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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 atomicWinter 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....

Title : Winter of the World
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ISBN : 9780230764866
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 744 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Winter of the World Reviews

  • Mohammed Arabey
    2018-11-18 12:36

    عام جديد يبدأ ولكني استهليت قراءته برواية تدور أحداثها منذ حوالي 75 عاماواعتبرها إضافة مميزة لقراءاتي المعتادة من الرواياتمن قال أن الروايات ليست بأهمية الكتب النصية لهو فعلا ضيق الأفقفهنا امتزجت دراما ممتعة مع أحداث سياسية تاريخية هامةوشخصيات متنوعة مثيرة مع شخصيات حقيقية غيرت التاريخعملا ملحميا بحق يمزج بدراما متميزة وتاريخ اوروبا وامريكا علي مدار قرن من الزمان يرصد المميزات كما يرصد العيوبلا ادري فعلا إلي متي تظل "أغلب" رواياتنا المصرية والعربية السياسية سقيمة لا تقدم الأمور بحيادية او من اكثر من منظور فقط فساد وبشاعة وجنس؟فهنا يقدم حياة كاملة وقيم الحب والصداقة والشجاعة والبطولة وحتي جنس ولكن ليس عهر، يقدم وجهة نظر ووجهة النظر الاخري .. يقدم الأمور التي ليس بها تأكيد كما هي فلا يبالغ مثلا في سرد مبالغات اليهود علي انها حقائق واقعة سليمة وانما يسرد المؤكد عليه تاريخيا في اطار درامي ممتاز"اصدقاءك النازيون لا يفقهون شيئا عن التاريخ , المصريون القدماء بنوا الأهرامات وقت الألمان كانوا يعيشون في الكهوف. العرب حكموا العالم في العصور الوسطي-المسلمين كانوا يقومون بعمليات الجبر وقت الأمراء الألمان لم يكونوا يعرفوا كتابة اسماءهم...انه لا شئ متعلق بالعرق""Your Nazi friends don't know history,"Father Said. "The Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids when Germans were living in caves. Arabs ruled the world in the Middle Ages-the Muslims were doing algebra when German princes could not write their own names. It's nothing to do with race"أنه كين فوليت..مؤلفي المفضل الجديدسبع أسباب لتقرأ لكين فوليت ثلاثية القرنSe7en Reasons Why to Read Ken Follett's The Century Trilogy1- For Living the History Experience لتعيش التاريخثلاثية القرن في كتابها الثاني هذا ستنقلك إلى فترة تاريخية هامة، شتوية كما وصفها المؤلف ، من 1933 إلي 1949 ستتعرف علي طابع الحياة في هذا الوقت وحياة الناس بها وكيف عاشوا أهم الأحداث التاريخية الرهيبة من خلال الرواية وبشكل سيجعلك لا تنسي هذه الأحداث وحتي تواريخهافكل فصل بالكتاب عنوانه العام الذي تدور به الأحداث، ومن خلال كل فصل ستجد الشهر، بل واليوم والوقت المحدد للأحداث التاريخية التي غيرت وجه الحياة السياسية بالعالمولكن ليس هذا السبب الوحيد الذي سيجعلك تتذكر تلك الأحداث بتواريخها2- With an Excellent Drama بدراما متميزةبل لأن تلك الاحداث التاريخية منسوجة بحرفية بدراما مثيرة ومميزة ، ربما أعجبتني أكثر من الجزء الأول، فلا هي دراما بطيئة ، مملة او مليئة بتشبيهات تتصنع العمق أو فلسفة فارغة لا تتحملها الأحداث، ولا هي متسارعة تشعر كأنك تقرأ تقرير ملخص جاف عن حياة الشخصيات بشكل تقريريالدراما نفسها كحياة طبيعية واقعية ،فلا وجود لأحداث جريمة غامضة او اكشن او غرائبية، هي حياة عادية ما يميزها هو اصطدامها باحداث تاريخية هامة بشكل غير مقحم وإنما ملائم جدا للشخصياتلن تشعر بضغيان الجانب السياسي علي الدرامي، ولا العكس..ستجد توازن مقدم بشكل ممتع يجعلك تعيش الأحداث بشكل مثيرقد تتنبأ للوهلة الأولي بما قد تنتهي إليه أحداث درامية معينة لأحد الشخصيات ولكن ستتفاجأ بتطورات مثيرة للأحداث والشخصيات3- Of Varaity of Characters بشخصيات متنوعةالشخصيات بالرغم من أنه قد يصدمك كثرتها في فهرس الشخصيات بأول الكتاب ولكن بمجرد إنتهاء الفصول الأولى من الكتاب الأول ستجد ان ظهور الشخصيات والتعريف بها وعلاقتها العائلية تم تقديمها بسلاسة شديدة ، ليس عليك سوي تخيل ممثل او ممثلة مفضلة لك لكل شخصية حتي تكون الصورة مكتملة في ذهنك اثناء القراءةستجد بعد ذلك متابعة التشابك بين الشخصيات و العائلات مثيرا بحق وممتع في قراءته ، ما بين صعود وهبوط ، ما بين لقاء وفراق وما بين موت وحياة مابين عائلة عامل بسيط بمنجم فحم، لعائلة إيريل انجليزي ثري صاحب المناجم، لعائلات دبوماسيين ورجال سياسة واخري من البسطاء المضطهدين4- Of Different Nationalities بجنسيات مختلفةوميزة اي رواية هي انها تذكرة رحلة لمكان جديد وبلد أخر، ولكن مع تلك الثلاثية العملاقة لأهم الأحداث التاريخية بالقرن العشرين كان يجب ان تكون الشخصيات من دول مختلفة مما يعني انك من خلال رحلتك بهذه الرواية ستتنقل بين إنجلترا، روسيا، أمريكا، ألمانيا وفرنسا بسلاسة وتشويق للتعرف علي ما حدث بتلك الدول وبقية العالم تحت ضغوط الصراعات والثورات والحروب، والسلام البارد المؤقتهذه الجنسيات المختلفة ضمنت تقديم صورة محايدة عظيمة لكل الاحداث التاريخية فستجد وجهة نظر النازي والألماني المعادي للفاشية، الروسي الذي يعيش بروسيا والروسي الذي يعيش بأمريكا وغيرها الكثير من وجهات النظر المختلفة لتجد إنك بعكس الكتب النصية التاريخية أمام عمل أدبي يجعلك تتعايش التاريخ من أكثر من زاوية بلا أحكام مسبقة او تلميع لجانب علي حساب أخر وهذا من اهم اسباب النجاح...النجاح العالمي5- Including Real Historical Characters متضمنة شخصيات تاريخية حقيقيةولأن رحلتك مع تلك الشخصيات ستتضمن دبلوماسيين واحداث تاريخية، لذا ستجد بعض الشخصيات الحقيقية تتقابل معها لتثري الدراما وتجعل معايشة الاحداث بشكل افضل، ظهور الشخصيات كما قال المؤلف محسوبا، محادثاتها وأفعالها تنبع من مواقف حقيقية وشواهد تاريخية سواء من الأخبار المرئية او المقروءةسواء رؤساء دول كمشهد ستالين بعد بدء هجوم الألمان وتغلغلهم في شرق روسيا كان متميزا، أو وزراء أو حتي كما بهذا الجزء علماء ذرة كفصل تجنيد عالم الذرة الذي ساعد أمريكا بناء القنبلة النووية، ويللي فرانز كجاسوس لصالح الاتحاد السوفييتي6- And Unforgettable Historical Scenes ومشاهد تاريخية لا تنسيكل هذا يؤدي لضمان قراءة مشاهد تاريخية حقيقية لا تنسي. وكالجزء الأول بالثورة البولشفية بروسيا وجولة وردوور ويلسون بالقطار عبر امريكا، هنا يوجد مشاهد ضخمة كضرب اليابان لبيريل هاربور، قيادة النازيين لليهود المرضي بملابس نومهم إلي مصير غامض ، القنبلة النووية منذ مراحل تصنيعها الأولى وتجربتها في صحراء نيو ميكسيكو، وغيرها من المشاهد السياسية التاريخية التي لا تنسي تقدم هنا بشكل لن يجعلك تنساهبالإضافة إلى معلومات حقيقية تقنية مختلفة عن فك الشفرات، تعقب الجواسيس، القنبلة الذريةولا تنس كالجزء السابق، فكثرة رجوعك لخريطة العالم بالكتاب ستنمي ذاكرتك الجغرافية بقوة7- All that in One Book كل هذا بكتاب واحدبكتاب واحد ستعيش كل هذا ، بفصول عنوانها هي التواريخ نفسها التي بها تلك الاحداث السياسية لتجعل تلك الدراما ، بل الحيوات المختلفة لتلك الشخصيات التي ستعيش معها وعائلاتهم في ذاكرتك لفترة طويلة لتجد أنك قد تتذكر أكثر من الافراد الذين عايشوا تلك الأحداث كل هذا ؛من لماذا اندلعت الحرب العالمية الأولي وما شراراتها ؟