Good yarn. Loved the accounts of WWII historical events in the Soviet Union, the USA, England and Germany, all of which I assume have been rigorously researched. For me the book was worth 35 hours of listening for that alone. I do feel some of these characters are retreads from Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.. kind of two dimensional. Also that the characters are repeatedly coincidentally running into one another and being placed at every major historical event is kind of ridiculous but, I suppose, necessary to provide first person reports. If you do not have an encyclopedic knowledge of the events leading up to and during WWII and you would like a better knowledge of them and like a good yarn, this is the book for you. Also, it was fun to follow the characters from the Fall of Giants.
Smart and engaging
The Fall of Giants - First Book in the series
No. It would be too much to absorb and I wouldn't get anything done for one week - no sleeping wouldn't be a good thing!
I love historical romance/thrillers and this one fits the bill. I have read all of Ken Follet's books and he's one of my favorite authors.
Ken Follett always tells a great story but he seemed more interested in character quantity then quality. He ended up with too many threads and seemed in a hurry to deliver the gotcha or point without spending enough time getting us to the same emotional or intellectual point. I said it was overedited because Mr. Follett has always patiently delivered the goods in the past so I am convinced there was a Stalinist editor hovering over this production with the Red Pen from hell and pompously declaring that the public needs this book to be under 1000 pages. It seems like the book needed about 300 more.
Examples: (Here Be Spoilers)
He didn't spend enough time developing Chuck D. for me to feel sad when he was killled.
Commisar Macke seemed due for a Poetic justice end and then he was just ingloriously murdered.
He races through the last part of the book (post war) where a lot happens very quickly. Which is, of course, setting us up for the next book but leaves a lot of holes and seems like it could have been fleshed out more.
Ordinarily Mr. Follett has characters that are morally indifferent - Complex characters that are generally good but occasionaly do something evil. In this book the characters were either good or evil. The most morally complex character in the book was Greg Peshkov and he wasn't exactly multifaceted.
Apparently all Social Democrats (Liberals) are smart and good and all Facists (Conservatives) are stupid and evil.
Look - It's still a good story and I would recommend it to all of my friends; Hell, I have. But Mr. Follett can do better and he has done better many times: Fall of Giants, Jackdaws, Pillars of the Earth, World without End.
Please Mr. Follett, Flesh out your Characters, Scenes, and Plots. Be patient in your delivery and it will be worth the wait.
The audio production does skip - That needs to be fixed.
But still a good book nonetheless. I read Fall of Giants over a year ago so it took me a while to put all the connections back together in my mind. Early in the book, some of the sub plots were unable to hold my interest. I found myself wanting to fast forward in places to get back to the other sub plots that were more interesting and fast paced. The second half of the book was much better than the first and I gave it 4 stars because of this. It really got going and ended well. I am looking forward to the last book.
I really like the story- but am disappointed that the file must be dreadfully out of order and incomplete!
This story was downloaded before the unavailable status. I wish I would have been sent a message to know not to start this book. How do I get a corrected version??????
Yes- all great!
Too long for that, plus it is a bit intense. Not a causal listen, I had to concentrate to keep up.
In this second book of the trilogy, Follett continues the story of the century through the years of Hitler and the second war. Even though you have read many books on these subjects, Follett manages to make the story fresh and interesting, contributing a human face to the facts and telling the story in a way newly compelling.
Reading is great, but I LOVE audiobooks! I would never get this much read or done without them...
After Fall of Giants I had high expectations - Winter of the World did not disappoint. I enjoyed this book very much; it took me back in time in a way that no history book could. Although the characters are fictional, it gave an insight into what people may have been thinking, feeling and surviving (or not) before, during and after WWII. It really is unfathomable and mind-blowing to anyone growing up in the post-war era. Although many of the horrifying parts were difficult to read, the characters and their stories were so compelling that I was eager to continue listening and following them until the very end.
I know Ken Follett must research this series relentlessly, but he's made at least one serious historical error. At one point he is discussing sports teams in Washington DC in 1941. He refers to the Washington Nats, (Nationals). In 1941 the MLB team in Washington was known as The Senators (Although the "Nationals" was part of the team's formal name. Hometown folks called them the Senators.)
Baseball fans will call him out on that one.
But that hardly matters, it is a great sequel, and carries on in the tradition of Fall of Giants.
I enjoyed the first book in this series. I was excited to see this one come out, and am admittedly only half way through it now. But unless it gets much better, and fast, I am mostly bored out of my mind. The reader's voice is starting to get on my last nerve too. It's very similar to the last book in many ways, but less gripping somehow. I just don't care as much about the characters, and could do without all of the politics. I'm sorry I spent the money and am going to waste this much time listening to a book that is just so-so (because I have a thing where if I make it half way, I have to finish it no matter what). Ugh.