The book is almost a Socialist propaganda piece. All the characters "saving the world" are left wing socialist. All the narrow minded selfish characters destroying democracy are conservative right wing supporters. If you can get past these dogmatic and heavily biases political undertones, it is a great story, well written and informative.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
"The Fall of Giants" was a great book. I have been reading every book I can find about WW1 and this was one of the great ones. "Winter of the World" takes us into WWII and up to the cold war. I was a bit disappointed that Follett did not put as much emphasis on the social changes as he did in the "Fall of Giants" but he did put emphasis on what people or individuals had to do to survive in impossible situations. As in the first book this book follows the five interrelated families, American, German, Russian, English and Welsh. The book starts with the Spanish Civil War and the rise of Hitler. The key historical figures are not forgotten but also play a roll in the book such as, Churchill, Stalin, Hitler and FDR and Truman. He does cover some of the less well known aspects of the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific but the major part of the war was based on the war of the eastern front. He does show how much more Russia did in the war when most English language book focus on the roll of England and America on the western front. John Lee did a great job narrating the book. Follett has left me wanting volume #3. Both of Follett's books are worth reading every few years or so, there is much to learn in the re-reading of a series like this one.
I have listened to ALL of Ken Follett's books. Pillars and WWE as well as his other, older novels and I just could NOT get into this one. Seemed to go on and on and on and on with nothing that grabbed me.
Of course John Lee did a super job, as always. The story just didn't have any punch. It was like he had a committment to meet and just wrote SOMETHING.
No, no and NO-sorry. Total snoozefest
This is the 2nd part of Ken Follet's Century Trilogy and I recommend reading The Fall of Giants before Winter of the World. Follet is a masterful historic fiction writer. He fully researches the time period for the story's background and creatively weaves his characters in and out of real events. If you like history, then you'll love his epic sagas. Although, you cannot have a weak stomach. It was a horrendous time in history, but people still had to go on living their lives. His characters can be viciously cruel as they are passionately intriguing. He spares nothing when telling a story. As much as he'll have you turning pages quicker than speed reader Evelyn Wood, he'll also have you wanting to slam a fist through a wall into one if the character's head. His books have a tendency to elicit a wide range of emotion, but they are addicting! Narrator John Lee is well cast and a fantastic reader. Can't wait for the last part!
Am a great fan of Ken Follett. Read ALL of his works. Am disappointed after having listened to Herman Wouk's Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Would have been a so so listen regardless.
The history refresher was good, but the story told was a bit dull. Fall of Giants and Pillars of the Earth are better books than this.
I am looking forward to the next one.
Granted the period the story takes place is one of the darkest in world history, and it is hard to spin a "positive" story with that offset. It is still a good listen.
Best: A look at the transition from Nazi to Communist (with a capital C) and similar weaknesses
Worst: Story was too contrived with characters showing up at every important historical moment. Also horrible Buffalo accent.
Depends on what the reader's goal of reading this is. For someone who has very limited knowledge of WWII it is a good review.
Again, horrible Buffalo accent, sounded like lower Brooklyn
It made me hesitant to read the third segment of the trilogy
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
As with the first installment, the mingling of history with his fiction is masterful. I loved viewing the war years from the lens of each family and their respective countries.
I find his historical work accurate while intimate, particularly with his rendition of Nazi Germany. I wish he would have delved more into the politics involved in the US' reluctantly to enter the war, but that by no means is meant as a criticism.
Follett's works always feature sexually aggressive women. I am no prude, but I do believe he is revealing his own fantasy or perhaps his belief, particularly in periodic novels.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
Herman Wouk already did this book and did it better. "War and Remembrance" has all the aspects of history written from a personal perspective. It does a great job of tying people together into a fascinating whole. This book feels like a cheap imitation of that. All the interrelatedness of the characters is overkill and can be a pain to track without a character summary. From the Pearl Harbor scene on, I kept wondering why he even bothered to write it. Do yourself a favor. If you like historical fiction and you want the real deal, download "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" and just skip this one.
I read the first novel in The Century Trilogy, Fall of Giants a couple of years back. I enjoyed it a lot but for some reason I put off reading the second book. After starting a couple of books that I couldn't get into I decided to jump back in. For those that don't know this is a trilogy of novels that takes place from 1900-2000 and follow a number of different families from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Russia.
Winter of the World takes place right after the events of Fall of Giants. So right right at the end of World War I and the rise of Nazi Germany. What's fascinating about these novels are reading about the daily lives of those who lived through these world wars. Forget the battles but what about the people back at home? What was it like for a young German girl in Berlin for example who opposed to Nazi's? It's an interesting question and one that Follett does a great job with and was by far my favorite part of both Winter of the World and Fall of Giants.
My biggest issue with both books but more so Winter of the World was keeping track of all the moving parts. There were a number of characters in the first book that now have families of their own and trying to keep track of it all is difficult. There were several times where I knew there was significance to an interaction but couldn't place where these characters paths crossed in earlier novels.
Needless to say even though I couldn't place all of the characters I still really enjoyed Winter of the World. It does a great job of having some of the key characters involved with many of the major world events of the time period (WWII, Pearl Harbor, Atom Bombs). I'm now even more excited to finish off the trilogy this fall when Follett releases the final book in the series.