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
NO after listening to this book because of profanity.
His decision to use unnecessary profanity
I have read most of his other books and loved them but this time he has gone with the lover end of culture choosing to blaspheme God. The story could be told with gutter verbiage when called for but not a choice of words totally objectionable and offensive to Christians.
older listener -- enjoys books rather than california traffic. enjoys running while listening -- or is it the other way around?
the intricate plot and obvious careful research into the history of WW2 in particular
Lt Kuff (?) and the piano
Peshkoff -- all
a study in inhuman behavior
Cant wait till Book 3
I liked that I learned more about the history of WWII and why events unfolded as they did. It's great to see it from different perspectives. Especially from the German perspective.
I realize that this is fiction, but I thought how easily the Russians obtained the plans for "FAT Boy" was memorable.
I think the author has a good sense of humor which I enjoyed throughout the book.
It was a little too contrived and predictable at times.
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After reading Pillars of the Earth, Word Without End and Fall of Giants in relatively short succession and rating them all as “5-star-favourites”, you’d think Winter of the Word would easily fall into that same category, but it doesn’t. I enjoyed the story very much, and although I won’t go so far as to say I could not put it down, I was always happy to pick it up!
I have one major criticism that keeps me from giving it that 5th star: too much DRY information.
WW2-era stories are my favourite, however I like to read about how people lived through those times. While I do agree that theories and strategies and tactics of war are all very interesting, I felt there were too many instances in the book where the story just stopped and Follett went on and on with the dry political events of the day, turning the story into a war history seminar.
My mother had this same complaint about Book 1 (which was WW1) and I disagreed with her about that… but I see now what she means after having just finished Book 2.
Having said all that, I am still immensely looking forward to Book 3 due out in 2014 and provisionally titled The Edge of Eternity. It takes place during the Cold War, so I have a feeling I might be complaining about the same thing… We’ll see!!
John Lee - as always - was a fantastic narrator.
I think Ken Follet is fantastic! His books NEVER fail to impress or grip me. I love his books and the narrator, I am sad this is the last one!!
This book continues to be one of Ken Follett's top! He is by far the best at mastering history with fiction such that one can not only enjoy but also learn. Everything is top notch!!
I listened to Follett's previous series and I enjoyed it...
Then when I got the first book in this "century" series..."Fall of Giants"...I was BLOWN away...it was WONDERFUL...I couldnt stop talking or thinking about it for months...I have gone back and listened to it again...and it still is wonderful...
"Winter of the World" is a good continuation...but I felt a lack of connection with the characters that I had in the first book...it just didn't have the same feel to me...also I felt as though there was too much non-historical drama to me...the previous book had a nice balance between the actual history and the fictional characters...I felt like that was off this book...
Please understand...I recommend the book, and I enjoyed it...and I am listening to it a second time...
I will also say, that he set the book up very well for the next and final book in the trilogy...and I am looking forward to it very much...
Again, I recommend it...it just felt like there are too many fictional characters...and the balance is just a bit off in relation to the actual history...
The novel weaves itself and characters together so well. The narrarator has a great voice and helps you attach to the characters.
It's a unique book as was the first in the series: Fall of Giants.
He performed Fall of Giants and he does an excellent job with both!!
Karla's experiences with the Red Army are heroic and all very moving. It helps you remember that there are always good people working behind the scenes.
It was fascinating to think about the events around and during WWII from so many "countries/ people's" perspectives. A great novel!
I think the characters of this series are so believable. I felt like shouting at them at pivitol points to get out of a certain location, like the Pearl Harbor segment or the Russians coming into Berlin.
The most shocking is the part where the German soldier arrested a gay restaurant owner and his lover and what happened at the prison.
I think Winter of the World is aptly named.
This book made me want to get ahold of a high school history book and follow along with the timeline.
I think of my parents, who were lucky to be in the stateside military. But what the world must of seemed like to them. Wish they were here to discuss this book with.
There were too many characters from too many different countries - too many accents to manage successfully.
Yes, the plot was great. It leaves you wanting to find out what happens with the next generation of families.
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