This is the final book in The Century Trilogy starting in 1961 and bringing you right up to date with world affairs.
I loved the whole of the Trilogy and I think I learned a lot from how wars were undertaken and the effects they had on different people from all around the world.
In this book when they talk about the assassinations of President and Bobby Kennedy I developed a new understanding of the impact of the events on the time. I think like most people I have an interest in finding out what really happened to the Kennedy’s and I’ve watched numerous TV shows and documentaries portraying the family from the inside but also analysing the events of the shootings and no one seems to agree on anything. For someone born almost 20 years after the assassinations I still find it interesting.
That is the thing with history, it has always piqued my interest and books like this series allow me to understand events in a human way that teaching and documentaries don’t offer you. The characters in the book are just that and I’m sure what happened to them is based on facts that happened to people at the time but I don’t think such a small demographic of people could have been so unlucky to have so much sadness happen to their families.
I also don’t doubt that the historical evidence in the books are also heavily based on facts and some of the people are undoubtedly real but by adding characters to real situations you make what happened human rather than a history lesson of fact.
I think it’s a better way of teaching and the school curriculum should look to ways of making what you learn much more real-time for today’s world. Young people now are very much digitally minded as opposed to us who went to school before the internet who are still wired to learn in an analogue way deep down. A lot of the kids of today will turn their back on books because they don’t provide instant gratification that can be found in a YouTube video and I think it’s a shame.
As a child I would read multiple books at a time and a trip to the library always resulted in armfuls of books and borrowing space on other family members cards so I could get everything I wanted. I think a lot of kids today are missing out on knowing the excitement of that simple thing.
If you are interested in world history but don’t want to read historical books which can be very technically challenging then this series is perfect for you. You’ll come out with a whole new understanding of the mentality of war and how power corrupts people’s thinking and it is often the poorest people who suffer.
The world is ever changing but one thing that has never been learned is how pointless war is in the long-term. All wars at their heart punish innocent people, in the ideals of those in power, trying to enforce their decisions on the wider populace.
War is a money-making game to the big government powers and that is what will always fuel the conflicts. The big superpowers would all be poor in peace and that is a sad reality of life.
The older I get the more I am becoming accustomed to terrorism as a part of life and for anyone to say that is a sad view on what humans have become. That anyone thinks they have a right to kill people with different beliefs because it is their gods will, misses the point of religion. All religion is based in the hope that if we live by a certain set of rules we will be granted a restful afterlife, it is designed to stop people fearing death which comes to us all. Violence and hatred have no part in religion which is designed to teach love and tolerance for your fellow-man. I say all this as an atheist who believes that with no religion there would be less war.
Let’s all choose to learn from the mistakes of the rulers throughout history and not keep repeating them, like The Who once said “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. Lets all choose love!
I’ve been a big fan of Ken Follett since I started watching The Pillars of the Earth on TV. I brought the book straight away and tried to race the series to the end to see what happened next. In no way are his books quick reads but somehow I manage to plow through the 800 or so pages in record time.
Fall of Giants is the first book in The Century Trilogy and all I could think about whilst reading was going online to buy the next 2 books. Sadly I’m on a self-imposed book buying ban due to the fact I have 4 rather unstable piles of books in my ‘to read’ pile which are in serious need of reduction.
The trouble with getting addicted to a book is… there is always another page, another chapter and no matter how tired your eyes are or how late the hour on the clock that page is always enticing you to read it. Which means I managed to eat up the pages in around 4 weeks which was some going for me as I’ve been known to take longer reader a shorter book if it hasn’t grabbed my attention.
This book entwined the lives of a selection of characters from around the world, all leading up to, facing and dealing with the aftermath of the first world war. The characters are a mixture of fictional and historical and the events are either elaborated from fact or based around a reaction to a fact. But when you are reading it all feels like you are reading about actual people and actual events.
If you like historical novels or novels with lots of drama and rich characters then I would recommend Ken Follett’s work. But don’t blame me when you find yourself unable to put the book down with dark bags under your eyes from lack of sleep!