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
A wonderful tapestry of lives shaped by, and shaping, the world at both personal and national levels. If, like me, you find history compelling but want much more than the dry facts which make no sense apart from the people who make it this is a compelling read. It appears to have been well researched and is certainly well crafted.
Good sequel. History we know, told differently.
When the 3 focal young men see the truth, and barbaric conduct, of the Nazis and the communists and are shocked into reality, each from their own naive beliefs.
John Lee does a great job of luring you into the book and keeping you there..
I read the Pilars of the Earth set, and now this set of trilogies. I'm not much into history but have enjoyed his take on these events but creating families whose lives cross from time to time, to show the real impact of life events and how it affected real life. He has brought us into and out of the two world wars by showing what was happening before and after that would have led to these happenings.When each book is ove you want the next one!
I highly recommend this book. BUT, get "Fall of Giants" first. This is the second book of a trilogy and there is generational continuity with the characters that flows from one book to the next. The rich historical research that the author has done comes alive through the lives of the characters. It's not light reading but you will be much richer for listening to this series.
Fall of Giants, the first book of this trilogy.
I never really thought about the fact that it was a performance. Each character lives as he personalizes each one. You have to tolerate some readers. Not so with John Lee. Every book I've ever listened to with him as the reader is the same. That fact causes me to look twice at any book if he is the reader. If you look up the word "outstanding" in the dictionary you will probably find John Lee's name.
The story weaves its way through the lives of several characters while maintaining an integrity of plot line.
It would have been better if the narrator had NOT tried to use the various accents of the characters...very distracting.
Each character grabs and holds your interest as you grow with them.
I liked volume 1 but I loved volume 2. The story captivated me and is excellently told. One of the best historical fiction I've ever enjoyed.
This book took several starts for me. It starts with rise of fascism and communism. It is difficult to listen to, knowing what was to come. It was harder for me to establish the characters in my mind's eye with such a stressful start. The book does a good job of illustrating the development of the world during the early-mid century. Much of this time is troubled so much of this book the characters are troubled.
John Lee does his usual fantastic job of narration. Like all Ken Follet books a web of fictional characters and accurately depicticted history are skillfully woven together. There is quite a lot of sexual content much of it not needed for the story.
Follet continues to educate the listener about world wars and the inner circles of decision making along with strong loves and failures. I recommend it certainly after reading Fall of Giants. The fears and problems of living in dictatorships is sharply drawn and makes one shutter at the reality he draws. Well done Mr. Follett
I loved the characters, the storyline. I literally couldn't stop listening to this and am very sad that I will have to wait for the next book.
John Lee does a wonderful job with all of the different characters and accents. If I had one criticism, it would be his rendition of Daisy. He reads her like a low brow woman from New Jersey, when she is meant to be a Buffalo socialite. The accent he gives her is not relatable or believable to me, but otherwise he does an amazing job with all of the voices.
I Like scifi-fantasy,non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Stormlight Archive, GoT, Ken Follett's work. Last read: Words of Radiance
I'm sad that its over. Ken Follett as always carries all his characters so well throughout the book and the historical events that they feel real. I loved FoG but WoW exceeds my expectations. I was expecting that Ken Follett would have chapters of Hitler and his death camps like all other history books, but I was glad that the focus was on the characters and the camps and Hitler were mentioned if any character's storyline went through it. This book is about the second generation of characters from FoG after WW1 and the book starts at an excellent pace and it never loses that pace. Cannot wait for End of Eternity.
John Lee did excellent as always. Just like my FoG review, he was great at all the accents. Cockney, Welsh, English, American, Russian, German.
Audible fix Part 3 of the 4 downloaded files. So just download that if you want to re-read the fixed part.
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