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 have not read the print version, so I cannot compare. I enjoyed the Fall of Giants, the first book of the trilogy, better than this one.
Seeing the impact of the society and war on regular people provides some insight into the period of time.
He is wonderful. His change of accents is flawless which assists greatly in following dialog. He should definitely be kept for the next volume.
Carla von Ulrich, Lloyd Williams, or Daisy Peshkov. Carla's brave act to protect the unknown girl and her love for the child standout as extraordinary actions.
The transitions from the first book could have been better in spots to remind the reader where a character originated. I tend to forget over a few months. A family history chart might be a nice printout addition.
For anyone wondering where the missing audio comes in it is before the attack on Pearl Harbour. Volotya is talking to Gregorie, I can't remember what about exactly, and all of a sudden it jumps to the middle of the Pearl Harbour attack. Hope that helps.
As usual, Ken Follett is a great story teller. He brings history to life. A must listen if you like Ken's other books.
Epic historical novel
This is very similar to Fall of Giants because of it's historical passage through time. I love how the author weaves the fictional characters with the historical people.
The bombing of Pearl Harbour was one of my favorite scenes.
I like to listen to this book in parts to stop and dig out more historical facts about the time period.
The continuation of the family characters from the first book. The character development is great.
I like that Follett's characters grew, yet their basic personalities did not change drastically. They remained themselves, entirely believable.
John Lee is just great to listen to.
This was a great read and an educational experience as well.
The narrator, John Lee does a superb job always
I’ll gladly read this book again when I have another 32 hours to devote to it. You don't want to miss any of the story and characters. I will recommend it to my book club.
I have read all of Ken Follett’s latest books (Pillars of the Earth, World Without End and Fall of Giants) and they are all epic, educational and wonderful. I can't think of anyone else who writes on this scale and keeps you totally immersed and totally entertained. I was a history major in college, yet I have learned so much with each of these reading experiences. Winter of the World covers pretty much the expanse of time I have been alive through WWII, and I still discovered things I didn’t know.
The depiction of multiple atrocities committed by soldiers and fellow citizens in the guise of love of country were chilling. It makes the point that it can happen anywhere, and we can never take our freedom and liberties for granted. I especially enjoyed the dialogue Valodja and Zoya had while discussing the Sears Catalog he brought back from America.
I really missed the characters in this story at book's end. Follett makes you care about them.
Character development and the pace of the story
A wonderful voice
I love to listen in the car to and from work. It makes the trip nearly a pleasure.
Man's inhumanity to man. Yet the character's ability to maintain a sense of empathy amongst the cruelty.
Always enjoy John Lee. His voicing is seamless to the point of invisibility to the telling.
I love the development of all of Follett's characters. He takes the reader back in time and gives an unbiased look at what it would be like to live through WWII. As the reader you the story is brought to life through the characters' experiences.
This is a wonderful book about WWII that is objective and not biased. It really gives the reader the perspective of what it means to be at war, what leads to it for every country involved, without having the story being navigated with a political agenda. Also Follett provides the human experience of what it is to live through the war on different continents.
Absolutely, especially those who are into history!
Unbroken, another History lesson, well told.
With all of the numerous generations, nationalities, multiple families, historical events that intertwined them all, it would be difficult to pick one character out of so many excellent ones.
Appropriately named, and if I had time to search my mind for a better one, I doubt I would succeed.
Just an excellent choice.
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