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Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2 | [Ken Follett]

Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.
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Publisher's Summary

Ken Follett here follows up his number-one New York Times best-seller Fall of Giants with a brilliant, pause-resistant epic about the heroism and honor of World War II and the dawn of the atomic age.

Fall of Giants, the first novel in his extraordinary new historical epic, The Century Trilogy, was an international sensation, acclaimed as "sweeping and fascinating, a book that will consume you for days or weeks" (USA Today) and "grippingly told and readable to the end" (The New York Times Book Review). "If the next two volumes are as lively and entertaining as Fall of Giants," said The Washington Post, "they should be well worth waiting for."

Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.

Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak.... American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific.... English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism.... Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war - but the war to come.

These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.

As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With passion and the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.

©2012 Ken Follett (P)2012 Penguin Audiobooks

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  •  
    Anne 01-21-13
    Anne 01-21-13

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Forest Gump meets The Winds of War..."

    So much of this story has been told before in the Herman Wouk book. At every turn of history there is a character present to witness the event.

    The accent of the Buffalo woman is NOT a New York City accent - a very grating rendition.

    I bought 2 of these audiobooks, not going to buy the 3rd one. Sorry, author... but enough is enough.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy ARLINGTON, VA, United States 01-17-13
    Troy ARLINGTON, VA, United States 01-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Laden with Political Soapboxing"

    The book is almost a Socialist propaganda piece. All the characters "saving the world" are left wing socialist. All the narrow minded selfish characters destroying democracy are conservative right wing supporters. If you can get past these dogmatic and heavily biases political undertones, it is a great story, well written and informative.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 11-25-12
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 11-25-12 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Follett does it again!"

    "The Fall of Giants" was a great book. I have been reading every book I can find about WW1 and this was one of the great ones. "Winter of the World" takes us into WWII and up to the cold war. I was a bit disappointed that Follett did not put as much emphasis on the social changes as he did in the "Fall of Giants" but he did put emphasis on what people or individuals had to do to survive in impossible situations. As in the first book this book follows the five interrelated families, American, German, Russian, English and Welsh. The book starts with the Spanish Civil War and the rise of Hitler. The key historical figures are not forgotten but also play a roll in the book such as, Churchill, Stalin, Hitler and FDR and Truman. He does cover some of the less well known aspects of the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific but the major part of the war was based on the war of the eastern front. He does show how much more Russia did in the war when most English language book focus on the roll of England and America on the western front. John Lee did a great job narrating the book. Follett has left me wanting volume #3. Both of Follett's books are worth reading every few years or so, there is much to learn in the re-reading of a series like this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-17-12
    11-17-12 Listener Since 2005
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    "Fell Flat for Me"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I have listened to ALL of Ken Follett's books. Pillars and WWE as well as his other, older novels and I just could NOT get into this one. Seemed to go on and on and on and on with nothing that grabbed me.
    Of course John Lee did a super job, as always. The story just didn't have any punch. It was like he had a committment to meet and just wrote SOMETHING.


    Was Winter of the World worth the listening time?

    No, no and NO-sorry. Total snoozefest


    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-13-12
    11-13-12 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epic History Lesson Page Turner"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is the 2nd part of Ken Follet's Century Trilogy and I recommend reading The Fall of Giants before Winter of the World. Follet is a masterful historic fiction writer. He fully researches the time period for the story's background and creatively weaves his characters in and out of real events. If you like history, then you'll love his epic sagas. Although, you cannot have a weak stomach. It was a horrendous time in history, but people still had to go on living their lives. His characters can be viciously cruel as they are passionately intriguing. He spares nothing when telling a story. As much as he'll have you turning pages quicker than speed reader Evelyn Wood, he'll also have you wanting to slam a fist through a wall into one if the character's head. His books have a tendency to elicit a wide range of emotion, but they are addicting! Narrator John Lee is well cast and a fantastic reader. Can't wait for the last part!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joseph venice, ca, United States 10-25-12
    joseph venice, ca, United States 10-25-12
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    "Poor man's War and Remberance"

    Am a great fan of Ken Follett. Read ALL of his works. Am disappointed after having listened to Herman Wouk's Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Would have been a so so listen regardless.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 10-02-12
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2015

    Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!

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    "No let down here. This is another great Follett!"

    As with the first installment, the mingling of history with his fiction is masterful. I loved viewing the war years from the lens of each family and their respective countries.

    I find his historical work accurate while intimate, particularly with his rendition of Nazi Germany. I wish he would have delved more into the politics involved in the US' reluctantly to enter the war, but that by no means is meant as a criticism.

    Follett's works always feature sexually aggressive women. I am no prude, but I do believe he is revealing his own fantasy or perhaps his belief, particularly in periodic novels.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 01-02-13
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2010

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

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    "Why bother?"

    Herman Wouk already did this book and did it better. "War and Remembrance" has all the aspects of history written from a personal perspective. It does a great job of tying people together into a fascinating whole. This book feels like a cheap imitation of that. All the interrelatedness of the characters is overkill and can be a pain to track without a character summary. From the Pearl Harbor scene on, I kept wondering why he even bothered to write it. Do yourself a favor. If you like historical fiction and you want the real deal, download "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" and just skip this one.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 11-17-12
    Kim 11-17-12 Member Since 2012
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    "More of the same"
    What did you like best about Winter of the World? What did you like least?

    The history refresher was good, but the story told was a bit dull. Fall of Giants and Pillars of the Earth are better books than this.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Uneventful


    Do you think Winter of the World needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I am looking forward to the next one.


    Any additional comments?

    Granted the period the story takes place is one of the darkest in world history, and it is hard to spin a "positive" story with that offset. It is still a good listen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 11-05-12
    Barbara MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Disappointed"
    What did you like best about Winter of the World? What did you like least?

    Best: A look at the transition from Nazi to Communist (with a capital C) and similar weaknesses

    Worst: Story was too contrived with characters showing up at every important historical moment. Also horrible Buffalo accent.


    Would you recommend Winter of the World to your friends? Why or why not?

    Depends on what the reader's goal of reading this is. For someone who has very limited knowledge of WWII it is a good review.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Again, horrible Buffalo accent, sounded like lower Brooklyn


    Did Winter of the World inspire you to do anything?

    It made me hesitant to read the third segment of the trilogy


    Any additional comments?

    Very disappointing

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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