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Winter of the World Audiobook

Winter of the World

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Publisher's Summary

Five linked families live out their destinies as the world is shaken by tyranny and war in the mid-20th century. Berlin in 1933 is in upheaval. Eleven-year-old Carla von Ulrich struggles to understand the tensions disrupting her family as Hitler strengthens his grip on Germany. Into this turmoil step her mother’s formidable friend and former British MP, Ethel Leckwith, and her student son, Lloyd, who soon learns for himself the brutal reality of Nazism.

He also encounters a group of Germans resolved to oppose Hitler - but are they willing to go so far as to betray their country? Such people are closely watched by Volodya, a Russian with a bright future in Red Army Intelligence. The international clash of military power and personal beliefs that ensues will sweep over them all as it ranges from Cable Street in London’s East End to Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, from Spain to Stalingrad, from Dresden to Hiroshima.

At Cambridge Lloyd is irresistibly drawn to dazzling American socialite Daisy Peshkov, who represents everything his left-wing family despise. But Daisy is more interested in aristocratic Boy Fitzherbert - amateur pilot, party lover, and leading light of the British Union of Fascists. Back in Berlin, Carla worships golden boy Werner from afar. But nothing will work out the way they expect as their lives and the hopes of the world are smashed by the greatest and cruellest war in the history of the human race.

Winter of the World is the second novel in Ken Follett’s uniquely ambitious and deeply satisfying trilogy The Century. On its own or read in sequence with Fall of Giants, this is a magnificent, spellbinding epic of global conflict and personal drama.

©2012 Ken Follett (P)2012 Penguin US/Macmillan Digital Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (304 )
5 star
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4.5 (268 )
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Story
4.5 (261 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Carlos 03-22-16
    Carlos 03-22-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Good follow up!"
    Would you listen to Winter of the World again? Why?

    I probably would if I come to listen to the whole trilogy again, however this book though a rather strong follower of the first, starts to show some signs of my main problem with the trilogy which is that it starts loosing strength as time goes by on each chapter. Where the first book moved me and made me care, this one started to confuse me. I did enjoy it quite a lot but where the first book has is a 10, this one is a 8.5


    What did you like best about this story?

    Again the main feature is how cleverly the writer blends his characters into pivotal historical events, this allows you to experience the key moments of the XX century from the point of view of a person actually living them, this is aspect alone is awesome.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    This trilogy should be a mandatory read for high school students, it could provide a newfound appreciation for history to them. I believe my favorite part of the book was... nah! won't spoil it for you, it worth reading / listening to it, trust me.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This would be an epic TV series, think Downtown Abbey meets Game of Thrones...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rickard 03-20-16
    Rickard 03-20-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    Story
    "A story that follows the course of history. "

    Some interesting facts and gives a good point of view how lives in different socialites were at different times. Liked the portrait of Soviet Union and now in book 2 you feel like you know and are caring for the different families.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandeep Parekh 12-01-15

    sandeepparekh

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Nice story telling"

    I liked it because of a) nice weaving of stories of 5 families b) my way of learning about Europe through the two wars (Finished the first two of the trilogy).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anika Page 11-24-15
    Anika Page 11-24-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting story, boring presentation"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Cast of thousands, story of the century, excellent use of idiom. It doesn't matter which characters you latch onto, the others are capable of holding your attention as well.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    When the narrator describes the torture and murder of a character, the birth of a baby and the love of a man for his lady (or of lady to man) with the same impersonal description he'd use for describing the parts of a washing machine, you know he shouldn't be reading. Remember when you were five and wanted everyone to "do the voices"? Well, this narrator wouldn't know what the voices were. So insensitive that it's almost laughable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Jennings Calgary Canada 03-19-15
    A Jennings Calgary Canada 03-19-15 Member Since 2007

    Thea

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    An excellent listen. Really hope young people read this book, we should never forget! Highly recommended. Brilliant author and brilliant narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BS 03-14-15
    BS 03-14-15 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "Learn history through real peoples lives"

    I rally enjoyed listening .Feel I know more about botn sites .I am looking forward to the nezt book.Hopefully Ken Follet focus even more on the political situation and the changes in the society . Too many lovestories may distroy the historical importance of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Queenstown, New Zealand 05-31-13
    Wendy Queenstown, New Zealand 05-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    12
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    "Great Read Ken Follett Wins again"

    Another great book in Ken Follett's series - I love most of his books and John Lee is a fabulous narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Parker south australia 05-08-13
    Andrew Parker south australia 05-08-13

    werdna park

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent follow up to Bk 1"
    What did you love best about Winter of the World?

    I found it quite confronting but having a rough idea what was coming next , found I could not stop listening. it was compelling and the interweaving of characters was clever rather than annoying


    What other book might you compare Winter of the World to and why?

    Fall of GIants


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    John Lees narration was excellent , being able to maintain character was amazing , I may search him as a narrator an excellent fit for Ken Follets Books!


    Who was the most memorable character of Winter of the World and why?

    Lloyd Williams but just a touch naïve


    Any additional comments?

    worth a listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan 03-11-13
    Alan 03-11-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    80
    2
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, it is a shame the audio skips."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, follet is a great writer, it is a pity the recording is not well produced.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Winter of the World?

