I have enjoyed the entire series and cannot wait until the next book. It brings history to life and makes you feel like you are actually living it!
It is hard to believe that less than 75 years ago, all of Europe was under fascist rule - except for tiny England and Stalin-led Russia. Most of the western "civilized" world were under authoritarian rule that used violence and thought oppression to stay in power. Follett's well-drawn characters help us connect personally with the cost of this tragedy.
As in the first book, Fall of Giants, Follet does a great job making complex political relationships seem real and tangible through their impact on characters in the book. The characters are deeper and richer in this book than they were in the first book - its easier to empathize with all of them.
A couple of things stretched credulity - the illegitimate son who manages to be on the ship with Churchill and Roosevelt AND in the bowels of the Manhattan project, but you forgive Follett because you want to know what's going on. I appreciated how clearly life in Nazi Germany was portrayed - the decade before the war was really harsh, and Americans often don't understand this aspect of the Nazis before we finally got involved. I thought his treatment of America before Pearl Harbor was a bit gentle; he let us off pretty easily given that our government knew about the Holocaust for years and did nothing. It was fascinating to see the role the Catholic Church played in supporting the Nazis, and then how they tried too little, too late to fix the mistake.
I read this book in conjunction with In the Garden of Beasts (Erik Larson non-fiction about American ambassador in Berlin 1933-1934). What a horrific time, and what a lesson to think about how to prevent it from happening again.
The reader is ok - a little stiff for my taste, but competent and well-paced. He's not very good with the female characters, and his American accent is terrible, but he's a great fit for the Brits and the Germans, and he does a pretty good job with the Russians.
John Lee made the story even better with his narration. He is one of the best with all his accents, but he does need to work on the American accent. I had to laugh when he tried the female New York accent. Yikes.
The story is so well written and I am not much of a WWII buff, but the way Ken Follet tells the story with these characters, it makes you want to read more.
He brings to life this horrible time of our history.
I give this 5 stars in every way. The Fall of The Giants is a must listen first which I loved also. Cant' wait for the next one to follow.
Yes, It is based on history as seen through the characters from many different views.
Billy, the young Welsh miner. He was brave and overcame many obstacles showing loyalty and leadership.
Would like to but had to ration it to a couple of hours each evening.
The whole series is fantastic. Have read the first two in the series of 3. Look forward to the 3rd.
This was really an interesting book that offered a lot of perspective into the global struggles leading up to WW2 and into the beginnings of the Cold War. Follett does a great job of creating believable characters that you want to succeed or to be killed off accordingly! John Lee is my favorite narrator so far from all of the books I have downloaded from Audible.
Great listen and really kept my attention. Great Historical fiction that informs and entertains the listener
Nothing that I am familiar with
History made interesting
I have started "Winds of War" precisely because I have listed to this book.
clear and concise
I was not very interested in history when I was in school, so this book was a great review of events leading to WW2 and its aftermath. And because I liked the characters,I was hooked until the very end!
This is the second book in what looks like a terrible trilogy. Cliches and poor writing by someone who used to be a great writer
I really enjoyed this book as the second one in the trilogy and can't wait for the final installment.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
Unfortunately I am going to return this book. I found it a disappointment. Ken Follett's characters in his WW1 book, book 1 in this series, The Fall of Giants, were introduced in a way that was well written, enjoyable, rich and engaging, leaving me wanting to find out what happens next.
In this second book with WW2 as the backdrop, we are left with the children of those original characters, except this time barely any ramping up at all before jumping into their story arcs. I was left feeling very unattached them all, not caring one bit about what happened to any of them. I basically yearned to know more about their parents and felt cheated by the direction of the book. I also found the sex in the book way too over the top. At times I felt like I was reading soft core porn.
Too bad. Even so, based on the reviews and the success of Fall of Giants, I'm going to listen to the Pillars of the Earth next.