I love long, involved stories that carry on over several books. I love to get so lost in a book that when I lift my head and look around I am surprised to be in my own house.
I have read a good number of long, involved books- some in series- some solo. The Harry Potter books come immediately to mind, as do most Stephen King books- specifically The Stand, The Dark Tower series and The Talisman/ Black House. I cannot bring up this topic without bringing Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. These 7 books about Jamie Fraser and his family took me to places and ideas I didn’t know much about…. yes, I said 7 books. I love love loved them and did not want them to end.
Now, you may have noticed that I am not a literature snob…. but I do like meat on the bone…
Today, Buttercup thought it was her turn to choose a book off of the list. She chose Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants. I have read a total of 3 Ken Follett books now: Pillars of the Earth, World Without End and Fall of Giants. It started as a book club choice with PotE and grew into an addiction.
I thought I would combine WWE and FoG since I read them both this year.
WWE was about 1,000 pages…. a good workout (if it weren’t in my Kindle!) It is a sequel to, but not dependent on, Pillars of the Earth. You are transported to the 1300s in a small English village called Kingsbridge. I learned so much about the Catholic church, the plague, architecture, commerce and trade guilds, law, medicine and gender roles in this time period. I could hear the sounds and almost smell the smells… I was completely transported. This is complete fiction- but based in reality. The monarchy named is accurate for the time, these things didn’t happen and these people weren’t real- but they could have been. Realistic fiction….
FoG is set much more recently, just before and then through World War I. The story follows 5 families in different countries (Wales, France, Germany, Russia and America) and how their lives overlap and intertwine. There are several real life historic characters and happenings in this story. It taught me so much more about the political and historical background of how WWI actually started. Some parts made me cry and some parts made me so mad I could spit (not that the Queen would spit!)- If you have any interest in learning about just how personal politics can be…. I suggest you read Fall of Giants.