    All the book is great


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Lee?

    no, he is great


    Do you think Winter of the World needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It does, in fact I believe it is a trilogy, we are missing one last book, it should be published late this year.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Randburg, South Africa 03-11-13
    Peter Randburg, South Africa 03-11-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    103
    9
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    Story
    "History though story"
    If you could sum up Winter of the World in three words, what would they be?

    Great follow on and looking forward to book 3. Well told story and if you have watched Downton Abbey then it gives some idea of the other lives


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Maud - Complex and difficult choices she made


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I find listening I get more out than reading and remember far more. Reading I do to relax whilst listening is more entertainment. This was more of a mini series of the mind.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • zomodo
    10/25/12
    Overall
    "Hmmmmmnnn....."

    So. How to begin? I would love to say this was a great book, I enjoyed the first one. But I felt this book was more of an historical book rather than a literary novel. Ken Follet really knows his stuff however so I cannot fault him on that and I learned a few things! On a negative side there were far too many silly coincidences. Everyone crosses everyone else's path across Europe, Britain, USA and Russia, what are the chances! I even began to roll my eyes and I guessed that the British brother in the French resistance would be the one to discover his other brother in the fighter plane over France. And it becomes a little condescending when ken reminds us of things more than once, like he doesn't trust us to remember, I didn't like that, it wasnt helpful. And I actually listened to a whole part of a book on time and a half speed, the narration was just a little too slow for me. If u have read the first book I suppose you have to listen to this one but otherwise I wouldn't really recommend (saying that tho, I will probably read the third one when it comes out!)

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Campbell
    LOUGHBOROUGHUnited Kingdom
    5/27/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Follette did not be disappointed."

    Keeping to what Follette is well know for he will keep you willing on each of the characters till they and history have run its course

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • STEPHEN MC KAY
    5/15/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "amazing great performance by the reader."

    the narrator gives an amazing performance.a great book and storey.highly recommend this trilogy. on to the third book straight away

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jethro
    4/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Having listened to the first book in this series i had high expectations. Winter of the World did not disappoint! Brilliant!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • CoachMelia
    Birmingham, UK
    4/9/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another epic!"

    I loved the storyline and the narrator's performance. The factual basis brought alive by the vivid characters and the understated heroism of the "lions led by donkeys".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nick Drew
    2/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor prose and characterisation begin to grate"

    Having found the initial volume of this quite interesting, despite the clunky prose and somewhat obvious characterisation, I was ready to give this a go. However, after nearly fifty hours of these books, I am finding it really heavy going, despite the valiant best efforts of John Lee as the excellent narrator, who deserves huge praise for sticking with it as he negotiates the stilted narrative and for keeping the individual voices of his characters going over such a massive span. The prose is so inelegant and the descriptions of characters so obvious and superficial it often made me sigh out loud; the dialogue is often written as if the characters are reading a history book to each other; the sex-scenes are so toe-curling and weird that I had to fast forward through them; the amazing ability of characters to just eavesdrop on Hitler, Stalin and others at historic turning points is just too convenient; and the extraordinary international coincidences which allow the characters from different countries (and continents) to meet for the sake of the narrative, which was forgivable as a device in the first volume, becomes bordering on ludicrous. This book never develops a convincing individual take on that history, beyond the generally accepted take which you can read in the classic literature on the period, or one in which the characters are anything other than convenient automatons driving the narrative. This history is too important to have such an average novel written about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • GG27
    9/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant .A well done story of family and history"

    A well painted picture as characters from each country and the history is honestly told.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mollyeyre
    Leicestershire UK
    8/15/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Difficult review to write."

    This book is so well written and transported me into the war-torn times in Germany, Russia, Britain and America. I have got to know the characters - (I re-read the first book in the trilogy before starting this - the second).

    My problem is that I now have such a heavy heart - feeling as if I was 'there'. Such desolation and cruelty made me weep.

    So, my reason for my troubled review, is that I was absolutely hooked- yet at the same time I could not carry on listening and had to give it a rest frequently. Excellently drawn characters that I grew to love - (or hate) such detailed insights into behaviour during the war - this really is a brilliant book - but I just feel SO sad.

    John Lee reads well, and adds to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thad Beumont
    Edinburgh
    8/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "John Lee fails to ruin another book"

    I really quite dislike John Lee's narration of this and the other books in the series. During periods with little dialogue and just his monotonous rhythm it us difficult to pay attention. However, to be fair he comes into his own when giving character to the voice parts. his characterisation is really very good.

    As for the story: I felt it was a little more rushed and less detailed than the first book, but I very much enjoyed the characters old and new. There are thrilling bits, titillating bits and dramatic bits. All in all a pleasant historical romp.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alyson J
    UK
    7/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Stunning"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Winter of the World to be better than the print version?

    I've not read the print version


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Winter of the World?

    There are so many. But I think is has to be when Carla sacrificed herself in place of Rebecca with the soldiers. I think I also have to say when Woody lost Joanne at Pearl Harbour.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    A bit warped but I actually enjoyed the bit where Maude and Carla killed the Nazi soldier and had to dispose of the body. The subtle humour Ken Follett had added was brilliant.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, if I could have sat for 30 hours or so and listened I would. I went late into the night many a time not wanting to 'put my iPod down'!


    Any additional comments?

    Totally absorbing. I love the way the real history is interwoven with the story and the way all the families are linked. I listened to all 3 in the series and felt a bit 'bereft' as there was no more to listen to. An absolutely must if you like real history interlinked with drama. And John Lee is absolutely amazing. His accents are brilliant and has such a listenable voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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