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Winter of the World (Century of Giants Trilogy) Hardcover – 18 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (18 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230710107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230710108
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 5.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,386 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning EYE OF THE NEEDLE, which became an international bestseller. His celebrated PILLARS OF THE EARTH was voted into the top 100 of Britain's best-loved books in the BBC's the Big Read and the sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, was published to critical acclaim. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire.

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Review

'A supersize epic . . . an intricate plot that spans the Second World War and its aftermath. There are spies, American heiresses, Russian gangsters and do-good boys from the East End whose overlapping stories paint a remarkable, and at times heartwrenching, vision of humanity at that time' --The Bookseller

"Autumn nights mean you can submerge yourself in the 818 pages of the second instalment in Follett s masterpiece...It superbly humanises history." --Peterborough Telegraph

"Fictional characters mingle with real figures from the past as the ruins of one war lead to another. Follett s research is so thorough that Winter of the World could almost be a history text book; as with Fall of Giants, the chapters on Russia are particularly strong."
--Western Mail

"An intricately plotted, epic tale that will capture the imagination." --Choice magazine

"The nights are drawing in and it's time to pick up the second thrilling instalment of Follett's epic..." --Lancashire Evening Post

"An intricately plotted, epic tale that will capture the imagination." --Choice magazine

Book Description

Five linked families live out their destinies as the world is shaken by tyranny and war in the mid-twentieth century

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Granny Gwen on 21 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book in typical Follett style brings the characters and the events to life. The horrors of life under the Nazis are described through the lives of people like Carla, Maud, Ada and others, including young men carried away by the excitement of arrest and torture of innocent. I times when they were not mature enough to realise whatthey were encouraging. Other stories are vividly told; the loves,the laughter, the fears, anxieties are told with deep feeling and make an impact on the reader such Remains long after the last page is turned.

Some descriptions of military campaigns could be beyond readers such as myself but what makes the compelling reading because at least one character who we have met and liked or even loved is there on the front line and suffering as a PERSON with a name, a background and a plan for a future - sometimes denied him because the battle or the campaign took his life. I loved both books 1 and 2 of this trilogy and can't wait to read book 3 which I know will also absorb me from start to finish. Ken Follett writes so diversely his novels will suit a range of readers but I enjoy them all, whatever the genre.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By bobbewig on 18 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Winter Of The World is the second mammoth-size work of historical fiction in Ken Follett's The Century Trilogy that kept me very engrossed. Winter Of The World follows the lives of five main characters, each the child of the five families featured in Fall Of Giants, as they move through events beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of WWII, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.

Follett's characters are developed well enough and his narrative abilities are strong enough to enable me to feel that that I was right along side each of the main characters as they move through the major events in their lives. I recommend Winter Of The World to those who enjoy historical fiction and think they would enjoy traveling with Follett's characters as they move through the years that were filled with social, political and emotional turmoil.

Is Winter Of The World a perfect book? Of course not; it has its share of limitations. For example, Follett's dialogue, at times, does not ring true and the historical situations in which he involves his characters often appear to be too coincidental and expected. These limitations, however, are mostly outweighed by the excellent job Follett does in pacing his book and in creating a "you are there" atmosphere for the reader.

I'm pretty sure you'll find Winter Of The World to be a very entertaining, well-researched and memorable book. But be aware that your enjoyment won't come cheap -- the retail price of Winter Of The World is $36 in hardcover and $19.99 electronically. I think, however, you'll find that it is worth the money and your time investment.
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206 of 224 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ken Follett's new novel, "Winter of the World", is the second in the planned three volume set about the history of the 20th century. Beginning in 1933, Follett brings his huge cast of characters along from the years up to the end of the Great War. To talk about the plot of the new book is impossible. Way too many characters and too many plot points. BUT, Follett's such a good writer that he brings the reader up to date with ALL his characters. Follett gives most of his characters enough nuance that few seem like caricatures.

The interesting thing about Follett's second book is the breadth of the coverage of the 1930's and 40's (and into the `50's). Everything from the burning of the Reichstag to the T4 Euthanesia program under the Nazis, to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the battle of Midway to the development of the atomic bomb is covered. Now, in a regular novel, the reader would think, "oh yeah, how can one character or family of characters be present at all these historic events?" But Follett has developed so many characters that what happens is not unlikely. His characters seem to merge with each other and then separate much like the designs in a kaleidoscope. The American heiress from the Russian-emigree father goes to England in the mid-1930's and marries the son(s) of members the British/Welsh nobility. The German characters interact with both the British and the Russians. All these families had been introduced in Follett's first book and all interacted in Follett's second.

Something else interesting I noticed from Follett's first book and his second is the fact that none of the major characters in the first book died. They had to survive to make the second book possible.
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86 of 95 people found the following review helpful By John on 14 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't know what it is about Ken Follett, but his books just get better and better. Fall of Giants the prequel to Winter of The World was simply fantastic with, as usual, something happening on every page.
How he does it, I don't quite know, but even when he writes about casual goings on, it still reads like a "what's going to happen" type of read.
Winter of The World is another biggie at 818 pages but the story is so complex and enthralling that you're going to wish it would go past so many pages.
This is the continuing story of five different families (from the Fall of Giants) going through the middle of the twentieth century, 1933 to 1949 which of course would include mainly the Second World War. It's a page turner with Follett's usual mastery story telling. All the plots in the book are written so well together and in such a way that we are educated as well as entertained. And, as with all Ken Follett's books, there are no boring pages anywhere! Not one!
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