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
Fell asleep too many times. Follett let me down.
Sean Connery sound alike but a waste of breath when doing the American voice
Truth of what Fascist's are all about!
Don't waste your $$$$ ££££or credits
The Pearl Harbor scenes
His ability to shift his voice to fit the character....very believeable.
Made me both laugh and cry.
Would recommend this book for high schoolers who are studying history of western civilization.....it brings the facts to life in a way that no text book could ever do. Amazing integration of historical facts into a riveting, believable prose....I was totally capitvated.
consultant and coach
There is something about hearing events you know about through the eyes of people you care about, that makes a story so profound without feeling manipulated by the author. Plus this book really moves, and I'm already wondering what these people and their children will be doing in the next book.
I liked it since he is not trying to detail too much the history. The story makes it interesting!
sadly, this book does not keep up with the "Fall of Giants". It's ok, it's a good diversion when you are bored, but the story teems with stereotypes, describes brutality in great detail, has several very similar and repetitive sex scenes and even some historical mistakes.
Intermittently there are good scenes and descriptions, but it lacks the density and development of good stories such as the "Fall of Giants" or the "Pillars of the Earth". Rather, it's a motley of stories and scenes that jump ahead and back, which also makes it hard to follow a general storyline.
The reader also mispronounces German words and names, which is a shame in a book of this volume and price.
Overall, I would say it might have been better to make three books out of all that material, research more thoroughly, and go easy on stereotypes....
Listen to it, if you want to know what happened to all the people from the "Fall of Giants". Don't bother, if you are interested in the complex history of WWII and what lead up to it.
The graphic depiction of the London bombing from street level was intense. Seeing it through the eyes of the character and learning how it transformed her was incredible.
The vocal changes helped make the story flow. The lilt in places really separated the classes of people in a believable way.
War is personal, at every level of social strata.
Unsatisfying sweeping epic
This is a follow up to Follett's last book, Fall of Giants, and I was excited to keep following the characters through the end of WWI and through WWII. As always the story is engaging, the characters rich and narration excellent. Least interesting was that there was more sex in this book, which really didn't add anything, in my opinion. Not a prude or anything, I just felt like it sometimes kept the story dragging.
John Lee is excellent and does well in this novel.
Hard to pick just one, but I liked when the nurse of a Nazi hospital dares to put her life at risk to right a terrible wrong.
Loved this book until the end, which was so abrupt it was ridiculous. I know the story will continue in his next book, but Fall of Giants ended much better than this one - it just drops off and leaves you unsatisfied after such a time commitment.
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........
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