A great book and worth the wait. I can’t fathom how someone can weave history and characters together so effectively. He’s an amazing talent. I thought the earlier events and characters were referenced about the right amount….enough to remind you, but the current stories and people were sufficient to enjoy the book.
One thing that rang true for me was his portrayal of women, especially with respect to sex. The way women thought and felt seemed believable to me, and I can connect with it myself as well as through my parents, who would have been young adults in the war years. Some writers, such as Alan Furst, seem to have their characters hop from one sensual adventure to the next, with an endless string of available women. That is one outlook and it reveals the male character’s view of women as sensual delights, which is fine. But it’s not really portraying a woman’s point of view in its fullness. For example, pregnancy or birth control never seems to factor into Alan Furst’s books, but does in this book by Ken Follett. That seems more accurate and reflective of real women, especially in the 1930’s and 40’s.
John Lee, of course, is superb.
I no longer live in Worcester. I now live in Brooklyn, NY.
I do find the "cast of characters" on the authors website very helpful. I wish my memories of Fall of Giants were more precise. I plan to relisten to Books 1 and 2 immediately before I tackle Book 3 (which of COURSE I'll buy the day it is released.) I learned so much about how the Brits felt before WWII started. I just watched the start of the new season of Upstairs/Downstairs and this meshed with it very nicely. The description of the attack on Pearl Harbor was as exciting as any of the many I have read/listened to.Thank you Ken Follett......I'm waiting for the next one!
The subject of the novel could be a trilogy unto itself. The focus on a half dozen characters from all over the world, all connected by blood, marriage, or friendship, and their connection to big historical events should have been blunted. I wish I did not have the feeling I was watching a HIstory Channel enactment.
Not made tying all the characters and history together with a neat bow dominate the narrative.
I liked him better in the first of this series, and other of his Follett narrations.
I listened to this after just listening to Cpnnie Willis' sci-fi dyptich about the blitz in England, a similar kind of WW2 historical yarn. Her depictions were so much more vivid, characterizations so much more realized and compelling, that I could not help but be disappointed by contrast. I usually like Follett, but this seemed to skim through events rather quickly, each being sketched rather than fully realized. And the book had the annoying Forrest Gumpisms (without the comedy) of seemingly being witness to every event of major note possible, while all, Brit, American, German, and Russian somehow being interrelated, sometimes by blood--both plot devices, a bit heavy handed for my taste. The first of this series was a stronger effort.John Lee was fine, though the plethora of voices and accents did not always serve him as well as in other readings by him.
Great Epic Novel
Surprisingly Daisy,,,, her spirit and how she changed
Starting with Pillars,, he is one of my favorites
Winter of the World, the era of my parents
Look forward to the next book
One can only hope that we've learned from this time in our history. Ken Follet gives a picture of many views of the war; of the time.
I was so sad!! I have been waiting for this book to be released for over a year because I just loved the first one! Sadly it is just not as good of a story line and the characters are not as interesting as they were in the first book. But I listened to every minute of it because I feel Ken Follett will come back and wow us with the third in the series! Don't worry Jonh Lee...still love ya!!
NO after listening to this book because of profanity.
His decision to use unnecessary profanity
I have read most of his other books and loved them but this time he has gone with the lover end of culture choosing to blaspheme God. The story could be told with gutter verbiage when called for but not a choice of words totally objectionable and offensive to Christians.
the intricate plot and obvious careful research into the history of WW2 in particular
Lt Kuff (?) and the piano
Peshkoff -- all
a study in inhuman behavior
Cant wait till Book 3
I liked that I learned more about the history of WWII and why events unfolded as they did. It's great to see it from different perspectives. Especially from the German perspective.
I realize that this is fiction, but I thought how easily the Russians obtained the plans for "FAT Boy" was memorable.
I think the author has a good sense of humor which I enjoyed throughout the book.
It was a little too contrived and predictable at times.
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After reading Pillars of the Earth, Word Without End and Fall of Giants in relatively short succession and rating them all as “5-star-favourites”, you’d think Winter of the Word would easily fall into that same category, but it doesn’t. I enjoyed the story very much, and although I won’t go so far as to say I could not put it down, I was always happy to pick it up!
I have one major criticism that keeps me from giving it that 5th star: too much DRY information.
WW2-era stories are my favourite, however I like to read about how people lived through those times. While I do agree that theories and strategies and tactics of war are all very interesting, I felt there were too many instances in the book where the story just stopped and Follett went on and on with the dry political events of the day, turning the story into a war history seminar.
My mother had this same complaint about Book 1 (which was WW1) and I disagreed with her about that… but I see now what she means after having just finished Book 2.
Having said all that, I am still immensely looking forward to Book 3 due out in 2014 and provisionally titled The Edge of Eternity. It takes place during the Cold War, so I have a feeling I might be complaining about the same thing… We’ll see!!
John Lee - as always - was a fantastic narrator.