والنتائج المترتبة علي الثورة البولشفية علي روسيا، وكيف صارت ألمانيا بعد الحرب العالمية الأولي وتحولها من ملكية الي ديموقراطية؟كيف صعد هتلر من رئيس إلي زعيم فاشي بكل هذه القوة وكيف ساعدته حركة الفاشية بأوروبا وقتها؟ سواء المد الفاشي لموسوليني بايطاليا والنازي لهتلر، بل وغض نظر الحكومة الأمريكية في البداية ، والحكومة المحافظة ببريطانيا؟كيف تصدت بريطانيا للفاشية وفي اي عام كانت نقطة التحول؟ لماذا بدأت الإمبراطورية اليابانية في غزو أجزاء من شرق آسيا؟ ولماذا أرادت الهيمنة علي المحيط الهادي وما الذي أدى لان تضرب بيريل هاربور بأمريكا ؟ بل وكيف لم تنتبه أمريكا لتلك الضربة مسبقا بالرغم من إنها كانت تراقب كل الإشارات اللاسلكية اليابانية بشكل سري؟كيف انطفأت عصبة الأمم من بعد الحرب العالمية العظمي، وكيف عادت بشكل الأمم المتحدة في الأربعينات؟ وكيف أقنعت أمريكا الإتحاد السوفييتي الأنضمام إلي الأمم المتحدة؟كيف كان الجوستابو ، الشرطة السرية النازية، يتعقب إشارات راديو الجواسيس؟ وماهو مشروع اكتشون 14 الذي قام بحرق الكثير من المعاقين الألمان بالاخص اليهود منهم والبولشفيين؟ ومتي توقف وكيف؟كيف تم تصنيع القنبلة الذرية ، وما رد فعل الإتحاد السوفييتي؟كيف صعد حزب العمال ببريطانيا بالرغم من دعاية تشرشرل المضادة بعد الحرب؟ وكيف عانت ألمانيا حتي من بعد تحريرهم من الحكم النازي؟لا أعتقد أنني إذا قرأت كل هذا بأحد الكتب النصية التاريخية فحسب أن قد أستطيع إسترجاع كل هذه الاحداث بالتفصيل الذي عايشته من خلال عائلة ايثيل ويليامز من ويلز التي كافحت منذ ان كانت خادمة لايريل انجليزي الي ان صارت عضو برلمان لحقوق العمال، وابنها لويد الذي اهتم بدراسة السياسة للعمل بالدبلوماسية وهو لا يعلم أنه في الحقيقة الابن الغير شرعي للايريل الإنجليزي فيتزربيرتعائلة فون الريتش الألمانية ،ويليام ابن الدبلوماسي المنتمي للحزب الاشتراكي الديموقراطي الذي قضي عليه النازية وزوجته مود فيتزربيرت التي تزوجته وقت عداء ألمانيا مع إنجلترا برغم معارضة أخوها الأيرل ، وابنتهما كارلا الممرضة التي تشهد اهوال النازية وعنصريتها حتي تجاه المرأة عائلة جريجوري بيتشكوف في روسيا وابنه فولديا المهتم ايضا بالعمل الدبلوماسي كأبيه والذي يلمس عيوب الشيوعيين عن قرب من غطرسة وتزمت عنيدعائلة اخيه ليف بيشكوف الذي هاجر لأمريكا ولعب الحظ لعبته، مع استغلاله للفرص، ليكون احد أثرياء أمريكا، وابنته التي تعاني من نظرة المجتمع الامريكي لها بسبب سمعة ابيها ،فتذهب للعيش ببريطانيا لتعيش قصة حب معقدة واختيارات سياسية خاطئة بالبدايةعائلة جس ديوار الدبلوماسي في البيت الأبيض وأبنه وودز وقصة الحب البريئة التي يعيشها ورغبته في المشاركة السياسية، وابنه الاخر تشاك والذي يختار الحياة الحربية في البحرية الامريكية لتغيير الأحداث التاريخية حياتهم الي الابد بالاخص بعد بيرل هاربورولتغير اجواء الحرب العالمية الثانية حيوات كل تلك العائلات بشكل كبير...تجمع البعض وتفرق البعض ، تنهي حياة وتبدأ حيوات اخريفي تلك الثلاثية الممتعةثلاثية القرنالعيوب----لا أعتقد اني يجب الا اقدم تنويه بعد كل تلك الإشادة الرواية ضخمة جدا، وبالرغم من تعدد الشخصيات والأحداث الا انها تفصيلية جدا لذا وجب التنويه بخصوص نقطتيناولا المشاهد الجنسية موجودة بشكل بسيط ضمن الاحداث ولكن تفصيلي في نفس الوقت...ربما لأسلوب كتابة المؤلف كين فوليت الواضح والراقي في العموم لم أشعر بفجاجة في تلك المشاهد او الاشمئزاز كما يحدث مع بعض المؤلفين الأخرين -بالطبع إلا في مشهد اغتصاب بشع كان الغرض من المشهد أساسا تصوير البشاعة وإثارة شعورك بالقرف بسبب ما أطلق عليه بعض جنود الجيش الاحمر الروسي تحرير ألمانيا من النازية- كما أن المؤلف في اغلب تلك المشاهد تأتي في إطار الزواج إلا فيما ندر، وفي تلك الحالة تكون دائماً العواقب سيئةلكن يظل بعض التفاصيل هنا قد تثير حفيظة البعض لذا وجب التنويهثانيا مشاهد المعارك الحربية ،بعكس مشاهد مثيرة اخري تأتي مشاهد المعارك تفصيلية جدا بشكل قد يثير الملل أحياناً، عاما تلك المشاهد ليست كثيرة خاصا ان ما يخففها هو بعض التحولات الدرامية والمفاجآت سواء في حياة الشخصيات او المعارك الحقيقية نفسها، لذا لا أنصحك بالطبع بتخطي تلك الفصول وإنما قراءتها بشكل سريع لن يضر ولكن يجب ان تنتبه أن لكل فصل منهم حدث مهم سواء درامي أو تاريخيتنويه أخير-------الرواية ليست دراما فحسب ولا تاريخية سياسية فحسب بل هي مزيج بينهما دون طغيان جزء علي اخرفستوفر لك متعة قراءة دراما مميزة وفي نفس الوقت كم ضخم من المعلومات فإن كنت تمقت احد الاختيارين فهذا ليس عيب الروايةلكن إن بدأت بها فلا تحاول ان تباعد بين ايام قراءتها او قراءة اكثر من رواية بنفس الوقت ،فهذا قد يسبب ضياع خيوط الرواية الكثيرة من بين يديكلا انكر ان من بعد قرائتي لرواية سقوط العمالقةومعايشة اسباب اندلاع تلك الحرب المقيتة، جعلني فعلا متخوفا من قراءة الجزء الثاني لأني اعلم أن الشخصيات التي عايشت معها الحرب العالمية العظمي وويلاتها , والثورة البولشفية في روسيا ومظاهرات حقوق المرأة في التصويت ومظاهرات العمال بانجلترا وامريكا . تلك العائلات سيقع ابناءهم ضحية لحرب جديدة بالرغم من ان العالم لم يتوقع ان يحدث حرب اخري مثل تلك الحرب الشرسةولكن فعلا بمجرد البدء بها أسرتني مرة أخري ، سعدت جدا بعودتي لتلك العائلات التي عشت معها العام الماضي ولكن من خلال وجهة نظر ابناءهم هذه المرة بهذا الجزء ، في دراما مثيرة اخري واحداث سياسية تاريخية أعرفها لأول مرة بهذا الشكل عن الحرب العالمية الثانية واجواءهاويكفيني فعلا قراءة واحدة للرواية لأشعر أني فعلا عايشت تلك الأجواء ولا انساها ابداAnd FinallyThere's one more reason...One more reason that the most important of all وهناك سبب أخير يجب أن تعرفه جيدا, سبب اخير لتقرأ تلك السلسلة غير السبع الماضيينThat History ALWAYS finds its way to Repeat itself..أن التاريخ دائما يعيد نفسه"لماذا دائما الأشخاص الذين يريدون دمار كل شئ جيد في بلادهم هم أسرع من يلوح بعلم البلد؟"“Why was it, Lloyd wondered, that the people who wanted to destroy everything good about their country were the quickest to wave the national flag?” النـهايــة****درامية جميلة بديعة مصحوبة بشجن بسيط وعظات ايضا نتعلمها اخلاقية واجتماعية فضلا عن السياسية والتاريخيةلا أدري كيف شعرت بكل تلك النوستاليجا منذ الفصول الاولي حتي اخر فصل بالرغم من قضائي 20 يوما فقط بالرواية , حوالي 45 ساعة و25 فصلاولكنهم كانوا فعلا 15 عاما مع الابطال من 1933 الي 1949ونصف قرن مع عائلاتهم منذ العام الماضيلينهي المؤلف كل خيوط الشخصيات بشكل بديع ولكن مازال العالم يمضي ومازال البعض لم يتعلم من التاريخ شيئاوالي لقاء اخر مع احفاد تلك العائلات الكبري التي عشت معهاقد تكون بداية غريبة لعاشق روايات خيالية اكثر... ولكن القراءة في التاريخ بهذه الطريقة مهم , خاصا في عالم علي شفا صراعات اكبراتمني لكم قراءات مفيدة , ممتعة ومثيرة ايا كانت اختيارتكم من الكتب او الروايات المهم ان تكون اختيارات ممتعة واسلوب يجذبك لقراءته سواء كتاب نصي او روايةكل عام وانتم بألف خيرمحمد العربيمن 25 ديسمبر 2015إلي 12 يناير 2016

