New reading

I just received Ken Follet’s new book Fall of Giants. It’s a 1000 page novel in the “Pillars of the Earth” vein, but this volume (even at 1,000 pages it’s only the first in a trilogy!) covers roughly the period of the First World War. I found it a great read – as I must have, because it arrived Tuesday afternoon and I finished it last night. Yeah, there’s a little bit of suspension of belief required in certain plot elements but I found the story so engrossing that I dismissed those.

The Amazon reviews are pretty poor but that’s because they’re weighted with 74 one star reviews which focus on the $19.99 Kindle price rather than the book’s merits. I bought the hardcover edition for the same price because Pal Nancy and my son John both enjoyed “Pillars” and I think they’ll like this one too. The Kindle’s a great little machine, but you can’t pass it on.


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12 responses to “New reading

  1. EOS

    Incredibly impressive that you read 1,000 pages in two days. I fall asleep in three seconds reading at night ergo it takes me much longer than most to consume a book. I took speed reading back in the day and still use the concept of reading down the middle of the page but can’t gobble up pages as quickly as you do. With your love of all things historical, have you ever considered teaching?

  2. EOS

    NB: the link is wrong – goes to the thread below, not to Amazon.

  3. greenwich goldie

    I read Pillars of the Earth about 20 years ago. It had a tremendous impact on the way I view organized religion, politics and European architecture.

    I’m buying Fall of Giants today – at an old fashioned bookstore – despite owning an IPad.

  4. Inagua

    How much can a person who reads 500 pages a day remember about a book? Chris, what is a Polish haircut?

    • I don’t know what a Polish haircut is, Inagua, and if it was in the book then I guess I missed it. But I’ve always read quickly since I started at 6, and it’s a gift that served me well ever since: I can absorb voluminous amounts of material and retain enough of it to get through college and law school and a career as a lawyer pretty successfully.
      Another advantage? A couple of the reviews I read on Fall of Giants complained about the slow, plodding pace of the book before Follet adds enough to each character before they become interesting. I never noticed that because I was zipping along and those details came fast and furious.

  5. Inagua

    The Russian characters referred to a haircut parted on the side instead of middle as a Polish haircut.

  6. pulled up in OG

    Parted with what, a Beretta?

  7. anotherchris

    As another netflix fan, I strongly recommend “To the Ends of the Earth” for you. You’ll be enthralled.

  8. Inagua


    I have a weird fascination with historical trivia, and this is the line from the book that I remembered the best, “His hair was cut in the fashionable “Polish” style with a parting on the side, instead of down the middle as the peasants wore it.”

  9. JDinBkln

    I am definitely going to pick his new one up, I loved Pillars of the Earth. Did you read his follow-up to that, World Without End?

  10. pulled up in OG

    Inagua – Just stumbled across this.

    Res Obscura – a compendium of obscure things