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
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.
Was surprised how the book focus so little on the 1 generation from the 1 first of the sequal. Winter of World really covers a differant period (WW2) and again from the young adult, children, of the 1st book characters. Daisy grew the most. Vernon & Carla were the most steady.
Really enjoyed the performance. Amazing reading of the British, Russian and American accepts to help picture characters.
I had moments of laughter and shead the odd tear. Was mostly moved with tension listening to the implications to varying political decisions and practical responses. The world has seen such simaltanious varying civilian treatments!
I just wanted to add my review to the multitude of others. I read the first book in the Century Trilogy for a book club and was hooked. When Winter of the World was released, I snapped it up.
I'm not usually a fan of historical fiction and particularly not a fan of the writing style that features multiple unrelated characters that end up being tied together. The fact that I give both the story and the performance 5 stars should tell you exactly how good this book is. I eagerly await the release of the final book and will buy it in audiobook form.
Yes. Exceptional historical story telling.
Historical accuracy yet entertaining.
Follet does not disappoint.
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