  • Max de Freitas
    2018-11-10 15:36

    I read the first of this trilogy – Fall of Giants. It was excellent. Winter of the World continues in the same superlative fashion. The narrative is quick and absorbing. Through the eyes of interesting characters, you get a front row seat in the most memorable historical events that were really not that long ago. The first book took me inside the world my grandparents experienced. This one transported me into the events that shaped my parents. The book provides in-depth perspectives and describes how people actually felt at the time. There is a handy map of the world on the inside covers. It shows all the cities where events transpire. Ken Follett is a master storyteller. His books are extremely interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. I eagerly await the third in this series.

  • Jay Connor
    2018-11-06 12:27

    My rating would have been 2 and one-half stars if Goodreads had given me the option. Plus I think the divergence of this review from the "average" of the reviews for the book is as much due to the cognitive dissonance of not "really enjoying" a book that you've slogged thru 960 pages to complete, than a passionate embrace of "Winter."As much as I liked the first volume of Follett's 20th Century Trilogy -- Fall of Giants -- I was disappointed by this second installment. The back cover blurb: "These characters and many others find themselves inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century." If that sounds like the TV show, Law & Order's breathless "ripped from the headlines," you'll understand the decaying of literacy to pulp we have in this awkward middle child. The first test of great historical fiction is: did it get the history right? Ken Follett, no surprise, has got the history down pat. I've read quite extensively about the period leading up to and including the Second World War and I think Follett got the pulse of the times and the events aligned to their proper significance, including the important occurrences on the margin e.g., the Spanish Civil War and the Manhattan Project.The second test, which truly separates the excellent historical fiction from the good is the use of characters and their reactions to and against the riptide of events. With all due respect to the above quoted blurb, it is this area where we are let down. This cast and their human weaknesses and strengths fail to fully inform and make rational the seemingly contradictory and incoherent implosions and dynamisms of the time. Follett continues with the next generation(s) of the interrelated families he introduced us to in "Fall..." -- American, German, Russian, English and Welsh. But here, the sweep of characters instead of being broad feels more incestious. They fail to reveal their world in a fashion better than nonfiction. For example, just considering the rise of the Nazi's, last year's "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson is much more revelatory. Which is harsh indictment of a piece of historical fiction. This is the second of what Follett is calling his Century Trilogy. Both Follett and installment one are enough to keep me encouraged for the concluding volume, but I am a little leery especially given the working title: "Edge of Eternity." But I guess that is better than "Springtime for the Plutocrats."

  • CS
    2018-11-15 18:39

    Ken Follett is a mediocre writer, but a stellar storyteller. His characters are cardboard, his dialogue wooden and on the nose, his prose pedestrian and perfunctory. As for his punctuation of dialogue: ugh. I said: "Please take away Follett's colon key, stat." (No, Ken, a colon is not interchangeable with a comma.)But still - the pages demand to be turned.WINTER OF THE WORLD picks up right after FALL OF THE GIANTS, with the sons and daughters of the latter novel's characters facing the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the start of the Cold War. Oddly enough, the Depression is pretty much glossed over and doesn't seem to affect anyone. While the book does focus on a German family, the rise of Hitler is depicted as a forceful takeover by a bullying, thuggish mob and the economic conditions that helped him rise are pretty much non-existent. The book also follows wealthy and/or privileged American, Russian and British families not much affected by the economy, and even the Welsh working class characters of FALL OF THE GIANT are solidly middle class (and Members of Parliament) in this book. But aside from the curious lack of the Depression, the book hits all the highlights of mid-20th century history. Follett doesn't stray far from the popular, accepted narrative of World War II. Nazis and Russian secret police: bad. Americans & Brits: decent sorts. His German characters are all fervent anti-Nazis, of course, with one exception (but he's depicted as weak-willed and easily led.) The Russians are a bit more nuanced, despising Stalin's violent excesses but seeing them as necessary steps on the road to communist paradise. The Americans are oddly apolitical, even when serving in the US government; Follett mentions but doesn't examine too closely Roosevelt's land-lease program nor the big US companies who did business with Nazi Germany. The international political maneuvering was a highlight in FALL OF THE GIANTS; I was sad not to see more of it in this book.So if anyone needs an entertaining Cliff Notes to European History 1933-1949, this might hit the spot. (Cliff Notes in terms that the history is briefly and concisely presented; it's certainly not Cliff Notes in length!)

