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
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"Please don't waste a credit on this."
Having listened to Fall of Giants, I've been very disappointed by Winter of the World. Slow, tedious, predictable. I listened to the first 8 hours and didn't have the heart to continue so left the book for a month; yesterday I went back to it and lasted less than an hour. I really can't listen to any more of this book. How can someone who wrote Eye of the Needle (un-put-downable) and Pillars of the Earth put his name to this?
The Collaborators by Reginald Hill
"A moving historical epic"
I loved this. The narration was great and I couldn't wait to get in the car to listen to a bit more and even found chores to do with headphones in so I had an excuse to listen! This is the sequel to Fall of Giants which I would also recommend with 5 stars. Get them both - they are long and well worth the money! My knowledge of european history is embarrassingly weak and although this was a novel it gave me a completely different insight what life would have been like on war torn Europe during the second world war. One word of warning - I did find this very thought provoking and had a couple of sleepless nights thinking about the world then and how conflicts in the current day could very well be the same living hell for those living through a civil war, or occupation.
It's not the most uplifting book you will read but it is well written and brilliantly narrated. Get it!
"Fantastic in every way"
My husband and I have been enjoying this book together - he is reading it on his Kindle and I am listening to it in the car as I drive long distances for my work. I have just finished it and wish it could have gone on for every. Ken Follett has managed to weave a story that is both satisfying on a human level and as a historical commentary. Follett is brilliant at giving opposing points of view and describing horrific events that although shocking and upsetting, are always tempered by some amazing and heroic characters of both genders. I recommend this book unreservedly. John Lee's narration is excellent. He manages to give all the characters a unique voice and even does the "German/Scottish/English" accent of one of the characters justice. The book has sparked a lively debate in our family about the events surrounding WWII and has helped to remind us how lucky we are. It reminded me on more than one occasion of the excellent Band of Brothers series on TV.
"Only the beginning"
This is an outstanding story. Ken Follett's story lines have matured since he wrote the Pillars of the Earth stories. The characters are well defined and absolutely believable.
There's a nice blend of historical context and fictional characters.
Although this is a fairly long story, I was rather sad when it ended because I felt that I had become friends with the main characters and I wanted to know more about them.
Fortunately, this story will continue - I just need to be patient and wait for Mr Follett to finish his next installment!
It's nice to have something to look forward to - especially when you know that you will not be disappointed by the author.
"Follett does it again"
I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the previous books, I really don't know how Follett manages to keep the families seperate A wonderful book, keeps you interested all the way through
All the different families, the story told by all sides
I think a good narrator brings the story to life
yes it was, but far too long to do that, however didn't want to turn it off.........
A really good bood, well researched, telling the stories of different families, not only on different sides of the war, but from different social backgrounds
"Fabulous - Fantastic"
This is one of the best books I have come across - this catapulted Ken Follett into one of my most favourite writers. This is an amazing continuation of Fall of Giants, adding new characters and making older ones greater - but most of all its a story encompassing a history of World War II in Europe and America suggesting how events happened and enrolling these characters and the reader on a roller coater of emotions - and that for me is what makes an author great. With valuable history lessons a bonus this books has my highest recommendation.
"Written for US readers/listeners"
It's a good saga-type tale of people around what will be the conflict zone of WWII and covers 1933 to 1948.. Follett isn't the greatest writer and his sex scenes made me cringe but it was entertaining. The reader is good with accents and does his best with the material he's given.
"A well crafted epic"
Spanning years and continents, this book brings modern history to life. By combining multiple points of view on politics, religion, intrigue, love and the ties of family and country, Ken Follett explores some of the greatest and most terrible events of the 20th century. His characters leap from the words, and their stories, set against the background of WW I, will stay with you long after the final sentence has ended.
Expertly read by John Lee, "Winter of the World" grips you from the first and carries you through to the end. It might be a long listen, but it is worth every second.
"An enthralling and imformative book"
I would highly recommend this book to a friend as it defines the causes and consequences
of a period of 20th century history that shaped the world I grew up in.It did it in such a way that was both interesting and shocking in equal measures and although it was a very long book (over 30 hours) It kept me enthralled and on the edge of my seat from the first chapter to the last.
The most memorable moment for me was the discovery of how incompetent Joseph Stalin was, but how this was kept from most ordinary Russians by the reign of terror and subterfuge carried out by Beria and the state secret police the NKVD. He truly was a Kingmaker.
This is the first book I have listened to narrated by John Lee but I hope it won't be my last. the rise and fall of his voice made each character seem individual and interesting
The most moving moment for me was the discovery by the German families of the euthanasia policy being carried out in the name of National Socialism by the Nazis on ordinary citizens who failed to meet their exacting standards
This is a long book that takes listeners on a very revealing journey. It leaps from scene to scene which sometimes left me confused, but I would urge listeners to persevere as the story is both memorable and enjoyable.
This is a brilliant Narritive of history so many mini stories: Cant wait till the third book comes out.
I love the way John Lee reads Ken''s books. Cheers auidable
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