At first I had trouble getting into it, I think it were around 200 pages until I started to love it and can’t stop reading, but since the book is around one thousand pages it is not a problem to enjoy it anyway. I had it lying around for nearly two years I think before really starting it. The main problem was that I did not know what I could expect from this book but after that it was a really great novel. After I got into it I got the e-book in addition too because I did not want to take this big hardcover book of a thousand pages everywhere I go with me, so I could read in the tube or everywhere else.
It plays around the first world war and describes the view of the events from many different perspectives. It starts in 1911 and ends in 1923. The main perspectives are from Great Britain, Russia, Germany and the United States of America and they all have multiple main characters who are connected to each other in some way.
That is what I like the most about this book, the different characters from different countries and social classes and how they find and connect to each other. I also really like the reality of this book, Ken Follett himself said that all events that happen are either happened in reality or they could had happen. Like if a person was in another country at this time or something he left it out. At first I was surprised because I sometimes googled a specific character, if it was a real person and what he did in real life, and they where exactly who they are in this book, later I read this quote of him at the end of the book. He also said he hired eight history professors to correct his manuscript. So the relative high price for this book is more than justified.
It covers events like the suffering of the coal miners and the suffragette movement in Great Britain, the Bolshevik movement in Russia, of course the whole first world war from any point of view and in the end even the beginning of the prohibition in the United States of America and the first actions of Adolf Hitler in Germany.
My favourite characters are Lev, Gregory, Ethel and Billy I think.
Lev and Gregory are brothers from Russia and they split up, Lev is going to America, which was Gregory’s plan originally, and Gregory stayed in Russia, to do stuff, fucks his brothers wife and so on. ;)
I like Lev because wherever he is there is some kind of action or trouble, he even get into fights with the most powerful man where he lives not only once and Gregory is exactly the opposite of Lev but even he get into conflicts sometimes too. Later he(Lev) is involved in the Bolshevik movement. Ethel and Billy are also siblings but from Great Britain. Ethel was a housemaid at first and after getting illegitimate pregnant she moved away and engaged in the suffragette movement. Billy was a coal miner and later a soldier in the war and had very interesting conflicts with authorities that even gives him a sentence in prison. Billy and Ethel knew how do discuss and give arguments because their father was a high ranking person in the trade union and taught them to.
I already ordered part two and three of the century trilogy and I am very excited what is happening there.