Ken Follett writes a solid story. This one spans WWII and follows characters in Germany, Russia, England and the United States. That's a lot of characters, but it wasn't too hard to follow.
If you want skilled prose, then I would suggest another author. This book is very clipped in its sentences and its reading. This started to annoy me towards the end. The reading and writing were stilted. However, it was still an interesting story and, even though I was getting bored with it towards the end, I was able to finish it. I don't think I'll be in any big hurry to download the third book in this trilogy, though.
I found Fall of Giants highly enjoyable but this sequel simply did not work for me. Bringing all the children of the characters in the first book together in the second is preposterous and strains the 'suspension of disbelief' too far. Further, the story sags badly; in the first instalment you spend hours of mind-numbing boredom in Buffalo, where everyone speaks with a grating Bronx accent (?) - the female American accents are particularly awful. I hung on for 7 hours but then bailed out. I'm going to return it, something I've never done in many years of being a member. I would add that John Lee is one of my favourite readers but he should do some study of American accents...
Ken Follett continues strong in his new genre of historic fiction. Having done a great job of creating multiple families in Britain, America, Germany and Russia during the Fall of Giants, he picks up with the rising generation at WWII approaches. Although the happenstance of encounters among characters is sometime a little too convenient, the linkage of historic fact with compelling fiction is amazing. I hope he finishes the third book of the Trilogy!
John Lee's narration is just right for this story
This is a great series and all the SUPERLATIVES are 100% right on... I can add no more as to the quality of the story and the narration. This is a story meant to be absorbed and meditated on. The characters are soooo real and the trial and tribulations make you question how they survived and how can so called civilized societies commit such atrocities... Many great and brave characters as well as scoundrels... But I will always think of Carla, her bravery, self sacrifice, and tenacity to keep trying to make the world a better place. Carla is my hero!!! I highly enjoyed and recommend this book. It is heart wrenching at times and will bring a tear to your eye...
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. It reads like socialist propaganda. Follett apparently thinks Nazism was NOT socialism. THAT fact alone, but there are plenty of other inaccuracies and outright lies, was enough to make me want to quit this book. I stayed to the end and am now dumber for having done so. I am very disappointed and it now makes me wonder how much spin he put in Pillars of the Earth.
Tell a story, not write propaganda.
It COULD have been a great story... it failed.
I would of spent the same amount of time reading the book, so from this perspective I was able to read and drive at the same time.
The end - when I no longer had to hear John Lee!
Use a different narrator.
No - I do not believe you could encapsulate the breath and scope of this book in to a 2-3 hour movie without substantially chopping up the plot.
John Lee is horrible as a narrator for this novel. His monotone repetitive english accent makes for a most unejoyable 30 hours of narration. I am relatively new to Audible and what I learned from hearing this novel is to sample the narrator before buying the entire novel. Honestly, if I would of done that, I would not have purchased the Audible version and just read the novel and most likely have had a much better impression of the novel overall.
This was not simply my opinion, anyone in the car on our rides that was exposed to this would basically say the same thing "How can you possibly listen to this!" "Put your headphones on please and do not expose us to this!"
WWII stories and Mysteries make me Happy!
I hate history, and i hate long books. This book is long and is about historic events, but it's SO good! it intertwines these families and their love lives and romance, and attitudes, that only Ken Follet could write! he makes me want to go back to the 1940s even just for a moment!
John lee's Narration was superb, the voices, the accents, the attitude! i love this book~!
I've been a big fan of Mr. Follett's since I read Pillars of the Earth so many years back. This was my first audiobook via Audible, and I must say from John Lee's excellent narration, to the compelling narratives which wind together in the style I've always loved, this book was a great way to jump into the world of audiobooks.
As usual this story follows a few characters from before the beginning of WWII to a few years afterwards. There is love and tragedy, sadness and joy. Bombs are dropped, battles are fought, and there is not a desired detail left out.
It's a long one, of course, but which of his books aren't? Totally worth the time. This is a must listen.
One can always tell that Ken Follett studies his history. Both the stories and history intertwined in this novel are very descriptive and believable. His books are always superb.
John Lee acts out the characters' voices very well!
The sweep and intertwining of characters, families, countries and political events gives the reader a sense of the impact of time on people and people on their tunes. The characters are vivid and while complicated, I think he gets the right amount of core characters versus side characters. I'm happy that some of the people on the wrong side are swept up through misunderstanding. I also find it hopeful that some of the people standing up for the right survive through the worst of it.
This is the era of my parents andd grandparents -- I think I understand something more about their time and lives.
Follett has a touch for description that doesn't distract from the story but brings it more to life.
Maude gives up the shallow for the things that are most important. She's a survivor with a sense of right and wrong that I can identify with.
Sometimes the narrator and the writer are very much in synch with each other. Lee and Follett are inseparable in my mind. His notion of the accents and voice tones ring especially true. It amuses me that he uses such a nasal tone for the American accents (this is common with British narrators) But I love his Welsh, Eaton, Russian and German accents.
Call of Tyrants