This book is the first of the Century trilogy.
Coming on the heels of heavy-yet-engaging tomes like ‘Pillars of the Earth’, this one rode in on high expectations. Sure enough, ‘Fall of Giants’ has some of the trademark signs of Follet’s recent works – multiple characters with clashing agendas, complex plotlines weaving in and out of each other, stories happening over a vast sweep of locations and time.
But the book failed to grip me the way ‘Pillars of the Earth’ did. Perhaps it’s because I’m just not a history or war story buff but I found myself skipping over several pages in one go. This is a book about World War 1, the build-up to it and a little bit about the aftermath. There is an attempt to bring in the personal stories element to what’s essentially a review of history. But it didn’t move me enough.
The writing felt rushed in places as did the character development and formation, something that didn’t happen in ‘Pillars of the Earth’. As with that book, there is an attempt to portray strong women, ambitious men and how their lives are impacted by each other’s actions and destiny. Still, this was a poor effort after the first. Not a book I’d recommend unless you’re a history fanatic and even so, you’ve probably read several of this sort before.