Five linked families live out their destinies as the world is shaken by tyranny and war in the mid-20th century. Berlin in 1933 is in upheaval. Eleven-year-old Carla von Ulrich struggles to understand the tensions disrupting her family as Hitler strengthens his grip on Germany. Into this turmoil step her mother’s formidable friend and former British MP, Ethel Leckwith, and her student son, Lloyd, who soon learns for himself the brutal reality of Nazism.
He also encounters a group of Germans resolved to oppose Hitler - but are they willing to go so far as to betray their country? Such people are closely watched by Volodya, a Russian with a bright future in Red Army Intelligence. The international clash of military power and personal beliefs that ensues will sweep over them all as it ranges from Cable Street in London’s East End to Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, from Spain to Stalingrad, from Dresden to Hiroshima.
At Cambridge Lloyd is irresistibly drawn to dazzling American socialite Daisy Peshkov, who represents everything his left-wing family despise. But Daisy is more interested in aristocratic Boy Fitzherbert - amateur pilot, party lover, and leading light of the British Union of Fascists. Back in Berlin, Carla worships golden boy Werner from afar. But nothing will work out the way they expect as their lives and the hopes of the world are smashed by the greatest and cruellest war in the history of the human race.
Winter of the World is the second novel in Ken Follett’s uniquely ambitious and deeply satisfying trilogy The Century. On its own or read in sequence with Fall of Giants, this is a magnificent, spellbinding epic of global conflict and personal drama.
©2012 Ken Follett (P)2012 Penguin US/Macmillan Digital Audio
Upon finishing "Fall of Giants" and checking out other books by Ken Follett I was thrilled to discover that there was a sequel! I downloaded it instantly and listened in every available moment until I finished.
Building on the background of Fall of Giants, Winter of the World picks up a fair few years after Fall of Giants finishes, and focuses on the children of the characters from Fall of Giants. I found this a refreshing way to go about writing a sequel; it had the perfect combination of familiarity and novelty.
While I recommend listening to/reading Fall of Giants first, that is by no means essential, with the two books complementing each other rather than requiring each other.
There are some scenes in this book that I think will stick in my brain forever. I enjoyed it just as much as the first and cannot wait for the third book to be published.
Absolutely i will read this book again when the next instalment is getting close to release. i have really enjoyed all of Ken work and this was no disappointment.
The character development and attention to detail for the period was superb, i really can’t wait for the final instalment in the millennium series and i am sure i will be left feeling hollow and wanting more when it is finished as I have with Ken’s other great series.
They were all great and i have enjopyed all of Johns work on Ken's books, John kept the characters voices consistent throughout the book, if i had to pick a faviourite it would be Ethel Leckwith
Not really the whole book was emotional up and down
Cetainly a must read
Definitely. It is an interesting tale, woven thru WWII history, told thru the eyes of very real and vivid characters.
I learned so much about the facts behind the facts of WWII.
I usually prefer to hear a man reading; I don't know why, but there it is. John Lee has a strong easy to listen to voice.
A book easily read, my first Kollett book. I will certainly read others. The characters, as well as the times are well drawn.. Whilst I generally thought the book met all criteria as far as entertainment went, I felt there were times that it dragged perhaps it is to long and at times a little to much detail. Was I pleased to have bought it?, certainly, would I recommend purchase? very much so.
I read it almost immediately after Fall of Giants. Maybe for that reason, the characters came alive and more vivid. I could get a better feel for the period and the circumstances surrounding some momentous events in WW2 than any history books.
This was an ok effort but not Follett's best work. The narration was high quality and the accents helped keep track of the characters.
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
When you have a book of four or more 'discs' you have a long tale. Migrating a positive army of characters through time and place and keeping them working is a masterful skill and Follett is indeed a master. John Lee takes a bit of getting used to but when you get into his idiosyncratic delivery it works and works well. If you are a 'boomer' from this period it will have extra resonances bringing things into focus often not explored in period specific books. If you like modern history that is tweeked with a reasonable amount of literary spice licence then put this on your list.
This is a great story. Ken Follett's stories are magnificent, the characters woven with the history is so stimulating. I really liked the interweaving of the cultures, nationality and classes. The children of the characters of the first book grow and take centre stage.
