Follett Leads Next Week’s Fiction

Historical fiction has been very good to Ken Follett. After the success of Pillars of the Earth and its sequel, World Without End, both set in 12th C England, he now turns his eyes toward the 20th century, with a planned trilogy that will cover the entire 100 years (and is thus called The Century Trilogy).

The first book, Fall of Giants arrives next week and is widely expected to be the blockbuster of the season. Using the formula he developed in the earlier series, the author follows several families through WWI to the early 1920’s. Prepub reviews all note the book’s length (Kirkus called it “cat squashing”), but applaud its readability. The publisher has announced a million copy first printing and it is already at #10 on Amazon sales rankings.

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy)
Ken Follett
Retail Price: $36.00
Hardcover: 985 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult – (2010-09-28)
ISBN / EAN: 0525951652 / 9780525951650

Penguin Audio; UNABR; 9780142428276
Books on Tape Audio; UNABR; Narrator: John Lee; 9780307737380
Audio on OverDrive
Spanish-language edition; La caida de los gigantes; Random House; 9780307741189

Other Notable Fiction On Sale Next Week

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris (Little, Brown) The illustrations are by Ian Falconer, but don’t expect these animals to be at all like Olivia. The new issue of Entertainment Weekly calls the book a “lurid beastiary…for the strong- stomached, these tales are toxic little treats, fun-size Snickers bars with a nougaty strychnine center.” If you’re having trouble grasping what that means, go here to Read an Excerpt. The book is already at #36 on Amazon sales rankings.

Don’t Blink by James Patterson and Howard Roughan (Little, Brown). About a mafia hit in a NYC steak house. Coauthor Roughan has worked with Patterson on several other titles, including Honeymoon, You’ve Been Warned and Sail.

The Fort: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Bernard Cornwell (Harper). The author’s first standalone set in America, about the Penobscot Expedition, a Revolutionary war battle considered the worst US naval disaster until Pearl Harbor.

Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Three Pines Mysteries) by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books). “Gamache’s excruciating grief over a wrong decision, Beauvoir’s softening toward the unconventional, a plot twist so unexpected it’s chilling, and a description of Quebec intriguing enough to make you book your next vacation there, all add up to a superior read. Bring on the awards.” (Kirkus)

To Fetch a Thief: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, Spencer Quinn (Atria). “Tender-hearted Chet and literal-minded Bernie are the coolest human/pooch duo this side of Wallace and Gromit.” (Kirkus)

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham (FSG)

Entertainment Weekly loves the writing (“There are sentences here so powerfully precise and beautiful that they almost hover above the page”), but found the plot thin with a main character not worth caring about, resulting in a B. It’s an Indie Next Pick for Oct.

The cover proves how striking sepia can be.

Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund (Morrow). Also an Indie Next Pick for Oct, Booklist says this “… outlandish stew of biblical analogy, political thriller, futuristic speculation, and old-fashioned adventure story by the best-selling author of Ahabs Wife (1999) teases and frustrates the reader.”

Bound by Antonya Nelson, (Bloomsbury) Featured in O Magazine’s “Six Books to Watch for in October,” Booklist calls Nelson ” A short story writer of exhilarating wit and empathy, [who] returns to the novel after a decade with heightened authority” and describes the book as “Tightly coiled, edgy, and funny, this complex tale of transcendent friendship begins with a spectacular death.” Audio from Tantor.

Safe from the Sea, Peter Geye, (Unbridled). We’re part of the fan club for Unbridled Books, an independent press that manages to publish astonishingly high level fiction. This first novel is an Indie Next Pick for Oct,

Classic themes of redemption,reconciliation, and family ties are set against the awesome power and beauty of the north shore of Lake Superior. In the final weeks of his life, Olaf relives the story of his survival in an ore boat wreck decades earlier, and acknowledges his feelings of guilt and regret, while his estranged son Noah discovers that things are not always as they seem.

Booklist suggests, “Give this book to readers of David Guterson and Robert Olmstead, who will be captured by the themes of approaching death and the pain and solace provided by nature.”

How to Read the Air, Dinaw Mengestu, (Penguin). Both an Indie Next Pick for October and the lead in O Magazine‘s “Six Books to Watch for in October,” which describes this story of a first generation Ethiopian American as a “quiet and beautiful new novel [that]…transcends heartbreak and offers up the hope that despite all obstacles, love can survive.”


Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion by Mo Willems (Balzer & Bray). Say it isn’t so! This is the final book in the series.

One Response to “Follett Leads Next Week’s Fiction”

  1. Aj Says:

    Sherlock Holmes came back. Maybe Knuffle Bunny will, too!