from.

My struggle with extra long books:
One of my weaknesses when it comes to reading is huge books (books over 500 pages) and the only other weakness being classics.
Two things that helped me overcome this hurdle(920pages) and enjoy this amazing book was,
1. I read it in the ebook format. I know a lot of people struggle with ebooks or are against the idea of reading a book in the electronic format but in such instances, they are a boon to the modern world. While devouring this ebook I was not constantly reminded of how much of the book is left or of my super slow pace. It is also convenient and I didn’t have to carry this gigantic book everywhere I go, and I personally recommend giving ebooks/kindle reading a shot if you haven’t already!
2. Buddy reading with an online (Instagram) fellow reader and historical fiction enthusiast, is what propelled me to actually start reading this book. When you are reading with someone who understands your pace, who is there to discuss important events of the books and to fangirl about how awesome Ken Follett is as an author, every hurdle can be overcome. We took almost 2 months (July-August) to get through just book 1 and we are determined to complete The century trilogy in the near future. So another quick tip, reading is awesome but buddy reading with a friend is twice as good. There are a lot of book clubs, online groups and just a lot of readers who are more than happy to buddy read and discuss books. (On Instagram just use the hashtag of the book you are reading in the search column or simply use #bookstagram to discover this amazing community of readers worldwide. You could also message me @shriya_reads for further help)

Fall of Giants:
(As stated in the cover) This book was indeed “An Epic of Love, Hatred, War, and Revolution.”
I went into this book being intimidated by its volume, by the long list of characters, and by the hype (I’d be devastated if didn’t love the work of one of the best in Historical fiction).
So a few chapters in, I was totally hooked and all the intimidations were long gone and that ecstatic feeling of being immersed into such a good book set in, something that cannot be expressed but readers will definitely understand. The best aspect of the book for me was the character development and the sense of war, sometimes it is really tough for a work of fiction to transport you to an era you haven’t witnessed for yourself. Ken Follett gives you just enough details to feel the hunger, the fear, the love, the revolting emotions, and the effects that war has on an individual and his family.

Reading Book 2 (Winter of the world)
The world war 2 which is a part of book 2 has me so worried about the future of my beloved characters and their families. It’s one of those books where you do not realize how much you get attached to the characters, after all, reading a 950-page story over 2 months is a long time. I don’t want them to endure another war but as the book is historically precise and on point with only fictional characters I know what to expect and I’m not sure if I’m ready for it just yet.

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About Subhashree Hari

A medical student who enjoys reading and recommending books to other readers:) Studying MBBS at Karpagam Faculty of Medical Sciences and Research.

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