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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

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Performance


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  • elizabeth
    ALFORD, United Kingdom
    5/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another great read"
    What made the experience of listening to Winter of the World the most enjoyable?

    John Lee is just the best narrator. He managed to continue with voices he had all ready created in the first novel and introduce a series of new ones for this.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved that the character focus had moved to a younger generation. Maud and her family's tale moved me the most.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    All though Eric was only a small part character I enjoyed the opinion that his sister came to have for her brother


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

    Yes John Lee was able to magician project the words of the novel to keep you listening


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mcchloe
    5/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing, cliche filled, cringe-fest"

    Having quite enjoyed "Fall of Giants" I was happy to spend one of my credits on this sequel so I wasn't expecting it to be a great work of literature. However, I found this novel took the soap-opera nature of the first book and pushed it to its trash limits resulting in a story that was almost unreadable for me. I only kept listening in the hope it would improve but it sadly didn't.

    I found the characters to be bland and one-dimensional meaning they were uninteresting and I was unmoved by their stories. I especially found "hero of the piece" Lloyd boring and couldn't really care about his storyline (especially the section in Spain) and found his eventual wife "snobby upper-class girl turned socialist" Daisy equally tedious. Their chemistry was non-existent and their relationship unbelievable.

    I understand this book is the sequel to "Fall of Giants" and as such it focuses on the next generation of characters although I couldn't help but think some of the characters from the first book were treated rather badly in this! Characters I had grown fond of and was interested to hear the rest of their story were relegated to bit-players. I was especially disappointed by the sudden death of Walter and the lack of attention given to Maude's grief. Having followed this couple's story throughout the previous novel I felt a little short-changed. Fitz became more or less an extra, along with Billy. About the only original character that is treated well is Ethel (if verging on canonisation).

    The story was full of cliches and therefore predictable which prompted many eye-rolling moments from me. I thought the writing was poor and clunky especially when it came to the dialogue which often felt stilted.

    The novel is pushed further into trash territory by the cringe inducing sex scenes/references to sex! I'm no prude and not averse to a well placed sex scene/reference that advances the plot or contributes to character development. However, I felt in this novel they were often superfluous and felt a little voyeuristic.

    I think John Lee as narrator was the saving grace of the audiobook. I think he did an excellent job providing different voices for each of the many, many characters. His foreign accents were excellent (to my ear anyway!). It really helped you to keep track of the characters as you instantly knew who was speaking.

    Must do better Ken Follett! Although based on the deterioration present in this book from the first, I don't hold out much hope for the next in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs C Edwards
    4/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Brilliant"
    What made the experience of listening to Winter of the World the most enjoyable?

    The various accents used by John Lee


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Not yet, narration.but have just bought Fall of Giants, partly because of the excellent


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Very emotional - I couldn't get it out of my mind for ages after each listening session


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reader
    4/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reader"
    Where does Winter of the World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best of have listened to After fall of giants which was excellent


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

    There are several moments - the descriptions of the people of the east end stopping the brown shirts marching through their streets - the descriptions of the rise of the Nazis in Berlin in 1933 and the rise of the soviets in Berlin in 1948 so very sad


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

    The sheer detail and life he gives the book.


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

    Definitely


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait for the final book in the trilogy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joykie Burger
    Egham, Surrey, United Kingdom
    2/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Masterpiece"

    What a wonderful way to learn history, the general outline of the story is all true and in my opinion the families depicted in this book could very well be our relatives stories. I know my family lived through very much the same things. Ken Follett is a master Story Teller!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deryck
    Western Cape, South Africa
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing Ken Follett Historical Journey"
    If you could sum up Winter of the World in three words, what would they be?

    History brought alive.


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

    Carla and Freda investigate the "hospital" at Akelberg - in fact a facility for the extermination of disabled people / the old / children. Encapsulated within this unfolding suspense story so well told by this mastercraftsman storyteller is the chilling reminder of the sheer depth of the evil that was perpetrated by the Third Reich.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The chanting of the names of fallen servicemen in the house of commons - it was initiated by Ethel.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when Lloyd Williams returns and proposes to Daisy.


    Any additional comments?

    this is an amazing piece of literary craftsmanship. Ken Follett has a gift for historical fiction which is truely remarkable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sylvia
    Baldock, United Kingdom
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Book"

    I love all of Ken Follets's historical novels. After I finished Fall of giants, I couldn't wait to listen to Winter of the Worlds and I wasn't disappointed. The plot is fascinating and the characters are really well developed. The story really brings the historical background of World War II to life as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Janice
    Cape Town, South Africa
    11/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Hefty Read"

    A thoroughly engrossing read though I think it helped to have read The Fall of Giants. There were times when the political arguments, believable as they were, did get a bit boring, but there is action aplenty. I was particularly impressed by the narrator's ability to handle all the different accents, including differentiating between different American characters, not to mention the wealth of English, Russian and German accents required. It made it very easy to follow the dialogue. As a reader myself, I was in awe! I'm looking forward to the next one in the series and I will always look out for John Lee's narrations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Laurence
    EDINBURGH, United Kingdom
    11/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book you can immerse yourself in"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is an truly epic tale, well researched. The different family strands and stories interweave well incorporating a lot of real historic events lending it an air of authenticity. Easily recommend this book


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

    The build up to and eventual attack on Pearl Harbour. you're so entwined with the characters all the while knowing whats about to unfold.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I found the voice a bit to 'public announcement' like. It was very clear but sounded more comical reading out a sex scene.


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

    As it's 31 hours long I don't think anyone could handle that but thats not a comment on the book, just it's length. there were a few spots at the beginning that I felt dragged on a little.


    Any additional comments?

    buy it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. Harris
    11/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Please don't waste a credit on this."
    What would have made Winter of the World better?

    Having listened to Fall of Giants, I've been very disappointed by Winter of the World. Slow, tedious, predictable. I listened to the first 8 hours and didn't have the heart to continue so left the book for a month; yesterday I went back to it and lasted less than an hour. I really can't listen to any more of this book. How can someone who wrote Eye of the Needle (un-put-downable) and Pillars of the Earth put his name to this?


    What will your next listen be?

    The Collaborators by Reginald Hill


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    Not sure.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    All three.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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