  • Karina
    2018-11-14 17:52

    A journey through the horrors of World War 2 through the eyes of different people from England, the USA, Russia, and of course, Germany. This starts with the NSDAP taking over German politics in 1933 and ends in 1949 with the separation of Germany into West and East. Reading these 1000 pages was an emotional roller coaster. After loving the Fall of Giants (centered around WWl) I had very high expectations. The historical content definitely didn't disappoint. Various POVs introduced British, American, Russian, and German perspectives from different genders, ages or social backgrounds. I loved following all these different story lines and even though there are a ton, I never felt like it was too much or that one got lost among the others. What I was a little disappointed by were the romantic stories. They felt a little forced especially towards the end. The term 'insta-love' came to my mind one or two times. But that never bothered me too much considering the big picture. And who am I to judge romance during a time when every day could be your last.What I was missing was a jewish perspective among the various POVs. Throughout the story a couple of Jews from different social backgrounds are mentioned, but considering the horrors of WW2 I feel like a perspective was missing. I guess it has to be mentioned that this book focuses a lot on the political aspect of the war which creates a good balance to the actual inhuman tragedies, which by the way never are described in a way that turns you away from the story. Concentration camps for example are never experienced 1st hand through a witnessed, but through the eyes of a young girl from Berlin who slowly discovers what the Nazi regime really is about. I found this to be an easy way of experiencing those darkest chapters of the war. On the other hand, I'm not sure if those should be made easier to stomach. I'm of the opinion that we should be confronted with what really happened every now and again. Considering the huge readership/mainstream audience it might just be a good compromise. Not everybody would be able to handle that (this would make an interesting discussion)This book didn't specifically focus on what happened in Germany which I loved. We learn what was going on in the USA, Russia, Spain and Britain. It's an amazing read if you feel like refreshing your knowledge about world history (fascism in Spain, communism in Eastern Europe, Pearl Harbour, the creation of the atomic bomb, Hiroshima and many, many more). I can't stress enough how important I think books like these are. We should never forget and learn from the past. I think this would be an emotional and suspenseful read for everyone, but especially as a German and as someone whose grandparents were born into a completely destroyed Germany I found myself deeply moved by my countries history. It isn't a book that shames Germans, but that depicts the horrors of the Nazi regime, as well as European Fascism and Eastern Communism in the 1st half of the 20th century. One of the story lines that especially moved me and that will stay with me for a long time is when the young German girl from Berlin finds out about how the Nazis were killing handicapped people from all ages as well as the mentally ill. My grandmother was born in 1943 suffering from epilepsy as well as deformed hands (they never stopped her. She would later become a secretary and amazing woman ;)). My great grandparents had to hide her for the first years of her life because of the Nazi program titled T4. It was the only time the German people stood up to Hitler and the government had to stop the program after 70 000 people had already lost their lives. Of course, it kept going just more secretly. I feel like sharing this personal experience here because I'm grateful this book sparked a conversation with my family and because it is SO SO SO important that we keep these stories alive. They can only make us better people. As you can probably tell, if you've gotten this far, this book deeply moved me, and made me more aware of the fact that those horrid and inhumane events of WW2 happened only 70 years ago. It's difficult to wrap my head around that fact sometimes. I can't wait to start the 3rd book in this series which will center around the German separation. Don't be afraid of picking up this 1000 page book. You can't do these big events in history justice in less. It's worth the challenge. READ IT!

  • Glenn
    2018-11-08 14:52

    Well, I just finished this thing and I did like it, but not as much as the first installment.The best part of this novel is the history, Follett is able to distill it into bite size little nuggets and integrate the info into readable dialogue. I learned a ton about China and her role in the remaking of the UN, new information on why Japan was so aggressive during the run up to Pearl Harbor, atomic bomb development in the US, and many other historical antecedents of the Cold War.Follet just about skips over the Holocaust though, even though some of his central characters are in Germany. Sure, he acknowledges the sufferings of Jews and others, but as a plot point it's not even touched. People just go to camps, die or come back broken and disfigured.Follet spends more time on the sex lives of his characters than he does on mass round ups and systematic extermination. To be fair, he does have some of his characters entangled in the Nazis euthanasia program for the mentally ill, but that's it.I truly enjoyed how Follett brought me into the inner sanctums of government, whether it be the Russian, British or American incarnations. These parts were the gems for me, as they illustrated how the world was/is nothing but a chess board for the elite and moneyed to manipulate.Also, just a pet peeve, but Follett repeated and paraphrased the same points over and over again. Not everything needs to be prefaced by what happened on the previous 5 pages. I was paying attention, just get on with it.

  • Bill
    2018-10-18 16:52

    Congratulations, Ken Follett! You've taken the most destructive conflict this world has ever seen and turned it into a wan and tawdry soap opera! Worse yet, you have cribbed unmercifully from Herman Wouk's Winds of War. I'm assuming Kenny is hoping that readers will be unaware that a 40-plus-year-old book already covered the same globe-trotting style and settings that is the backbone for both novels. If that was his aim, I can only envy the readers who haven't sampled Wouk's superior effort. Perhaps Kenny's attempt wouldn't seem like such a blatant rip-off. That would have to assume that the reader can overlook such glaring faults as a novel filled to the brim with White Hats and Black Hats, the only characters Follett seems able to create. If a character is good, they have to pick a hairstyle that fits their halo. If the character's bad, not even an Exorcist tag-team of young priest/old priest will have the power to drive the demon from them.If the two-dimensional characters aren't enough to spoil the experience for the discerning reader, perhaps the overabundance of sexytime talk will. Follett wallows in sex with all the dignity of a dirty old man in a coin-operated booth at an adult book store. When one of the female White Hats is ruminating on her troubled marriage to one of the book's very naughty Black Hats, Follett feels the need to drive the point home by telling us that she has to grease up her vagina just to have intercourse with her husband. A writer with even a shred of imagination would have been able to get that point across without shoving the reader's hand into a tub of KY jelly.I think I should state that I would not deem the aforementioned Winds of War as a literary classic. It is, at its best, a noble effort to encompass the global strife of World War II, while putting a face to some of the people caught up in the maelstrom. But allow me to compare one of the many, many scenes that both authors cover. In 1941, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt met with Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill in an historic event known as the Atlantic Conference. Even after some twenty years, I recall a poignant moment from Wouk's novel in which Roosevelt, one of the most powerful men in the world and a victim of polio, has to be assisted by his son as he hobbles toward this legendary meeting. What shall forever be burned into my mind on Follett's coverage of the same event is that he speeds through it in about three pages so we can rush back to Washington D.C. where some guy gets a hand job. That, more than anything, sums up this execrable book; a long, painful hand job from a dirty old man.

  • Carl
    2018-10-18 12:42

    The 20th century is the most dramatic and violent period in the history of the human race. We killed more people in the 20th century than in any previous century, in the trenches of World War I, in the Soviet Union under Stalin, in Germany under the Nazis, Spain under Franco. There was World War II and the bombing of Dresden by the British and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was a horrible century and yet it is also the century of liberty.Very few countries were democratic before the First World War. In Britain in 1900, fewer than a quarter of the adult population had the vote. None of the women had the vote in any of these countries, so that’s 50 per cent of the people who weren’t allowed to take part in democracy. And the franchise was gradually extended to working class men, so democracy really only had a toehold in the world in 1900. Now we take it for granted, certainly in all the countries we think are “civilized.” And that’s a big contrast with what we did in terms of killing each other.This is one of the most sweeping reviews of the evolution of class structure, politics, war, and development of the world during the 20th century that I've found outside of books documenting individual events. Follett's ability to use his characters to give you a first hand experience of the subtle and not so subtle effects of these events highlight the point that no event, decision, or action is ever black and white, and it's effects are never as simple as assumed before they are made.

  • Katie
    2018-10-28 11:53

    I was a fan of Ken Follett's previous books (Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, and, to an extent, Fall of Giants) but I really didn't enjoy this book. I felt like he "phoned it in" or rushed to get it out quickly, which was disappointing. My main problems with the novel were: 1) unrealistic dialogue 2) extremely predictable plot points 3) characters you don't really care about (although I did have a warm spot for Daisy) and 4) lack of nuance/complexity in characters. However, I did think Follett did a commendable job at somehow packaging the main events of 20 years into a compelling, readable fiction. Not only does he address the obvious historical events of World War II, but he also shed light on the Spanish Civil War and the Manhattan Project, which was interesting and informative. I read criticism that he glosses over the Depression, the Stalinist purges of the '30s, and the Holocaust, and he certainly does, but I did like that he looks at the treatment of people with disabilities in Nazi Germany. You don't really come across that in many books about World War II-era Germany, and it was horrific and sickening and, I think, very important for us to never forget. Another critique of this book on GoodReads said that Follett is not a good writer, but a master storyteller, and I agree. I thought his writing was atrocious in parts, eyeroll-worthy in others, and I frequently flipped through five or six pages at a time, not bothering to read them because it was so obvious what was going to happen it was boring, but at the same time...I DID keep reading, all 900+ pages, so that tells you something. You still want to find out what happens at the end, even if it's hard to summon up the energy to care about Greg Peshkov or even Woody Dewar, who I'm sure is a great guy and all, but is not terribly interesting nor three-dimensional. Maybe Follett's arena - the 20th century and families from Germany, England, Wales, America, and Russia - is just too broad and ambitious, yet I've read generational stories that span countries or years that have been done to great success (Aksyonov's Generations of Winter,John Jakes' North and South.Also - the sex stuff IS a little much, and I'm by no means a prude when it comes to sex scenes in literature. But honestly, Follett writes about it way too much, to the point where I think that's why the characters come off as so flat and two-dimensional. And the sex scenes are ludicrously written. One of them contained something about how a character "squirted" all over this girl and the description was so disgusting and infantile I said "ew" out loud while reading. Look, I'm sure sex scenes are hard to write but Follett's just came across as something a barely pubescent boy would write. Will I read the third book of the trilogy? Maybe. I won't rush out to buy it. I'd wait until it's out in paperback and get it at the library for a beach read.

