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Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Ken Follett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,465 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 steps 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 rages from Cable Street in London's East End to Pearl Harbor 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 and Edge of Eternity, this is a magnificent, spellbinding epic of global conflict and personal drama.

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

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    Product Description


    '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

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 1255 KB
    • Print Length: 832 pages
    • Publisher: Macmillan; Open market ed edition (13 Sept. 2012)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0071BGOJC
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • : Not Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,465 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #357 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    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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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining And Informative! 18 Oct. 2012
    By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWER
    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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    207 of 225 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Ken Follett 13 Sept. 2012
    By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER
    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
    5.0 out of 5 stars Just Gets Better. 14 Sept. 2012
    By John
    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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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Sweeping historical epic with clunky dialogue 12 Oct. 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This rather hefty book rattles through a lot of history very quickly, following a whole range of characters. The action shifts from the rise of Nazism to the Berlin blockade, covering the Spanish Civil War, the start of the Second World War, the turning points of the war like Pearl Harbour, the Battles of Britain, Midway and Moscow, D Day, the Manhattan Project, the end of the war and post-war problems in between.

    It's a lot to cover and Follett tells his tale through the eyes of five main characters, each a child of a character from the first part of the trilogy. In addition to these five, he has a whole cast of characters to sprinkle throughout the action. Nary an event goes by without a character having a front row seat. This is a little hard to believe, as are the many connections between all the main characters. There isn't one character who isn't linked in some way to their peers in other parts of the world.

    Because Follett is covering so many historical events so quickly, something has to give. In this case, as in the previous book, he sacrifices characterisation and dialogue in favour of pace. His dialogue is clunky at best, characterisation only slightly better. He also tells us about action that happens offstage or has his characters spout unrealistic dialogue that is simply exposition. I also found myself put off by Follett flying his political colours so overtly throughout the novel.

    That said, I did find this a page turner. Maybe because I've always been interested in the period of history this book covers. I would have preferred better dialogue and more depth of character, but this book is already tickling 1,000 pages. I will definitely read the third book in the trilogy.
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