Ken Follett: Fall of Giants

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Ken Follett Fall of Giants
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    Fall of Giants
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Fall of Giants: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Follett takes you to a time long past with brio and razor-sharp storytelling. An epic tale in which you will lose yourself." – The Denver Post on World Without End Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep, beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics as "well-researched, beautifully detailed [with] a terrifically compelling plot" (The Washington Post) and "wonderful history wrapped around a gripping story" (St. Louis Post- Dispatch) Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families-American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh-as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage. Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man's world in the Welsh mining pits…Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson's White House…two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution…Billy's sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London… These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. It is destined to be a new classic. In future volumes of The Century Trilogy, subsequent generations of the same families will travel through the great events of the rest of the twentieth century, changing themselves-and the century itself. With passion and the hand of a master, Follett brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.

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Ken Follett

Fall of Giants

The first book in the Century series, 2010

To the memory of my parents,

Martin and Veenie Follett.

Cast of Characters



Senator Cameron Dewar

Ursula Dewar, his wife

Gus Dewar, their son


Josef Vyalov, businessman

Lena Vyalov, his wife

Olga Vyalov, their daughter


Rosa Hellman, journalist

Chuck Dixon, school friend of Gus’s

Marga, nightclub singer

Nick Forman, thief

Ilya, thug

Theo, thug

Norman Niall, crooked accountant

Brian Hall, union leader


Woodrow Wilson, twenty-eighth president

William Jennings Bryan, secretary of state

Joseph Daniels, secretary of the navy

English and Scottish


Earl Fitzherbert, called Fitz

Princess Elizaveta, called Bea, his wife

Lady Maud Fitzherbert, his sister

Lady Hermia, called Aunt Herm, their poor aunt

The Duchess of Sussex, their rich aunt

Gelert, Pyrenean mountain dog

Grout, Fitz’s butler

Sanderson, Maud’s maid


Mildred Perkins, Ethel Williams’s lodger

Bernie Leckwith, secretary of the Aldgate branch of the Independent Labour Party

Bing Westhampton, Fitz’s friend

Marquis of Lowther, “Lowthie,” rejected suitor of Maud

Albert Solman, Fitz’s man of business

Dr. Greenward, volunteer at the baby clinic

Lord “Johnny” Remarc, junior War Office minister

Colonel Hervey, aide to Sir John French

Lieutenant Murray, aide to Fitz

Mannie Litov, factory owner

Jock Reid, treasurer of the Aldgate Independent Labour Party

Jayne McCulley, soldier’s wife


King George V

Queen Mary

Mansfield Smith-Cumming, called “C,” head of the Foreign Section of the Secret Service Bureau (later MI6)

Sir Edward Grey, M.P., foreign secretary

Sir William Tyrrell, private secretary to Grey

Frances Stevenson, mistress of Lloyd George

Winston Churchill, M.P.

H. H. Asquith, M.P., prime minister

Sir John French, commander of the British Expeditionary Force


Gini, a bar girl

Colonel Dupuys, aide to General Galliéni

General Lourceau, aide to General Joffre


General Joffre, commander in chief of French forces

General Galliéni, commander of the Paris garrison

German and Austrian


Otto von Ulrich, diplomat

Susanne von Ulrich, his wife

Walter von Ulrich, their son, military attaché at the German embassy in London

Greta von Ulrich, their daughter

Graf (Count) Robert von Ulrich, Walter’s second cousin, military attaché at the Austrian embassy in London


Gottfried von Kessel, cultural attaché at the German embassy in London

Monika von der Helbard, Greta’s best friend


Prince Karl Lichnowsky, German ambassador to London

Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg

General of Infantry Erich Ludendorff

Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, German chancellor

Arthur Zimmermann, German foreign minister



Grigori Peshkov, metalworker

Lev Peshkov, horse wrangler


Konstantin, lathe operator, chairman of the Bolshevik discussion group

Isaak, captain of the football team

Varya, female laborer, Konstantin’s mother

Serge Kanin, supervisor of the casting section

Count Maklakov, director


Mikhail Pinsky, police officer

Ilya Kozlov, his sidekick

Nina, maid to Princess Bea

Prince Andrei, Bea’s brother

Katerina, a peasant girl new to the city

Mishka, bar owner

Trofim, gangster

Fyodor, corrupt cop

Spirya, passenger on the Angel Gabriel

Yakov, passenger on the Angel Gabriel

Anton, clerk at the Russian embassy in London, also a spy for Germany

David, Jewish soldier

Sergeant Gavrik

Lieutenant Tomchak


Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Party

Leon Trotsky



David Williams, union organizer

Cara Williams, his wife

Ethel Williams, their daughter

Billy Williams, their son

Gramper, Cara’s father


Len Griffiths, atheist and Marxist

Mrs. Griffiths

Tommy Griffiths, their son, Billy Williams’s best friend


Mrs. Minnie Ponti

Giuseppe “Joey” Ponti, her son

Giovanni “Johnny” Ponti, his younger brother


David Crampton, “Dai Crybaby”

Harry “Suet” Hewitt

John Jones the Shop

Dai Chops, the butcher’s son

Pat Pope, Main Level onsetter

Micky Pope, Pat’s son

Dai Ponies, horse wrangler

Bert Morgan


Perceval Jones, chairman of Celtic Minerals

Maldwyn Morgan, colliery manager

Rhys Price, colliery manager’s deputy

Arthur “Spotty” Llewellyn, colliery clerk


Peel, butler

Mrs. Jevons, housekeeper

Morrison, footman


Dai Muck, sanitary worker

Mrs. Dai Ponies

Mrs. Roley Hughes

Mrs. Hywel Jones

Private George Barrow, B Company

Private Robin Mortimer, cashiered officer, B Company

Private Owen Bevin, B Company

Sergeant Elijah “Prophet” Jones, B Company

Second Lieutenant James Carlton-Smith, B Company

Captain Gwyn Evans, A Company

Second Lieutenant Roland Morgan, A Company


David Lloyd George, Liberal member of Parliament


CHAPTER ONE – June 22, 1911

On the day King George V was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London, Billy Williams went down the pit in Aberowen, South Wales.

The twenty-second of June, 1911, was Billy’s thirteenth birthday. He was woken by his father. Da’s technique for waking people was more effective than it was kind. He patted Billy’s cheek, in a regular rhythm, firmly and insistently. Billy was in a deep sleep, and for a second he tried to ignore it, but the patting went on relentlessly. Momentarily he felt angry; but then he remembered that he had to get up, he even wanted to get up, and he opened his eyes and sat upright with a jerk.

“Four o’clock,” Da said, then he left the room, his boots banging on the wooden staircase as he went down.

Today Billy would begin his working life by becoming an apprentice collier, as most of the men in town had done at his age. He wished he felt more like a miner. But he was determined not to make a fool of himself. David Crampton had cried on his first day down the pit, and they still called him Dai Crybaby, even though he was twenty-five and the star of the town’s rugby team.

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