I enjoyed this second installment in the trilogy, but found it tedious in the beginning -- a much slower start than in Fall of Giants.
While hearing or reading about the Holocaust sickens and horrifies me, I was disappointed that a mere half page or so was spent on discussion of the the Holocaust -- almost as an afterthought, it seemed. How do you tell the story of WWII without examining the Holocaust? I recognize that there is much to examine between 1933 and 1949, but I think Follett failed as a historical novelist by only giving the Holocaust the very briefest of mentions. Another failure: how can there be no mention of kamikazes?
So why do I still give it four stars? Well, Follett barely mentioned the Holocaust and didn't mention kamikazes at all, but the stories he did tell were well told. I look forward to the next installment in the trilogy. In a sense, I almost give Follett a pass on the Holocaust issue because it has been so well covered by other authors and he examined the other issues that are rarely touched upon. As usual with Follett, the character development (and growth) was excellent, despite a large cast of characters.
I listened to the audio version narrated by John Lee and found his narration superb, as it was in Fall of Giants. Five starts for performance.
One of my favorites. I also listed to the first 2. This one is just as riveting. The author makesone feel that you r living thru that time.
The reader is such an important part of the story. I have stopped listening to stories when the persons voice is strident or too much of an accent.
Daisy. She is so feisty and I felt she changed the most. For the better!
Someone who is interested more in historical details than plot structure. I loved his other books.
I just couldn't relate to many of the characters.
John Lee's performance brings the story to life and makes it easy to lose oneself in the lives of the characters. A much richer experience by audio.
Impossible to pick just one favorite character. Ethel Williams, Maude & Walter are definitely at the top of the list, along with Gus and his son.
Many terrific moments - I was especially moved by the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Can't wait for the third installment of the trilogy!!!
3 kids, 2 moms, 2 dogs, 1 GREAT husband all in one house. Busy life - listening to books is the best escape I have found since I can't seem to find the time to read.
Informative, led me to look into some historical facts in more detail.
Daisy - I identified with her and the similarities in our personalities.
I always enjoy books that challenge me and motivate me to learn more about the subject.
One of the best. Started out a little slow but got better every minute. dispite being so many
hours I never got bored.
Lloyd and Daisy
To many to list
Yes, if I had time. Listened every chane I got.
I never write book reviews (and English is not my first language) but this time I just have to vent my feelings.
The book is generally enjoyable to listen to but some of the characters I find so completely unrealistic that I think they are intellectually offensive. I am sorry if I sound tough but my grand father was in Auschwitz and my grand mother was captured by the Red Army soldiers in 1945 and I tend to take this subject matter rather seriously.
The author makes his characters either good or evil, as judged by the standards of modern, Western audience. Thus he is completely missing the chance to present the perspectives that people would have had at the time - and consequently intellectually challenge the modern audience. How representative of the German society of the time is for instance Karla, spying for the Soviets, saving Jews, volunteering to get raped by the Soviets and giving birth to the rapist's child? And her boy friend, also spying for the Soviets, adopting the rapist child as his own and raising one happy family with Karla? And Volodia being discussed at the Soviet propaganda at the Eastern front?
There are plenty of good diaries of people who lived at the time to gain some idea how the vast majority of people felt at the time. I find it very frustrating because the tragedy of WW2 can teach us so much about ourselves - perhaps even help us being less self righteous. This book is certainly no help in this respect.
I found the narration in English very good; I was not sure about imitating the accents though; they don's sound real to anybody familiar with German or Russian accents.
Learning and relearning history. This reading made understanding the World War more simple.
Lloyd, he was a good man.
Daisy, she says it like it is.
What accuracy. Such an interesting look into the dynamics of the countries involved in WWII. Its kinda spooky hearing some of the parallels to things happening now. A great long credit worthy listen and I cant wait for the next one!
Very good historical fiction - a great followup to Fall of Giants. Learned things I didn't know about the Spanish Civil war and the Fascists vs Nazis. Interesting character development.