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
I don't mind getting stuck in traffic...as long as I have an audio book playing.
The narration was excellent. John Lee is one of my favorites.
Daisy - sponky, brave, raunchy, flawed.
John Lee is a consistently good narrator.
No, I am at the last section. It did not download properly because of some type of bug. Very frustrated.
I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!
After the gripping characters and beautifully interwoven stories in the first book of Follett's 20th Century trilogy, I was delighted to finally get the 2nd book, "Winter of the World." There is no doubt that the events leading to WW II, the years of the war, and post-war recovery were grim and horrific on many levels, but the writing and narration of this book offer few contrasting moments. Even the light-hearted moments are laced with desperation or class struggle. Perhaps the title of the book lets us know as much about Follett's view of the period as it does about the stories within it. I still recommend the book, but with the caveat that the use of langage may not be as versitile as one usually finds in Follett's books. Lots of hard-driving plot delivery and less character development and "picture painting" than I expected.
John Lee does his usual excellent job with various British accents and European accents spoken in English, but he apparently has no ear for American dialects. Voices were all over the national map within single characters. He comes closest with Southwest dialects. He does manage to keep the many, many characters in the book distinct from one another and unique in the listening, which is remarkable.
I will definitely listen to the 3rd book in the trilogy, hoping Mr. Follett finds more to inspire him in the latter part of the 20th century.
I've been reading Ken Follett books for 30 years and he just gets better with every novel! The middle book of some trilogies is usually a bit slow, but not this one. I am anxiously awaiting the final book and please, please do not change the narrator! John Lee is excellent!
Ken Follett has done an amazing job in Winter of the World. Initially, I was not sure if I would purchase the second book... I am glad that I did. The second book captures time frames that most of us can relate to. Follett is a masterful writer and his ability to educate and entertain is refreshing. Readers will not be disappointed. John Lee gives another amazing performance and brings this book to life.
I found the time leading up to and after the attack on Pearl Harbor a moment that I will not soon forget.
John Lee gave another amazing performance. His voice is elegant and easy listening.
A Time of Strength and Suffering
I can't wait to see how this story ends.
Yes by Follett, no by Lee
Haven't finished the book yet
His rendition of the various accents is so bad and so distracting that I may not be able to finish listening to this very long book. If you can't get an accent spot-on you shouldn't even try; just read in your natural voice.
Don't know yet, haven't finished it.
I wouldn't normally write a review before I've finished a book but I find this reader's terrible rendition of various regional UK accents so annoying that I'm not sure I'll be able to finish the book. Although it promises to be mediocre anyway - plot devices so far are transparent and predictable. I LOVED Pillars of the Earth though, and Follett's early espionage books.
I re-listened to "Fall of Giants" before I listened to "Winter of the World". While both are excellent, I liked "Winter of the World" better. I have always enjoyed historical novels, and Follett did not disappoint. Recommend it highly.
The book itself is wonderful. Ken Follett is an extremely powerful storyteller. The characters are engaging and likable.
The narrator completely lost me when his English accents started to sound Indian. German accents were at times difficult to understand as well. It was almost embarrassing.
Overall it was a pretty good audio book. Just wish the narrator had not been so distracting.
The backdrop of real-world modern history (with a little bit of X-rated fun!)
A LONG series made for a great, entertaining and informative way to pass a couple of months with a long commute!
I enjoy series books and this is one of the good ones.
The only other series books that I've read is the Outlander series and I loved the fine detail and intricate story lines
Ken Follett is a wonderful series author
Yes- entertains and informs
Stories that bring history to life
Impossible to listen to in one sitting.
Winter of the World was a tad contrived. Once you suspend disbelief, then the stories are entertaining.
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