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Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy [Hardcover]

Ken Follett
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 18 2012 Century Trilogy (Book 2)
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.

Frequently Bought Together

Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy + Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy
Price For Both: CDN$ 33.33


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Review

“Just as potent, engrossing, and prolix as the opening opus, Fall of Giants. [Follett’s] dedication and ability to keep so many plots spinning while delivering a story that educates, entertains…Will leave fans eagerly awaiting the trilogy’s crowning capstone."
Publishers Weekly


“Follett’s storytelling is unobtrusive and workmanlike…he spins a reasonable and readable yarn that embraces dozens of characters and plenty of Big Picture history.”
Kirkus Reviews


“Follett never lets the action lag as he adeptly ties together all the sweeping economic, cultural, political, and social transformations of the entire era.”
Booklist


“It’s a book that will suck you in, consume you for days or weeks… then let you out the other side both entertained and educated."
USA Today on Fall of Giants


“Meticulously researched and deftly weaves together historical fact, fictional characters and engrossing storytelling.”
— Associated Press on Fall of Giants


"A tireless storyteller...grippingly told, and readable to the end."
The New York Times Book Review on Fall of Giants


"Suspenseful, tightly constructed, sharply characterized, plot-driven...some of the biggest-picture fiction being written today."
The Seattle Times



"Tantalizing"
Newsday on Fall of Giants


"Lively and entertaining."
The Washington Post on Fall of Giants


"Epic yarns in prose"
The Wall Street Journal on Fall of Giants


"Abandon your normal activities for a couple of days when you crack this one open, because you're likely to get hooked like a Copper River salmon."
--The Seattle Times on WINTER OF THE WORLD.

About the Author

KEN FOLLETT burst into the book world with Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller and international bestseller. After several more successful thrillers, he surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth and its long-awaited sequel, World Without End, a national and international bestseller. Follett's new, magnificent historical epic, The Century Trilogy, opened with the bestselling Fall of Giants. He lives in England with his wife, Barbara.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World gone mad -- the second time Sept. 20 2012
Format:Hardcover
Fall of Giants, Book One of Ken Follett's The Century Trilogy, had ended in January 1924 at the finish of World War I and the Russian Revolution, showing a nine-year-old boy shaking hands with his father. Book Two, Winter of the World, commences in February 1933, with eleven-year-old Carla in the kitchen of her Berlin home wondering what her parents, English born Maud, and German born Walter von Ulrich, were arguing about. Book One's readers would also be unsure what the quarrel was for, as they would recall them to be an amorous couple, who had defied the establishment and married in London--when Walter was a German diplomat there--on the eve of the Great War. We soon learn that the row was about Walter's objection to an uncomplimentary article on Adolf Hitler, written by Maud in a German magazine, where she worked. It was not that Walter was a Nazi, for he was a Social Democratic Party representative in the Reichstag, but he feared: "It would infuriate the Nazis ... and ... they're dangerous when riled." Before long Walter's predictions come true. The "Brownshirts" soon start disrupting meetings of parties opposing Hitler, and attacking Jews and others in the streets. The novel thus begins evocatively, covering the rise of a new giant, the Third Reich, from the ashes of the previous one, which throws the world into a "winter."

Just as in Book One of the trilogy, this novel continues with the story of the five interrelated families--English, Welsh, German, Russian, and American--who live through some of the major world-events from 1933 to 1949. This part features: the rise of Fascists and Nazis, WW II, the development and dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan and the start of the Cold War. The plot now includes not only some of the previous characters, but also their children.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plot and characters like a kalidiascope... Sept. 20 2012
By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Follett's Century Trilogy Gathers Steam Oct. 31 2013
By Ian Robertson TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The second book in Follett’s Century Trilogy continues with similar style to his first: worldwide setting; light character development; simple writing; and a plot that weaves together major historical events. Light but enjoyable reading; the literary equivalent of prime time network television.

Follett starts Winter of the World with the rise of Nazi Germany and concludes twenty six years later in 1949, with World War II wrapped up and the beginning of the Cold War. Readers are eased into the era with characters - or their progeny - from book one, plus some new characters to fit the age (nuclear physicists, for example). For those who have read the first book, Fall of Giants, this second volume will be a bit richer, as characters from the earlier book come with both a past and plenty of surprise developments. No doubt those born in this book will emerge as characters in the trilogy’s third volume, and those who graduate to the third will encounter their own surprises.

As with the first book, the plot unfolds chronologically, which makes the vast expanse of the action easy to follow, if somewhat predictable. When characters find themselves in Hawaii in early December 1941, it’s not hard to imagine that Pearl Harbour will commence a few pages later. What we do not know, however, is the impact the event will have on the characters, and how this in turn will drive the plot and themes forward.

Both a strength and weakness of Winter of the World is its massive scope.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastico!!!
Fantastico!!!
I have to say that i enjoyed this book significantly more than Fall of Giants. Perhaps it was the time period, or having the familiarity of the characters, i am... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Dave G
4.0 out of 5 stars ... captivating as the first of the trilogy but a good
Not as captivating as the first of the trilogy but a good read
Published 11 days ago by Dani martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent from beginning to end.
Published 18 days ago by Jon Godfrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than book one
Hard to put down! Even better than book one. I'm looking forward to the third books release this fall.
Published 28 days ago by Heather
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book
Published 1 month ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Good continuation of fall of giants
Another good book from Ken Follett. Leaves off a little after where the last one ended. I'm almost finished this giant book and it's been a pleasure reading it.
Published 2 months ago by Samir S Esho
5.0 out of 5 stars Ken Follett at it's best
If you like Ken Follett, this trilogy is for you. It's long, detailed and one should start from book one.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An avid book reader
Half way through this book and then I will be looking for #3, a master story teller who never disappoints
Published 2 months ago by Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleverly written Historical Saga
This was an epic story that had me on the first page. Ken does an amazing job of character building and I love how he weaves his character into the story so seamlessly. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pete
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Character Depth
Are you sure this wasn't used as the base story for Downton Abbey? The flow and intertwine of the different families, the historically accurate description of the start of WWII,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Terry Thom
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