The story is interesting but I am surprised critics have not picked up some sloppy writing habits on the part of the author. He uses the word "however" and the phrase "all the same" constantly through the the book. He also asks questions, usually in pairs very, very frequently throughout the story almost to the point that it seems like a pattern.Examples like "But what will happen?" "Would the outcome be different?" (not word for word from the story but you get the picture). Maybe it was the reader who frequently spoke the questions as if they were statements and not questions at all that made this so apparent.
Pillars of the Earth and World Without End were, to me, "10s," whereas Fall of Giants & Winter of the World are more like "6's".
Winter is mostly compelling, but drags in places. It also has a number of coincidences which scream "novelist at work," which come deep into the book, when the reader should hopefully be fully absorbed into the story. I found myself wishing that the spell were not so easily broken.
Make no mistake: Follett is awesome; I've read everything he's ever published and jump on each new book immediately, however his new stuff is, for me, "good" rather than "transcendently amazing."
The narration was excellent. John Lee is one of my favorites.
Daisy - sponky, brave, raunchy, flawed.
John Lee is a consistently good narrator.
No, I am at the last section. It did not download properly because of some type of bug. Very frustrated.
I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!
After the gripping characters and beautifully interwoven stories in the first book of Follett's 20th Century trilogy, I was delighted to finally get the 2nd book, "Winter of the World." There is no doubt that the events leading to WW II, the years of the war, and post-war recovery were grim and horrific on many levels, but the writing and narration of this book offer few contrasting moments. Even the light-hearted moments are laced with desperation or class struggle. Perhaps the title of the book lets us know as much about Follett's view of the period as it does about the stories within it. I still recommend the book, but with the caveat that the use of langage may not be as versitile as one usually finds in Follett's books. Lots of hard-driving plot delivery and less character development and "picture painting" than I expected.
John Lee does his usual excellent job with various British accents and European accents spoken in English, but he apparently has no ear for American dialects. Voices were all over the national map within single characters. He comes closest with Southwest dialects. He does manage to keep the many, many characters in the book distinct from one another and unique in the listening, which is remarkable.
I will definitely listen to the 3rd book in the trilogy, hoping Mr. Follett finds more to inspire him in the latter part of the 20th century.
I've been reading Ken Follett books for 30 years and he just gets better with every novel! The middle book of some trilogies is usually a bit slow, but not this one. I am anxiously awaiting the final book and please, please do not change the narrator! John Lee is excellent!
Ken Follett has done an amazing job in Winter of the World. Initially, I was not sure if I would purchase the second book... I am glad that I did. The second book captures time frames that most of us can relate to. Follett is a masterful writer and his ability to educate and entertain is refreshing. Readers will not be disappointed. John Lee gives another amazing performance and brings this book to life.
I found the time leading up to and after the attack on Pearl Harbor a moment that I will not soon forget.
John Lee gave another amazing performance. His voice is elegant and easy listening.
A Time of Strength and Suffering
I can't wait to see how this story ends.
Yes by Follett, no by Lee
Haven't finished the book yet
His rendition of the various accents is so bad and so distracting that I may not be able to finish listening to this very long book. If you can't get an accent spot-on you shouldn't even try; just read in your natural voice.
Don't know yet, haven't finished it.
I wouldn't normally write a review before I've finished a book but I find this reader's terrible rendition of various regional UK accents so annoying that I'm not sure I'll be able to finish the book. Although it promises to be mediocre anyway - plot devices so far are transparent and predictable. I LOVED Pillars of the Earth though, and Follett's early espionage books.
I re-listened to "Fall of Giants" before I listened to "Winter of the World". While both are excellent, I liked "Winter of the World" better. I have always enjoyed historical novels, and Follett did not disappoint. Recommend it highly.
The book itself is wonderful. Ken Follett is an extremely powerful storyteller. The characters are engaging and likable.
The narrator completely lost me when his English accents started to sound Indian. German accents were at times difficult to understand as well. It was almost embarrassing.
Overall it was a pretty good audio book. Just wish the narrator had not been so distracting.
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