Winter of the World eReader 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 Winter of the World is an excellent successor to Fall of Giants. It is gripping and believable. It makes you wonder how you would have acted when history is happening around you and choices have to be made without the consequences known. My only wish is the book had been a bit longer, now with ebooks, I really don't care about the number of pages the book is. The model is the same as the first book. The great events of the 20th century pass by and the impact and role of people in Russia, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States is described and followed. The same families as in the first book star, but now the book is more about the children, though their parents do play a role. Many historical characters act in the side line. The book is fast-paced and takes you from the Reichstag fire to the Spanish Civil War, to the battle in Cable Street and then to various locations in the Second World War and the start of the cold war aftermath. It's not just history, there is plenty of love, laughter, loss, betrayal and a bit of sex here and there. Some of the plots of the previous book are carried on to this book. Not everyone gets the one they want and not every romance is a success. Specifically the illegitimate children of the first book that have varying roles to play in the new book and you constantly wonder about how their parentage will play a role. All in all what I love about the books is that it constantly makes me wonder how I would have reacted in certain cases. What if I had been a Russian, what if I had been a Welsh miner, a German social democrat. It's easy enough now that we know the winners and losers, but when the choices are made not much is known. I also love the historical and pieces of trivia. Like the start of the Marshall plan, whose impact reaches on to today as its successor is my employer. The only point of comment is that some of the plots could have been made a bit longer and some of the characters are a bit too flat, because it seems the author was cut short by the editor. The children have to compete with the parents for pages and as a reader I want to know about both, which makes the children's stories shorter than the stories of their parents in the first book. Some characters become a bit flat as a result. But I can't wait for the third episode. I wonder whether the characters will be involved in the space programmes of their countries, how Vietnam, de-collonization and the Middle East will feature, or if the author
will focus on something completely different.
Ken Follett is probably my favorite author. I don't think I have ever been disappointed in any of his novels. This series is no different. This book picks up where Fall of Giants ends; the end of WWI, the punishment of Germany for it and the rise of Facism in the world. What I love the most about Mr. Follett's work is his historical accounts and real life characters that are expertly woven around his characters and their lives. I can believe that any one of these characters were real and lived the life he lays out for you. Plus, there are so many ways the characters' lives cross paths, despite the fact that they are separated by continents. I don't want to include any spoilers so I will say if you love any of his other books i.e. (Pillars of the Earth was amazing!) you will not be disappointed in this series - and you won't be able to put it down.
This book basically carries forward the stories of the next generation of characters from the first book of the trilogy, FALL OF GIANTS. Follett does a clever job of weaving the facts of WW2 history in amongst the story lines of the members of the 5 families who populate this book. He has embedded many pertinent facts about the war that other histories have left out. There is detail about the Soviet participation in the Spanish Civil War that I have not seen before. I am grateful that he has included much information about the Soviet infiltration into the Manhattan Project, and how they stole our nuclear secrets, and why. He has shown that the Soviets and Stalin were, if not more evil, at least on a par with the Nazis and Hitler. While certainly not equivalent to reading the marvelous histories by Liddell Hart or Martin Gilbert, one can learn much about WW2 from this volume. I give this book a 10 out of 10 on my personal scale.
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