When a long book is also good, it is a delight. In contrast, a long book that slowly turns from indifferent to bad is a chore. Sadly, Fall of Giants is one of those books.
Ken Follett, instead of coming up with three new ideas decided to stretch the plot of a single book into three, thousand-page, parts of a Trilogy. And it is painfully apparent. The story could had easily fit into a third of the pages and it would had been tighter and much easier to follow. A thousand pages novel which received little work and even less craft is too much.
And yet, for all its length, the book never gives but a very epidermal and caricaturish study of its characters. You get to follow the honorable yet rigid aristocrat and his temperamental Russian-princess of a wife; the rich suffragette and the poor, single-mother activist; the level headed German gentleman and his homosexual Austrian cousin; the young American presidential adviser and the spoiled daughter of the nouveau-riche thug; and two Russian brothers that could not be more opposite in character. However, apart from a name and a brief character-tag you get nothing. They all feel like stick figures drawn at the corner of the pages containing the story.
You keep turning pages because you are curious, but, after a while, you realize that you do not actually care for any of them.
Around these characters the world collapses into World-War I and everyone's life is swept into the cataclysmic currents that engulf the world. Strangely, the political decisions and machinations described are oversimplified and described as much more naive and open than realistically possible. And everything has a strong left-wing bias.
On top of being a bloated book, for some strange reason, Follett makes numerous clumsy attempts to exonerate the House of Rothschilds from any wrongdoing. Their British branch is described as "peace loving" whereas the role of their German branch is conveniently omitted.
In fact, it was the Rothschilds who funded Lenin, Trotsky and their Bolshevik party in taking control of the Russian revolution. This well calculated move (which opened up what was later to be known as the Red Orchestra) turned an allied nation into the Communistic bogeyman that fueled the Cold War armament race of the past 50 years - and seeded the global debt crisis of our generation.
For over 1,200 years, in war or piece, republics or totalitarian regimes, this Khazarian House of international financing has been puppet-mastering history from the shadows - and the House always seem to win.
If this were a mere book of fiction it would be just an annoyance. However, Follett claims numerous historians as his advisers and, thus, opens himself to valid criticism. For all his historic claims, the story he tells is more of an Orwellian re-write than actual history.
Pass. With extreme prejudice.