  • Christine Hughes
    2018-10-20 12:57

    Ken Follett's second book in his Century trilogy ' Winter of theWorld ' is turning in to an excellent dramatisation of Eric Hobsbawm's ' The Age of Extremes '.It has all the ingredients of ' Fall of Giants ' easy to read, absorbing, intriguing and never far from actuality of the age. I would recommend this book to anyone who is not really into History but likes a cracking story.

  • Nancy
    2018-11-03 12:35

    I was a First Reads winner! I feel so lucky that I won a copy of this book. I have a habit of opening a book and reading the first couple of sentences in the book. If it doesn't grab my attention I have a hard time reading on. I can't actually review this book yet because I am not quite done with "Fall Of Giants" yet, which I insist on finishing first. I am really enjoying that book so far. I love the setting and the characters are interesting. I very much want to see what becomes of them. I did also read "Pillars Of The Earth" and "World Without End" and They are both up there on my favorites list. I even got my sister copies and insisted she read them both. I did also watch the mini-series of "Pillars Of The Earth" and I really liked how that came out too. I will update my review when I do finish "Winter Of The World". Just in case anyone is wondering, yes I did open the book already and read the first sentence... actually I read the whole page and had to stop myself. I can't wait to read on. Thanks again Good Reads for such a great website , Ken Follett for your great stories, and Dutton who listed this book for the giveaway. "Winter Of The World", Love the beginning! If my eyes would stay open I would have read all night. : ) I love the way Ken Follet weaves the story back and forth between the characters and places. That's what I liked in the Pillars Of The Earth too. I liked the book a lot, I am looking forward to the next book.

  • Waheed Rabbani
    2018-10-27 16:49

    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. It seems Follett does not need as many characters, as noted in the previous book’s six pages. In this novel they are listed on five pages, which makes it a more intimate read. While the list is handily presented, at the beginning of the book, most readers—including those not having read Fall of Giants—will likely not feel the need to refer to it.Although the narrative swings, from country to country and family to family, the characters, particularly those not having ‘come on stage’ for a while, are reintroduced by a skillful clue, enabling readers to identify them immediately. Particularly, their names: Chuck, Gus, Woody, Boy, Maud, Lloyd, Erik, Volodya, and so on, are well chosen and recognizable representatives of their country of origin. Although that period’s historical events are well known, from film and history texts, the narrative thread of these individuals, whom we care for and wish to learn more about, would encourage readers to keep turning the pages of this magnum opus. The result is not only an entertaining reading of their love stories and sexual experiences, but also an insight into the calamity, the horrors, the pain and sufferings of these people, who lived through those tumultuous times. Also, concurrently, we gain an insight into the monumental efforts made by the Allies to bring the Nazi menace to its knees. To accomplish this, Ken Follett has used the tools of an historical fiction novelist admirably. The casts’ locations, education, job functions, and personal characteristics are well chosen, which enable them to mix seamlessly with real historic characters at most of the important proceedings, such as political demonstrations, vandalisms, spying, strategy planning meetings, military campaigns, peace talks and so on. These give us the thrill of having shared the mental thoughts and lived through those events beside the characters. Not only that, but Follett’s eye for detail, such as, people turn on their radio sets and wait for them to warm up before the sound comes, puts us right in that epoch.Nevertheless, in order to make all of the above happen, Follett has had to use the fictional story-tellers’ favorite device of ‘coincidence’ in this book, as much he did in the former. The actors happen to be, proverbially, at the right place at the right time, to meet the right person. Some readers might find this unnerving. For instance, in one scene a soldier, while serving clandestinely in France, rescues the pilot of a downed aircraft, who turns out to be his half-brother, on a sortie out of England! However, this reviewer would agree with the dialogue between the characters: “It’s a small world … Isn’t it?” For such quirks of fate do happen. [Actually, in a similar fluke, I once happened to meet my cousin—who lives in a city over 10,000 Kms away from mine—at the Dubai Airport, while changing flights, although we were both on separate trips!]The Spanish Civil War is covered in some depth, and its major lesson is enunciated by a Welsh character, Lloyd, as: “ … we have to fight the Communists just as hard as the Fascists. They’re both evil.” As it turns out, the Communists helped to subdue the Nazis, and the Cold War with them was yet to come.Quite naturally, Follett was not able to capture, in detail, all the theaters of the WW II, such as the Dunkirk evacuation, the battles in North Africa, Italy, Burma and elsewhere. But, the ones he has covered, are presented movingly and the action sequences are in sufficient detail to bring them visually before our eyes, but not so monotonously—as in some war movies—to make them tedious. The best coverage is of the War in the Pacific, particularly the Battle of Midway and the sinking of the USS Yorktown, told through the eyes of Chuck Dewar, a closeted-gay US naval officer. Follett’s introduction of diverse characters, and the portrayal of an interracial love affair brings additional vividness to the novel.Possibly, because the topic, of the Nazi Concentration Camps for Jews and others, is well covered elsewhere, they only have a passing mentioned in this novel. However, Follett has included at some length the discovery and the eventual closing of the not too well known Aktion T4 “hospitals.” While this novel covers just one such institution, it is known that there were about six, where many thousands of German citizens deemed to be incurably sick, mentally incapacitated or physically handicapped were euthanized. They were, not coincidentally, also mostly of Jewish and mixed races. The novel describes the thrilling bravery of the German teenage girls, Carla and Frieda, to collect evidence that through the efforts of German clergy and public opinion, which finally persuaded the Fuhrer to close the program.While there are many real and fictional politicians, spies and their clandestine activities abound in the novel. Here Follett, as a masterpiece thriller novelist, is on familiar territory. Since the story lines are those of the children of the characters in Book One, they are mostly teenagers or slightly older. Yet, they perform remarkable feats of international espionage, with ease, which turns the course of wars and fates of nations. Such as the young Volodya, who after conducting several successful undercover activities for the Russians in Berlin, is sent all the way to Albuquerque New Mexico, in 1945, when he is still only about thirty. His mission: to bring back the plans of the nuclear bomb.The third part of this novel, called “The Cold Peace,” sets the stage for the final Book Three of the Century Trilogy. The characters, children of the ones in Book One, now have kids of their own, who will undoubtedly play a prominent role in the Cold War storylines to come. The final chapter’s ending, similar to the Book One’s, shows a child blowing out his birthday candles, indicative of the promise a new beginning. However, will they live in peace? We will have to wait for the Book Three to find out. Ken Follett, in the recent promotional interviews for the Winter of the World, disclosed that he had the typescript of the novel read by a number of notable historians. They are also mentioned in the acknowledgements. It seems that their help, and Follett’s skilful research has made this novel, except for the fictional characters, historically correct. Finishing reading this 960-page novel is a much easier feat, than writing it. Hence readers should raise a glass, of Ken Follett’s favorite champagne, in a toast to his arduous undertaking for taking us on this memorable century long journey.Reviewed from an advanced reading eGalley, complements of Dutton/PenguinWaheed Rabbani is a historical fiction author, whose books are available on Amazon and elsewhere.

