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

Ken Follett
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

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Review

“This book is truly epic....The reader will probably wish there was a thousand more pages.”—The Huffington Post

“Some of the biggest-picture fiction being written today.”—The Seattle Times

“A consistently compelling portrait of a world in crisis.”—The Washington Post  

“Gripping…powerful.”—The New York Times

“Political intrigue, amorous episodes, suspense, and drama. History comes to life.”—The Louisville Courier-Journal

“[Follett] is so good at plotting a story, even one that takes on such a complex topic as the World War II era. That’s what makes Winter of the World so hard to put down. You want to know what happens next.”—The Associated Press

“An entertaining historical soap opera.”—Kirkus Reviews

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THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Picking up where Fall of Giants, the first novel in the extraordinary Century Trilogy, left off, Winter of the World follows its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh—through a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the great dramas of World War II, and into the beginning of the long Cold War.


Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until daring to commit 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 social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set until war transforms her life, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war but also the war to come.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
42 of 45 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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5 of 5 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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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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Disappointed because it is not hardcover.
Published 10 days ago by C Vaillancourt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 25 days ago by Michael McIsaac
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
loved it !!!!! cant wait to get started on the last book of this trilogy
Published 1 month ago by Walter Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this
Was interesting to me a history buff. I read this book first and now have read the first in the series. It takes you through the run up to World war 2 and through it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by syrn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great audio book
Packaged arrived at the expected time. I think it could have been packaged a little better. The box containing the disks was a little crushed, but the disks were fine. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Corrie
5.0 out of 5 stars ... at the beginning of the series the books are great reads. Ken...
Start at the beginning of the series the books are great reads. Ken Follett researches the books very well.
Published 1 month ago by Warren Denny
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A
Published 1 month ago by Fred Hillier
5.0 out of 5 stars all 3 books in the Trilogy are wonderful reads. I was sorry when I was...
all 3 books in the Trilogy are wonderful reads. I was sorry when I was finished. Ken Follett is an incredible writer!
Published 1 month ago by Tinnay
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of my favorites.
Published 1 month ago by Alys Racine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Compelling reading
Published 1 month ago by Marlene Stoyanovich
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