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 enjoyed ‘Winter of the World’ very much. I found this book to be very entertaining and I will definitely purchase the third installment when it is available.
The Century Trilogy novels will probably not become classics in the same way we consider ‘The Good Earth’ and ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ as classics. This is why I am more inclined to give ‘Winter of the World’ four stars. There is not a poignant message in Ken Follett’s books – they are just entertaining in the same way a good movie is entertaining.
There were times when I lost interest in what was going on in the story (particularly during the drawn-out war scenes), but these moments were rare. I appreciate the length of the Century Trilogy books – I want my credit to go as far as possible (as long as I enjoy the book). I also enjoy how Follett ties in his fictional characters to real-world historical events. A few moments in the book seemed so outlandish to me I laughed aloud, but there were many more “real” moments than not.
John Lee is a fantastic narrator. I don’t know how he pulls off so many different characters, but he does it well.
I'm Robert's wife, a retired physician and homeschool mom whose grown kids now love history, literature, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction
I've been eagerly awaiting this since Fall of Giants and I wasn't disappointed. Don't start here though--you need Fall of Giants to really understand all the characters here. Fantastic listen with the perfect narrator for KFollett books. The voices are distinguishable and never annoying regardless of gender. Like any mid-book of a trilogy, there is a troubling sense when it's done. Hope book 3 comes soon--I'll buy it day 1.
There is no question what Mr. Follett’s politics are and they come out so clearly in this trilogy. He presents anyone who is more conservative than JFK as an evil monster bent on only grabbing for more money and power while every character to the left of Joe Stalin as the most perfect and beautiful heroic characters that you wish they were the leaders of the free world. Thank goodness this is a fictional work as we all know this is not the actual history as it developed in the 20th Century.
Sure, but I recognise he writes with pure politics in mind...
Yes, tanlented man.
frustrated Florida gardener
Telling the story from many different points of view. Unpredictability. An emotional rollercoaster.
Reminded me of Winds of War, but this had more historical accuracy and less romanticism.
My favorite scene was in Berlin when trying to obtain the plans for the next Russian offensive from the soldier/piano student. My anticipation of the next move made me breathless.
A Crusade Against Evil.
Highly recommend Ken Follett's epic tales.
Ken Follett at his best. I loved this audio book. Mr Lee as usual was at his best. A wonderful audio book.
History enthusiast with military and legal background.
I wanted to love this book. The author and the narrator are usually very dependable. But Follett dropped the ball here. A good rule of fiction is that too many coincidences make a work implausible, and there are WAY too many coincidences in the book. I really got the feeling that I was watching Forest Gump, where every interesting event of the time period had the same people at the center. I don't want to ruin it for others by listing out the ridiculousness of these things, but suffiice it to say, when people routinely meet up half way around the world by happen chance, it strains credulity.
Also, unlike many of Folletts other works, the characters in Winter aren't consistent, and their actions often come out of the blue. I kept finding myself saying "that didn't make any sense."
The narration was the only bright spot of the book.
Ken Follet has done a wonderful job in creating the characters in this tumultuous story of World War II.
It is a very well researched book and well narrated by John Lee.
Its a long book, but once it grips you, you cannot wait to listen to it for long stretches.
Another well written and researched book. The characters were believable, I thought some might have been relatives of mine. I was young during WW II but the book matched my memory of the events.
After finishing the first in this series, Fall of Giants, this second book, principally about WWII, was as good and possibly a little better. I find these Ken Follett books a great way to get a feel for history with the advantages of reading a novel. It has engaging characters, a good story, and the narrator is excellent.
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