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2018-10-23 16:39

    I DID IT hell yeahSo, I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first one but I still did love it. These books are so fascinating because they manage to cover so much information in only 900 pages. This one gave such an interesting perspective on World War II and the homefront. I love how you get to see all of the facets of the war, not just the battles. The characters were lovable as it follows the children of the characters from the first book so I felt like I already knew them. My one issue is that I think I had hyped it up a bit too much for myself. World War II is one of my favourite historic topics to study and read about so I had very high expectations for this and they were just let down a smidgen. I was hoping one of the perspectives would be from someone in a concentration camp but instead there was only an outside view of the concentration camps. I just wish they had been more of a prevalent topic in the story if that makes sense. But, other than that I really loved it! Ken Follett really is an expert storyteller as he is able to create such captivating narratives and create a realistic portrait of the world in the crisis of World War II. I can't wait for the next one!

  • Matt Schiariti
    2018-11-04 16:30

    There are reasons why Ken Follett is one of my favorites, if not THE favorites and Winter of the World is another shining example of why.WOW picks up ten years after the end of Fall of Giants. While it does have the original cast from the previous installment, it's more about the second generation: their children. It spans the time from the rise of Hitler and his Nazi regime, through the Spanish Revolution, WWII, Pearl Harbor, the advent of the nuclear bomb, the subsequent bombing of Japan and ends in the 50s.While its well researched and equally well told, it wouldn't be anything more than a history book if it weren't for a diverse and nicely constructed cast. Winter of the World has that in spades. While putting his characters through all kinds of world changing and hellish scenarios, Follett never diverges away from interpersonal drama, relationships and subplots. What he puts his characters through runs the gamut from the uplifting to the downright terrifying. Loves are won and lost, families are born, battles are fought, atrocities are lived through and overcome. Each and every character is well fleshed out and reacts logically. Using a combination of personal motives and moral codes, Follett's characters react to the real world and historical events he's made them a part of in a believable and logical way. They react to what's going on around them and make their decisions based on their beliefs and the state of the world around them. Nobody puts fictional characters into true events like Ken Follett. *As an aside, my favorite characters and story lines center around Lloyd, Carla, Woody and Daisy.*It's an amazing accomplishment that, for the second time, he's interspersed the real and the fictional into such a broad sweeping and well written work. I don't know how he does it but he does.I've read many of the previous reviews and see the low average rating. As it turns out, many of the one and two star reviews are from people complaining about the price...even BEFORE the book was released. Rating a book solely based on the price before ever even reading it is, in my humble opinion, silly, uninformative and unfair to the author. If it's too costly, go to a library. If if wasn't to your liking AFTER having read it, then base the review on that. Complaining about price is a waste of everybody's time.But I digress.Winter Of The World is a fine example of why I love Ken Follett's books and, more importantly, why I love to read. You just can't help but get swept up in the characters and the time periods he writes about. Fantastic.

  • Erin
    2018-10-26 12:28

    Think you could never empathize with a communist, a socialist, the elitist, anarchist, or aristocrat? Think again, because Follett takes you front and center into the lives of such people in his second book of the Century Trilogy with a passion and clarity that delivers the story of their struggles and triumphs to a place beyond our manufactured understanding and created historical boxes. I love a great familial pan-Atlantic historical epic, and KF is incredibly precise in describing the minutiae which transforms how the reader would otherwise have thought about the various settings. I love to be humbled by this kind of knowledge. Strong female characters are a trademark, and I find it more satisfying that his plainer folk see most of the action and heroics. There is a slight tendency to make out characters possessing a greater share of beauty and riches to be antagonistic, but it certainly varies and blends well enough. His sex is bluntly male at times, but seems to lack a coarseness found in many of his counterparts, and I enjoy his intimate contributions. If you’re confused by politics, hold on-because there’s plenty. If intrigued, just read into the lives of those seeking to make a difference in the world as they understand it. His stories come together with an uncanny realism, but let his critics not forget this is fiction, which is fantasy, after all, and will never read the same as biography. I didn’t trust him to handle battle scenes during WWI in a way that wouldn’t cause me to lose interest, yet somehow, I was captivated instead of repelled. Once again, with Winter, I actually dreaded the certainty of enduring endless WWII soldier deaths. Had I forgotten the London Blitz or the bombing of Berlin and the civilians who lived, died, and fought for their lives? Our characters are in the midst of these, transporting us to the most basic emotions of compassion. Winter of the World is very much a continuation of Fall of Giants, and I’m not happy with having to wait for the third installment. I would admit to liking Giants somewhat more, but I’m not sure why. That would take more study than this post allows. Of course, I’m nervous about the Cold War. And the 60’s? God help us. I choose to remain faithful that KF will have me seeing the light.

  • Kevin
    2018-10-24 18:33

    I finished it because I felt I had to. Hoping perhaps an unexpected plot twist, or something, might convince me that wading through 960 pages would be worth it. Sadly, the last page turned left me as empty as the previous many. Each page turned revealed the expected, formulaic and dull running commentary of 5 families and their involvement in the history of the time. Characters such as Maud, so interesting in the first book, so glossed over in this – Ethel Leckwith so strong in the first book so ignored as a character here. Boy Fitzherbert should have been a character with a lot more to say about everything, except he's written as cliched fool. It seems Follett was so keen to race through History he forgot about what made the first in the trilogy enjoyable - his characters, their personalities and how they interact with each other. I will probably buy the third in this series just to see what happens. I just hope is better than this book - it's so disappointing in so many ways. A big shame because most of Follett's work I have enjoyed immensely.

  • Marco Tamborrino
    2018-11-17 12:39

    “Why was it, Lloyd wondered, that the people who wanted to destroy everything good about their country were the quickest to wave the national flag?”Non ho letto il libro in inglese, ma non avendo sottolineato le citazioni, per evitare di cercarle ho preso quella che mi serviva in inglese.Dunque, non c'è molto da dire. È un buon romanzo, senza infamia e senza lode, un buon romanzo che ha il vantaggio di lasciarsi leggere quasi troppo facilmente, tanto che se uno è privo di grandi impegni, può leggerselo in 3-4 giorni. Parliamoci chiaro: il progetto della trilogia Century è ambizioso e lodevole. Quindi bravo Ken Follett. Un progetto del genere, però, non richiede solo una grande documentazione storica, politica e scientifica, ma anche tanta pazienza e tanto lavoro di rifinitura. Lavoro che, nel caso di questo secondo capitolo, non è stato assolutamente svolto. Il primo m'è sembrato più completo, più studiato. Se parli della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, non puoi lasciar perdere eventi fondamentali solo perché in 1000 pagine non ti ci stanno o perché non hai voglia di parlarne. Ne scrivi 1500, di pagine, oppure stringi il carattere, ché tanto quello che usi è decisamente grande. Magari, invece di metterci due anni, ce ne mettevi 5 - e lo so che l'attesa è orribile per noi lettori -, e ci presentavi un lavoro fatto come cazzo si deve. Le ultime 200 pagine, tralasciando le ultimissime 10, sono davvero brutte. Di una svogliatezza sconcertante. Non rovinano di certo le decine di belle pagine che le precedono, ma stonano terribilmente.Mi parli della Guerra Civile di Spagna e poi nemmeno una pagina sull'Italia fascista o su Mussolini? E la notte dei cristalli?Apprezzabilissimo il tentativo di paragone tra le brutture del nazismo e del comunismo, e a questo propostito è importantissima la figura di Erik, da fervente nazista a fervente comunista. Drammatica la presa di Berlino da parte dei sovietici. Sbagliato additare tutti i tedeschi come nazisti. Bellissimo il personaggio di Daisy, di una dinamicità incredibile. Il suo percorso di maturazione è splendido e rappresenta un grande insegnamento.

  • Dem
    2018-10-28 17:49

    An interesting long....................long.................... read but not up to the standard of Pillars or Fall of Giants.

