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
This tapestry, well woven. with the second generation of the five families is brilliantly conceived and executed. I continued to learn so much history from this time period.
There are so many that it is difficult to choose. That's not a cop-out either. It's true!
William. John Lee does a wonderful British accent. His Russian is good as well. I wish I could say the same about his American accents ... those leave a little to be desired.
I couldn't get over the devastation and horrific circumstances in Germany before, during and after the war. The brutality of war was overwhelming.
Professional woman, reading constantly
Once again, lots of characters, lots of sub-plots throughout the book, but in the end, it seems to all come together.
The battle scene was pretty creepy
Yes, he's pretty good.
I liked this book better than the "Fall of Giants". I knew both books would be slow and drawn out, so no surprises here. Follett does get into the historical significance of the times and I really think he hit the mark in his depictions. I enjoy his work but I am hoping that the third in this series leaves me wanting more........
I am addicted to learning, reading, hiking, travel and, at one time, moving around. Life is as fun as you make it.
This book was even better than the last one! Fall of Giants is by far one of my all-time favorite books...but now Winter of the World has topped it. The history content is riveting, the plot is grand, the characters are wonderful. I can't rave enough about this book. I've already started to listen to it again. If you love history and inspirational books, this series is for you.
my ipod and audible make the daily 10 mile walks a "breeze"....
yes...a lot to absorb in one listening
as i walk my many miles every day, listening to the book made me lose time of walking...and that was a good thing...walked more miles than i realized
I'm always in awe of Ken Follett's ability to write in this epic style that grips the reader's attention throughout.
I would enjoy it more with a different narrator, however, as John Lee frequently puts his emphasis on the first word in a sentence. This is often bewildering enough to detract from the tale itself.
Two different experiences, both enjoyable. i could never compare a printed version with an audio edition or a screenplay.
The easiest choice would be Fall of Giants, but Gone with the Wind is a proper comparison.
Professional, passionate, catching.
Storm over Europe.
John's english accent.
No, the book is very long. I need breaks.
I found Book 2 to be easier to fall into the groove with. At first I was slightly disappointed that the majority of the story focused primarily the children from Book 1 who are now entering adulthood. The main characters from book 1 are woven into the story and actually create more overall depth. It was great, no disappointment at all.
Performance was ok it was the content that disappointed me
I would have actually added a little more detail. In the first in the series the author really took you "inside" the lives of the characters
Fantastic narration and detailed story telling from many perspectives. I loved getting the different perspectives from characters in England, Germany, Russia, and America.
Carla was my favorite character because she was so courageous.
He did them all well, even the female characters.
Carla, because she did everything she could to defeat the Nazi's.
I also enjoyed "Pillars of the Earth".
I've been an audio book fan for years and years, since borrowing Books-on-Tape from my local library, buying cassettes from BOT, then migrating to Audible eight years ago. My audio library has become extensive. But still waiting for James Michener's work to get over here.....
This was a nice follow-up to Fall of Giants, though nothing earth-shattering - certainly nothing compared to the Pillars of the Earth duo. At times, the storyline seemed a bit contrived as though the author attempted to hit all the highpoints of the Second World War and its aftermath, without materially adding to the page count. Personally, I think Herman Wouk did a better job of telling a similar story in The Winds of War / War and Remembrance though granted, the latter had two volumes to cover the same ground. I’ll be interested to see how Follett treats the second half of the 20th Century in the final installment of this trilogy. I foresee the final chapter being set in the summer of 1997 in Hong Kong when Britain’s 99-year lease ends and the island ceding back to China at the dawn of the 21st, I.e. the Chinese Century.
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