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story approach to history,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Century 1. Fall of Giants (Taschenbuch)
Follett's first volume of the trilogy Fall of Giants follows the lives of some families in different countries around the world. This is a story of the time period which encompasses the World War I and the Russian revolution. This time period is a rich one to examine, not only because of all events like political upheaval, technological advancement, struggles for women's right to vote, but also because of the subtile differences between the classes.
In the beginning of the story in June of the 1911 enters Billy Williams on the day of his 13th birthday as grown man the mines in a small town of Welsh. In Westminster Abbey in London an other event happened; the crowning of King George V.
At the beginning of the 19th century there was no middle class in England and Welsh yet, but two extremely different classes. To go from one extreme to an other, you will find the working class of miners, who barely gets enough to eat and lives in small unheated stone-houses. The another one is the upper class who lives a life of privilege and extremely luxurious. Such as the Earl Fitzherbert's family, who owns among other things also the coal mines and count as one of the richest ones of England.
The characters; the Earl, married to one of Russian princess, his sister Lady Maud, falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, who is working at German embassy in London. Billy's older sister Ethel, is working for the Earl Fitzherbert but takes a fateful step above her position as Earls housekeeper.
The story moves from London to St. Petersburg in Russia, where two brothers Grigori and Lev Peshkov live. They are orphans but already grown up set out on very different paths half a world away from each other when their plan to emigrate to the America falls apart because of the war and the revolution.
In America Gus Dewar, a law student in Washington, D.C. is working for the President, Woodrow Wilson, in the White House. His family is an important political dynasty of Washington D.C. and finally, the Vyalovs family of Russian immigrants in America with businesses in Buffalo.
All the characters are placed perfectly in their playing and each of these characters and a raft of others find their lives entangled in this saga of unfolding drama, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, and intriguing complexity. Follett's stories are quite engrossing and they let me see events from various national and cultural points of view. So that after finishing I've really felt as though I've witnessed this all.
Ken Follett is a well respected and a tremendous writer of historical fiction and I am very fond of him since I enjoyed very much his greatest novels The Pillars Of The Earth and World Without End. Ken Follett's story lines are gripping and his characters are interesting, sympathetic and human. I enjoyed this book for its history and atmosphere and I also learned a lot only by reading. In the matter of fact, after it I also was able to understand better what led to the World War I. It is actually a good change of pace to the books of the mysteries and thrillers that I usually read.
Follett is adept at moving the interrelated stories along so that the plot never felt plodding, not at all. This book is rather long, but it is moving fast. I would say, pretty good historical fiction. Now, I couldn`t wait to dive into the next book, because I am very interested in to see how the families continue.