Winter of the World ePub Edition by Ken Follett
Click Here to Download the Book 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.
Reviews After finishing Fall of Giants, I immediately purchased Winter of the World. I felt very connected to many of the characters from the first story and wanted to know what would happen to them in the second. Even though some people have commented that "all the Nazis are depicted as evil and all the Americans are depicted as good," I felt that most of Follett's characters in this series so far a very well developed and are quite dynamic. Yes, there are some stereotypical "bad guy Nazis," but I am sure that there were a number of people who were so hungry to gain power and/ or please Hitler that those characters are not unrealistic. On the other hand, not all of the American characters would be considered just "good guys." Some have some hidden agendas that are quite selfish. I have also read reviews that mentioned that events in the plot were too predictable. For me, knowing about some events in that era made it even more suspenseful. (For example, I am familiar with the Night of Broken Glass, and I was eager to know how it would affect those characters who witnessed it.) Yes, the Jewish characters were treated horribly, and I knew that the handicapped children would be sent away, but that is how it really was. A person can't re-write history to make it more "suspenseful." I am looking forward to the final book in the trilogy.
This is the second book of the "Century Trilogy" by Ken Follett, focusing on WWII. The main characters in the first of the trilogy live on, and their children continue their parents' struggles/heroisms from pre-war to postwar. They were spies, senators, government employees of Germany, Russia and America. I love the story lines, but most of all, I love the war perspectives that Ken Follett gives, from the point of view of his main characters and the countries they come from. All historians know that there is never a one-sided story. It is easy to understand why Hitler youth were so taken with Hitler. They saw a better future for themselves after a severe depression. These same characters, proud of being part of Hitler youth, began to question their beloved Fuhrer as they learned about the killing of all German handicapped children and adults by lethal injections and burning of their bodies, and saw their parents being beaten to death for their beliefs. At first "the German armies raced across the vastness of Russia, sweeping the Red Army aside like chaff." Germans were proud they were winning the war. Then they started to freeze in the frozen vast land of Russia's
winter. They did not have winter uniforms or cold weather supplies. The cold weather froze the engines of the German cars, trucks, tanks, artillery and planes. They died by the tens of thousands. Again they questioned their Fuhrer's decisions. The adults of Germany, who opposed Hitler, and suffered under his rule, then again had to suffer the Russian rule. Women were raped multiple times. They had their conquerers' babies. They were starving, their families were starving. The city of Berlin was in rubble. Then there was the creation of the atom bomb to stop Japan and end that war. The Russians sent a spy to steal the plans, because they, too, wanted this weapon of mass destruction. Thus begins the Cold War... My review is simplified...There is much more to learn and behold with horror as you read Ken Follett's stories of war... I can't wait for the third in the trilogy to be written and published!
I listened to this book on audio while at work, and it was an absolute pleasure. Follett is one of the most talented writers I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing, and also one of the hardest working. The size and ambition of this novel (not to mention the entire Century Trilogy) would crush nearly any other writer, the task is so Herculean. Yet, he pulls it off with grand aplomb, weaving a tale that is utterly fascinating, connecting each character across the globe with an intricacy so detailed, it simply beggars the mind. The narrator also deserves MAJOR credit for his delivery of Winter of the World. This guy's voice is like smooth honey to the ears, and his reading is flawless. Most impressive of all, he effortlessly glides between an enormous range of varied accents, including British, Welsh, American English, German, and French. This narration really put me into the story, and made it very, very enjoyable for me. Some readers may "knock" this novel for not being up to the ridiculously high standards set forth in Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. But it is absurd to compare Winter of the World to previous Follett novels. They're all outrageously good, a gift to readers everywhere. To knock this one because it isn't quite as good (debatedly) as some of Follett's other novels is totally bogus. This is a five star book, by any reasonable measure. Its scope is astounding, its tale mesmerizing and heart-wrenching, and its characters will enter your life as if they walk the earth itself, and not just the pages of their story. If you enjoy reading, you must experience Follett's work, and Winter of the World is another fine addition to his impressive resume, firmly securing him as the King of Historical Fiction. (That's an unofficial title- but I believe he deserves it!)
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