I really like the way Audio books makes really large books accessible, I used to find them daunting , now I enjoy the alone times in cars, in motels, doing the washing and ironing and sharing the time with "my friends" in these long wonderful stories ...
If you read the first ... you cannot miss this one.
Yes. It's a stand alone, although nice if you have read the first one. It draws you in following all the interwoven characters.
I'm not sure anything can compare to Pillars of the Earth but it is similar.
John Lee always does a great job. It wouldn't be the same to listen to anyone else read a Ken Follett!
I certainly laughed and had a tear in my eye at times, but now its finished I'm missing it! Looking forward to the next instalment
If you like Ken Follett (I do) you will not be disappointed with the this continuation of Fall of Giants. It carries on with the same characters and same style; lots of historical detail, amazing coincidences where his characters by chance meet on city streets or in the midst of battle, and unfortunately many anachronisms. Still the ride is a fun one. John Lee is an excellent narrator. Each book is about 30 hours, so you need to enjoy his voice to get through them. He does the various accents and women's voices well without overdoing it or intruding into the story.
What I think Follett does best is provide good historical background and insights into the great events of the twentieth century. I am 53 and after reading (hearing) this book I have a clearer understanding of the rise of fascism in Europe than from all my previous reading.
The battle scenes and the romantic interludes are all rather predictable. It becomes hard to tell one from the other and the course of the relationships become so well worn that we feel we could write them for him.
Overall, I would say that Follett appeals to the boy in us. While I have enjoyed this and the previous book tremendously, I would not recommend them to my wife, who is quite a serious reader. I can just see her turn her nose up in in distaste. Rather it takes me back to the cracking good reads of my adolescence and for that I am very grateful.
"Epic and entrancing"
A great piece that should be regarded as one of the great masterpieces.
It guides you through one of the most important times in history as if you were there to see it for your self.
"Excellent second instalment"
Always excellently narrated, and immersive story. Blend of fact and fiction is seamless. Can't wait to listen to book 3
In some ways a better story than the first part of the trilogy as this recounts history closer to the political and social issues of the current day. The characters do help to convey some unusual perspectives on what we might see as well-worn themes: thus it is genuinely challenging to consider the subversive anti-Nazi efforts of some Germans and the atrocities committed by certain elements of the 'liberating' Red Army in Berlin. Another excellent narration that brings life to the characters and appropriate pace, pathos and punch as required by the narrative.
"Involving continuation of the story."
The way Follett carefully weaves the lives of those people we find familiar from the first novel and their children through the events in Germany, England, Russia and America is fascinating. We take a much more personal trip through dramatic historic events. John Lee is as always a great narrator.
Favourite character is a difficult choice as there are many you hold dear and want to succeed. Lloyd is an underdog I really got behind, but the book details the lives of so many others that I would have to say the character I enjoyed following the most was probably Carla von Ulrich. She sees so much and whilst she is mostly based in one location (Berlin) the pattern of her life and the things her family witness make for a fascinating read, even if often upsetting.
It's such a vast book that it is difficult to select just one scene. There are many great moments and some which you would rather not happen, but the course of history cannot be changed and it adds to the verisimilitude of these characters as living through this period in the world's history.
It's far too long to listen to in one sitting. But that is in itself something great. The progress of the character's lives and the often exciting events draw you in and you delight in the ongoing story not wanting it to end.
This was an entertaining story, I highly recommend it and hope the next book will be equally involving.
I really enjoyed this book. The way the lives of the characters are woven into history is fantastic. I can't wait to listen to the next book.
"One of my favourite authors"
I have thoroughly enjoyed this and the first book in the series and look forward to listening to the final book! I think how each book links to the last through the intertwined families entices you on to read the next book to know how the families are doing. Great author.
This was a fabulous follow on from fall of the Giants. Made my journey to work much easier and understand so much more of history. Well worth it
"Brilliant vision of Second World War through easy listening"
Brilliant. Working full time with two young kids I struggle to find time to read. This is the first time I have listened to a novel and found it still captured my mind in the same way as reading does, and gave me huge flexibility to listen whilst travelling, etc
The story is excellent and gives a very real picture of the Second World War. I'm about to order the third in the series now!!!
"Really enjoyed this book can't wait to start book two"
I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to start book two in the series
Brilliant and fascinating. Covers family life in Britain, Germany and America throughout the Second World War. Horrifying and spellbinding. Highly recommend this book.
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