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Fall of giants
Follett, Ken.
Adult Fiction FOLLETT

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This first in a century-spanning trilogy from bestseller Follett (Eye of the Needle) makes effective and economical use of its lead characters, despite its scope and bulk. From a huge cast, eight figures emerge to play multiple roles that illustrate and often illuminate the major events, trends, and issues of the years leading up to and immediately beyond WWI: American diplomat Gus Dewar; Earl Fitzherbert, a wealthy Englishman; Fitz's sister, Lady Maud; German military attache Walter von Ulrich; Russian brothers Grigori and Lev Peshkov; Welsh collier Billy Williams and his sister, Ethel, whom Fitz hires as a housemaid. Ingenious plotting allows Follett to explore such salient developments of the era as coal mine safety in Wales, women's suffrage, the diplomatic blundering that led to war, the horrors of trench warfare, and the triumph of the Bolsheviks. While this tome doesn't achieve the emotional depth of the best historicals, it is a remarkable and wonderfully readable synthesis of fact and fiction. 1,000,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Moving from the medieval world of the best-selling The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, Follett's new historical novel is the first volume of a projected trilogy that follows five families-Welsh, English, German, Russian, and American-through the turbulent 20th century. Covering the period 1911-23, the narrative moves from family to family, country to country, as the Great War impends, happens, and closes. In the first pages, a Welsh boy enters the coal mines; he has just turned 13 that day. He can expect a short and dirty life, but it doesn't turn out that way. The book closes in confrontation: the ninth-richest man in Britain, Earl Fitzherbert, is forced by his own sense of manners to shake the hand of a bastard son he has never acknowledged. Fitz seduced the boy's mother when she was his housemaid. Now she's a Labour MP in the postwar coalition government. Fitz is the past. She's the future. The Great War has changed everything, even for the winners. Verdict Though lengthy, Fall of Giants never seems too long or confusing. Great fun, this is sure to be one of the best sellers of the fall season. The global broadcast of a TV miniseries based on The Pillars of the Earth starring Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland is sure to garner even more attention. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/10.]-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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