  • La Talpa
    2018-11-12 15:46

    Wow 😍 Genauso genial und episch wie Teil 1 der Jahrhundert Saga ❤️❤️❤️Phantastische Erzählweise, tolle und berührende Charaktere und grade als Hörbuch absolut zu empfehlen! Nun freue ich mich auch schon auf den dritten Teil, zu dem ich direkt im November greifen werde 😃

  • Epiero
    2018-10-31 15:36

    Finalmente he acabado de leer la extensa segunda parte de la trilogía del Siglo. Cuán cortas han quedado las casi mil páginas de este libro para abarcar tanta información histórica.Ken Follett continúa la trilogía "El siglo" con esta segunda obra. La novela, El invierno del mundo, publicado en el 2012 y con casi mil páginas narra la historia que va desde el ascenso de Hitler al poder en 1933 hasta la culminación de la Segunda Guerra Mundial y la posterior división de Alemania repartida entre los Aliados en 1949.El libro está dividido en tres grandes partes, La otra mejilla, Los años sangrientos y La paz fría, siendo la segunda parte la más amplia con una extensión de quince capítulos de un total de veinticinco.El paso del tiempo en la historia del siglo XX ha hecho que una nueva generación heroica cobre protagonismo a lo largo de toda esta obra. Se tratan nada menos que de los hijos de cada uno de los principales personajes del primer libro (La caída de los gigantes). Esto queda evidenciado ya desde las primeras páginas. Bajo el contexto de la fatídica Segunda Guerra Mundial, numerosos personajes arriesgarán sus vidas por diferentes ideales. Definitivamente el autor ha desplegado todos los recursos narrativos para mantener al lector muy entretenido con la narración. Fue muy triste haberme enterado de muchos detalles que hasta entonces ignoraba, como el caso de la venganza soviética sobre los alemanes, por ejemplo. Asimismo, el ataque de Pearl Harbor, el rescate de supervivientes atravesando los Pirineos hasta llegar a España, la creación de la bomba atómica, la sorprendente política internacional con sus redes de espionaje y contra-espionaje, son algunos de los temas que se contarán en el libro.Pero aunque esta historia esta envuelta de una tragedia terrible, sentimientos muy nobles serán los pilares para soportar.Particularmente, debo reconocer que el autor ha hecho una magnífica labor de visionario al introducir a cada uno de los personajes en los lugares y momentos más importantes de la historia del siglo XX. No obstante, como dije arriba, las páginas han quedado muy cortas para tanto que narrar. Todos han cobrado en su momento protagonismo y creo que los personajes más relevantes de esta historia son Lloyd Williams, Carla Von Ulrich y Volodia Peshkov. A por la tercera y última parte.

  • Gary
    2018-11-15 13:33

    Of course, you must read FALL OF GIANTS first....it's just now out in mass paperback, I noticed. I bought the hardcover, some time back,and actually carried it to the Kansas City area to read it,and didn't start it.....months later I finally did,and loved it....I grew fond of the characters,and felt like they were my personal friends.... the 2nd book in this trilogy? I felt the same. I felt the pain, the joy, the love, the anguish of all that the characters were going through..... WW I and WW II ,and all the drama focused around their lives. I felt like I was a huge part of their lives........ What a sign of a truly impressive novel,and the richness of it's writing! I just now finished WINTER,and I am ready for book number 3 now!To me, all of the above comments tell me about what a great writer Follett is and what super books these are......I can assure you that you won't be disappointed,and don't let the length of the novels deter you....it reads quick,and a lot of things happen to these characters. Follett spends a lot of time researching his facts,and in my estimation he is the king of historical fiction these days.....Pick up the first book,and be prepared to be riveted!!Then read book # 2. I am anxious to hear of a date for release of the final installment!

  • Melissa Rochelle
    2018-11-02 16:51

    First, Follett does a great job of making a fat book fly by. However, for a book that makes up something called "The Century Trilogy", I'm a little disappointed that the first two books only covered the first half of the century. Will the next book only make it to the fall of the Berlin Wall and then we're done? Second, Follett does a wonderful job reminding us that war is horrific. He really doesn't hold back. If you're at all appalled by the fact that humans can be truly AWFUL to each other, then just don't read this book. I mean, this book serves as one big reminder that humans have this incredible capacity to just forget that others are also HUMAN. And we can be absolutely TERRIBLE to each other based on the most simplistic differences. Third, Follett truly is an incredible author. He takes something as complicated as international relations and makes it into a story worth reading. Of course, I'm not a historian so I don't know how accurate he is, but as a reader I kept turning the pages. Can't wait to see what the next generation of Peshkovs, von Ulrichs, Dewars, Williams, and Fitzherberts live through.

  • Iara Silva
    2018-11-17 17:51

    Esta leitura deu-me bastante trabalhinho, não por ser má, porque não foi de todo, adorei o livro, mas sim pelo seu tamanho e a história em si ser “pesada”.“O Inverno do Mundo” é o segundo livro da trilogia “O Século” de Ken Follett, sendo que a narrativa decorre durante a segunda Guerra Mundial, que para mim é uma das épocas históricas que mais gosto.Neste livro vamos viajando por aquela época com exatamente as mesmas personagens do primeiro, e é nos possível verificar o seu crescimento com o passar dos anos, como, no caso de alguns, a constituição de família os foi mudando ao longo dos tempos.Adorei o facto das personagens deste livro serem as mesmas que o primeiro, pois tinha ganho bastante empatia com algumas delas, tais como Maud e Ethel, e voltar a reencontrá-las foi muito bom.Foram apresentadas neste livro bastantes personagens novas, muitas delas filhos das anteriormente descritas no primeiro livro, sendo que maior parte dos mesmos irão participar igualmente na guerra como os seus pais tiveram que o fazer. É bastante perceptível (...)Opinião Completa: http://uma-pagina-e-meia.blogspot.pt/...

  • Silvia Ribeiro
    2018-11-11 18:47

    Mais um bela lição de história contada através de uma encruzilhada de histórias.Ao contrário do que parecia até meio do livro, acabei por gostar mais deste do que do volume anterior que me desiludiu um bocadinho no final. Um grande rol de personagens riquíssimas, algumas já conhecidas da Queda dos Gigantes, mas aqui os protagonistas são outros. E agora vou ter de começar rapidamente o último volume da trilogia, cuja tema já se adivinha com o final deste.Espero que o Ken Follet nos brinde com mais livros a este nível, porque são tesouros que colocamos na estante.

