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Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century…

Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy (edition 2012)

by Ken Follett

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2,168952,996 (3.99)39
Title:Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy
Authors:Ken Follett
Info:Dutton Adult (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 960 pages
Tags:historical fiction, wwII

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Winter of the World by Ken Follett


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English (74)  Spanish (8)  French (5)  German (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Winter of the World – Ken Follett

3 stars

Ken Follett presents the 20th century; part two. It’s a blockbuster. It’s a big, fat book. All the required elements are present; evil incarnate, self-sacrificing heroics, political chicanery, personal ambition and sex. Lots of preoccupation with sex. It may be my personal bias, since I am the single parent of a 17-year-old boy, but my recurring thought as I read this 940 page tome, was “high school history”.

Follett continues the story told in Fall of Giants. Each of the five international families in the first book brings on its second generation. As in the first book, all of these families have members who play significant or supporting roles on the international stage. Follett places at least one character at most of the significant events from the Spanish Civil War to the formation of the United Nations. As a history lesson, told with plenty of up close and personal human interest, it works pretty well.

As literature…. well this is Follett,I wasn't expecting great literary fiction, but I found the writing somewhat disappointing in any case.First, there are the coincidences of the half-brothers; opposite sides of the political spectrum, unlikely allies in the war. It’s a cliché to use it once; but twice in the same book? I could only laugh. A surprising number of his male characters fall in love with gorgeous women at first sight. But, although Follett says that his characters make love, he writes about sex. They have sex, which is described like the play by play description of a sports event. Definitely a male perspective, and in my opinion, lacking in finesse.

Follett does write heroic, admirable female characters. I like these women. They are strong, intelligent survivors. That is why I was disappointed and somewhat offended by his treatment of the post war Soviet occupation of Berlin. Given his previous descriptions of Nazi brutality, Follett gives a surprisingly banal description of the Soviet gang rape of one character. His subsequent statement that all of the female characters suffered rape under the Soviets, and their apparent acceptance of the fact with minimal trauma, is more than unrealistic. Atrocities of such magnitude should be treated as more than just a plot device.

I had both the printed and recorded version of this book. It was read by John Lee who is usually one of my favorite readers. In this case, I thought his reading was a bit monotonous and rushed. Much of that was, I think, due to the nature of Follett's stilted prose. Even though Lee seemed to be rushing his narration, I found parts of the book moving too slowly. I turned to the print copy to move more quickly to the very clichéd ending.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Very enjoyable sweeping historical novel on wwii. Again amazed at Folet's ability to write a compelling sorry on so broad a subject in such an engrossing way. He's definitely grown as a writer. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
A thrilling new addition to this remarkable series. I hate that I have to wait a whole year to read the next book! ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
This is a wonderful book that I enjoyed thoroughly. One of my favorites by Follett! ( )
  bjoelle5 | Feb 10, 2016 |
I loved this sequel that takes you through the 30's, 40's and 50's and life during WWII. He did his research and it was interesting to read about the characters from Russia, Germany, England, US and their visit to Pearl Harbor on that fateful day. This is my 4th Follett book and one thing I love about his books is how he can take so many characters and weave them in and out of the story lines, and amazing characters they are. Now I'm really looking forward to the next one. ( )
  ccindyy | Feb 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Nacht van het kwaad kent veel van de succeselementen die de vorige boeken van Follett kenmerkten: actie, romantiek, geweld (vrijwel altijd kort maar hevig), dreiging, sterke vrouwen, ingenieuze intriges, personages die de oorlog en alle verschrikkingen invoelbaar maken, wereldschokkende gebeurtenissen gekoppeld aan het verdriet of geluk van kleine mensen en een degelijke historische basis. En ook nu hebben ze een overweldigend effect.

Ken Follett neemt de lezer mee van grote landhuizen naar het Witte Huis, de slagvelden in Europa en de Stille Oceaan om ons, via zijn fictieve en historische personages, de ultieme geschiedenisles te geven die de middelbare school ons heeft onthouden. Het is knap hoe Follett de ongelooflijk complexe gebeurtenissen heeft weten te comprimeren tot een volstrekt begrijpelijk geheel. Dat alles in eenvoudige taal, met intelligente, spannende verhaallijnen en verrassende plotwendingen. Infotainment op zijn best. Gelukkig wacht ons nog een laatste boek. Hierin worden de periode na WO II en de Koude Oorlog beschreven. Verplichte literatuur voor de liefhebber!
added by WiJiWiJi | editCrimezone, Kees de Bree (Dec 7, 2012)
Ken Follett continúa la apasionante historia de las cinco familias europeas que nos cautivaron con La caída de los gigantes. En esta ocasión, son los hijos de los protagonistas de la entrega anterior los que, a través de sus luchas personales, políticas y militares, nos muestran la historia de unos años que cambiaron el mundo para siempre. De la mano de los Williams, los Fitzherbert, los Peshkov, los Von Ulrich y los Dewar, emprendemos un apasionante viaje a través de los acontecimientos que marcaron sus vidas y las de un mundo que se desmorona, desde el ascenso del Partido Nazi al poder en 1933, auténtico preludio de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, hasta el inicio de la Guerra Fría en 1949.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Follett, Kenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Colombo, AdrianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dreher, TinaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frezza Pavese, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamberti, NicolettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Overy, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scarabelli, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmidt, DietmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schumacher, RainerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525952926, Hardcover)

Ken Follett follows up his #1 New York Times bestseller Fall of Giants with a brilliant, page-turning epic about the heroism and honor of World War II, and the dawn of the atomic age.

Ken Follett’s 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Continues the stories of five interrelated families who struggle with social, political, and economic turmoil in the mid-twentieth century, during which they witness the rise of Nazi Germany, the Spanish Civil War, and the horrors of World War II.

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