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
Book 1 was most fantastic and Book 2 just continues. I love the use of language and how history is served up on a timeline. I am not a "connoisseur" of fine literature so take this review with that in mind. I enjoyed both books, am waiting for the 3rd - history came alive for me - I could "see" how so many events correlated and became the springboard for further events - more than in Social Studies Class!
Love the way Ken Follett weaves historical facts into his books while telling the story of his characters lives, allowing you to experience a tiny bit of what it must have been like to be in Europe in WWI and WWII. Enjoyable read and highly recommended.
Fall of Giants (Part I of this series). The Winds of War by Herman Wouk's. The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough.
I was amazed and saddened by man's inhumanity to man and the struggle endured by them to live their lives and love their families. Stunning how throughout history people with power used it to further their own self interests and their own ilk rather than make the world better for every one.
This is a classic "Winds of War" movie and would be both enjoyable and educational.
Loved the books, saddened by the realities brought to life in them.
Yes. It brings history alive and covers some aspects you don't hear much about.
Gave vivid voices so you knew who was speaking, but didn't overdo it.
No too long.
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.
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