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
This novel gives real insight into how the conflict affected ordinary people. It also brings to light the lengths to which people will go to ensure their safety. I was particularly struck by the parallels to today's political parties in the USA. The ideologies of the Nazi party and the Social Democrats mirror the American right and left wings, respectively.
I have recommended this book to a friend and a family member, because of its historical insight and its pertinence in today's world.
yes, I would because it has a great story and it teaches us several points of view from the actors in the WW2
In 1948, in occupied Berlin, when the USSR decided to ban transit from the American-English part of occupied Berlin, in order to suppress what they called "Bribes" and this discourage what they also called Secessionist Berliners. To continue with the aid to help Germans recover their prosperity ASAP, the US-Brittish started delivering aid by airfreight, including coal, milk and other goods at great expense for almost a year, until the Soviets reopened the roads...
Yes, I have read or listened to all of his recent books, and have found them entertaining and informative. At the age of 72, I can relate to most of the history covered, and in several situations...with some first hand knowledge. His characters are well developed and help bring the history to life. Admittedly, my academic experiences were mostly focused on high tech and finance. So, for me, these historical forays are new explorations which appeal to thirsty minds. No question, I look forward to the next one.
There were many - too many to list here. I find the story of WWII incredibly interesting, and I can't read enough books about it. The intertwining of the personal family stories makes the book all the more interesting.
This is my first.
Again, there were several. I loved Lloyd Williams and Daisy. I loved the strong women - Carla and Frieda.
This is a fabulous book.
I enjoyed this part of the trilogy much more than Book 1. I found the characters more interesting and likeable, and the depth of the story lines more satisfying.
I will listen to this many times in the future. It was fantastic. Anything narrated by John Lee is impossible to "put down". Now I can't wait for the final installment to be released!
I did not read the print version so I can not judge which is best but I suspect the Audible version is better since Lee did such a good job of narration.
Ending was a little disappointing and did not lead into sequels to come.
I have listened to several of John Lee's performances. I think this was one of the best. Story here was not one of Follett's best but Lee made it worth listening to.
I would like to take the Russian Scientist out to dinner since according to the book she was a real knockout.
I learn so much, it the best history class ever! I have to say there were some parts that I just had to force myself to get through, my heart hurt so much, the wrath the Nazi's inflicted is sickening. Its part of our history. As hard as some of it is hard to read, I am so glad I did, I have such an appreciation for what all the families went through in Europe in both WW1 and WW2! Wow, I am so tied to all the characters, they have become my family! Thank you Ken Follett!
Just like Pillars of the Earth, the sequel to World Without End, I found the second installment to Follet's The Century Trilogy, to be lacking. The first book, Fall of the Giants, was so good!!! This one definitely faltered. BUT I love John Lee as narrator, even if his Russian characters all sound like vampires and his American characters sound vaguely like Al Capone. ANYWAY, I will still get the third book when it comes out.
It's worth it. If you liked the first one I think you should give the second one a try. A lot happens to the families involved.
The narration of this book is fabulous. Of course, anything dealing with WWII subject matter and Nazi Germany is dark and difficult to listen to. I have read a good deal from this time period but was able to learn more about certain aspects of Nazi Germany that isn't often discussed in other novels. As always, it is really great to be told the story from the perspectives of different characters around the world.
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