  • Xime García
    2018-11-12 17:27

    Ciertamente, me encantó! Y lo digo sorprendida porque no lo esperaba.Cuando tenía catorce años mi mamá me recomendó este autor, y el peor error que pude cometer fue comprar La Caída de los Gigantes, un ladrillo de 1016 páginas, cantidad que nunca había leído hasta ese momento. Y tampoco nadie me había dicho que ejem ejem a Follet le gusta describir bastante las escenas románticas -eróticas- de sus personajes, así que, con mi pobre cabecita de catorce años que lo más peligroso que había leído era The Host de Stephenie Meyer, el primer libro de esta saga fue un fiasco y lo abandoné alrededor de la página 400 (¡demasiado había leído, considerando todo!).Así que, SÍ, no terminé nunca La Caída de los Gigantes, y SÍ, empecé este libro sin haber terminado el anterior, y SÍ, lo disfruté igual. Y se entendió todo, no es necesario haber leído el primero. De hecho hasta recomendaría leer el anterior después, hay muchas cosas que, habiendo leído el primero, se arruinan fácilmente en este (view spoiler)[como la identidad del padre de Lloyd y el de Volodya (hide spoiler)]. Dicho todo eso, SÍ, tendría que terminar el anterior. Solo que no ahora. Lo voy a hacer, eso sí. Mirando para atrás en mi año de lecturas, solo me cruzo con libros de fantasía. Por eso me sorprendí con este libro. La Segunda Guerra Mundial siempre me fascinó de manera morbosa -visitaría Auschwitz, les juro, por el simple placer de decir "acá sucedió historia"-, mucho más que la Primera, y creo que a todos, de cierta forma, nos pasa igual. La marca que dejó es indeleble. Odiamos a Hitler y sin embargo sesenta años después seguimos mencionándolo. Decimos "judío" y lamentablemente la primera palabra que se nos viene a la cabeza es "holocausto". Leí pocas novelas ambientadas en esta época, La Ladrona de Libros y El Niño de Pijama a Rayas, más algunos que otros testimonios que tuve que leer en la escuela (Memorias, de una cristiana que fue llevada por error a un campo de concentración y sobrevivió), y todas siempre me dejan algo vacía. No de la mala manera, sino a nivel emocional. No me malinterpreten, Winter of the World termina bien (si es que una guerra puede terminar bien), pero es la crudeza de sus hechos lo que me arruina siempre al final. Porque, más allá de la manera de narrar de Follet (nada excepcional, sin embargo, he de conceder que el tipo se mandó una muy buena investigación, hasta de películas que estrenaban en la época, modismos al hablar, cosas cotidianas que la gente de los '40 se comentaban y hasta el funcionamiento de los códigos encriptados de los japoneses), es lo que cuenta lo que me pone la piel de gallina. A veces terminaban capítulos con frases sobre lo que ocurría en el mundo, y yo me quedaba mirando la hoja, pensando, esto pasó en serio, Ximena, ¿no te das cuenta? No me importaba si el autor lo hacía para causar impresión o suspenso. Me detenía a pensar en la historia. Y la puta madre, ¡sí había pasado! Y yo creo que es eso lo que se lleva las cuatro estrellas. Pondría cinco, de no ser porque las últimas cien páginas la cosa se ralentizó. Follet estableció, después de la bomba de Hiroshima y Nagasaki, todo lo que necesitaba para su siguiente libro y para la Guerra Fría (que también me llama históricamente, porque es una de las que más tuve que estudiar, pero no tanto como la Segunda). Los personajes estadounidenses hablaban de la misma manera que los británicos -tuve la suerte de poder leerlo en inglés. Les aseguro que un británico no putea como un yanqui. Es irónico, dado todo el esfuerzo y la investigación que tiene esta novela, que se haya pasado por alto eso. A pesar de todo, que es poco a decir verdad, no podía dejar de leerlo. Por primera vez en bastante tiempo me sentí interesada por todos los personajes de una obra (¡y eso que son varios acá!). Nunca me perdí, Follet siempre me recordaba quién era quién -cof cof, te estoy mirando, George Martin- y cada arco argumental nunca decae. Me encariñé con unos más que otros, pero de todos quería saber cómo terminaban sus historias. He de hacer un alto con los personajes masculinos de esta novela: DIOS SANTO, ¿dónde consigo uno? ERAN TODOS PERFECTOS, DÉJENSE DE JODER, hasta Greg que era el más bandido tenía buen corazón!! Marqué frases a mansalva, algo que no suelo hacer. No puedo transcribirlas todas porque los aburriría. Aun así, después de terminarlo, estoy triste. Estoy triste por algunos personajes, por sus finales, y también estoy triste porque compartí dieciséis años de vida de estos personajes, los cuales se me terminaron en la página 890. Las últimas páginas, que van en retrospectiva, los protagonistas pensando en todos esos años que vivieron, fue un golpe mortal. [...]Most of all, when she died, she wanted her children to be able to say, as she said of her father, that her life had meant something, and that the world was a better place for it.Pero definitivamente, lo que más me llevo de este libro, es que hay un lugar geográfico llamado Kamehameha.

  • Peterspepper
    2018-11-15 18:39

    I'm more of a review reader than a review writer here on GoodReads. However, I felt moved to say a few words regarding the quality, or lack thereof, pertinent to Ken Follett's Winter of the World. I've read two previous books by Ken Follett, the cathedral building series (Pillars of the Earth and ???). I enjoyed them both. So, I decided to pick up Winter of the World (book two in the latest series) because I'm a huge fan of anything historical concerning WWII. And typically, historical fiction is what Follett does best! However, IMHO, I'm afraid he seriously missed the mark on this venture. I found his references to historical fact to be extremely dull, seriously lacking in the rich dimension that was the reality of our world at that time. So interesting, yet depicted so flatly. What a lost opportunity. Additionally, his characters evoked almost no emotion from me and their dialog was so exceptionally boring as to be almost child-like! I had intended to go back and read the first book in this series, covering WWI, but I believe I'll pass. And, I'm VERY pleased I decided not to invest in the $20+ cost of purchasing the ebook! I suggest borrowing it from your local library should you decide to wade into this quagmire of a book!

  • Lisa
    2018-10-31 16:38

    I loved this second book as much as the first in the series. I listened to the audio version this time and it only added to the entertainment value. This is a lonnnnggggg book but listening made it so much easier to get through. I love the characters, the politics, the war action, the relationships and just everything!The historical element is fascinating and as before I was looking up all the battles / equipment / places / people described to get more information - it's just a brilliant way to learn a bit more history whilst also enjoying the more frivolous fictional relationship bits.Even though it is long Follett has packed A LOT into this novel and so it can feel that he has tried to shoe-horn characters into a part of the war he wants to talk about...BUT the book flows beautifully and I forgive the small amount of unrealistic bits because this is some fantastic story telling based on real events. Flabbergasting and moving - love it.

  • Cátia Santos
    2018-10-24 18:46

    Na continuação do volume anterior, este livro deixa-nos uma rica lição de história dos meados do século XX. Não que Ken Follett tenha sido imparcial, porque não foi, mas o enredo das personagens principais, filhos dos protagonistas do 1º volume, revela-nos um dos piores períodos da história da humanidade - a 2ª Guerra Mundial.Sendo a trilogia um olhar por todo o século XX, penso que o início do livro pecou por não haver a contextualização da grande depressão, entre outros episódios que poderiam ter sido abordados. Em termos históricos, relativamente à "Queda dos gigantes", houve a perda dos jogos de poder nos bastidores, antes do deflagrar da guerra, desta vez não tão detalhados, e dos quais eu tanto tinha gostado.Mas claro, mais uma obra prima deste grande contador de histórias!

  • Allison
    2018-10-24 17:34

    Let me begin by saying that I could not put this book, or rather my ipad, down until I read the whole thing. It took me two days to get through it and I was so excited over it that I couldn't read it fast enough. As historical novels go, I found it very entertaining and it seemed plausible that all of these characters could experience the events Follett depicted. However, I couldn't help but compare Winter of the World with Herman Wouk's utterly amazing The Winds of War and its sequel, War and Remembrance. In scope and volume, Winter of the World cannot compare to Wouk's works. Wouk's two novels cover the events of World War II from 1939 to 1945, while Winter of the World covers 1933 to 1949 in one volume. Wouk covered almost every major event of World War II, and included a huge amount of information about the Holocaust. Follett does not cover a quarter of the information that Wouk covered and the Holocaust is only mentioned by the major characters; no major character experiences the Holocaust. I love both The Winds of War and War and Remembrance and read them every few years, but despite the fact that they are more historically accurate, contain much more information about the war, and explain the major battles and campaigns of the war in greater detail, I think that Winter of the World is a more entertaining read. Winter of the World reminded me of a great spy novel, with a great deal of time spent on clandestine activities and just the right amount of suspense. Also, the characters are written in a way that I felt very invested in them. He spent just enough time on each character's arc that I cared about what happened to them but not so long that I wanted to skip ahead to see what happened next in another character's arc. I must confess that I skip around in Wouk's books to my favorite characters. I did not feel the impetus to do that here because I found each arc very interesting. Winter of the World was more of a novel set in a historical period while Wouk's novels are more history books with fictional characters. I highly recommend this novel and am looking forward very much to the final book in the trilogy.

  • The Book Maven
    2018-10-23 15:36

    There are many things that I can say about Ken Follett and the second book in his Century trilogy--and remarkably, just about everything I have to say is good!-First, Ken Follett's books are where history, soap opera, good storytelling, and statistically improbably coincidence meet.-Second, Ken Follett is an unlikely combination of Edward Rutherfurd and Danielle Steel.-Third, if you have a person who likes to read, but hates history, this would be the kind of book to give him.-My issue with lengthy, multi-volume tomes like this is that a lot of times, I forget characters, connections, and events between publications. Follett skillfully makes everything clear without ever making you feel as though stuff is being rehashed.-Fourth, last, and most important (and complimentary): even to this day, we often wonder about the collective insanity that gripped Europe (specifically, Germany, France, Italy, etc.) when they embraced National Socialism. Follett does an outstanding, let me repeat, OUTSTANDING job of portraying (without preaching) how good, regular Germans could be utterly oppressed and bullied into fearfully remaining silent as Hitler and the Nazis destroyed their country. What Follett's books lack in profundity, they make up for in empathy and an accurate historical perspective.