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Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy Hardcover – September 18, 2012
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"Some of the biggest-picture fiction being written today." —The Seattle Times
"A consistently compelling portrait of a world in crisis." —The Washington Post
"Masterfully sweeping. . . . 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 such 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
"Gripping . . . powerful." —The New York Times
"This book is truly epic . . . The reader will probably wish there was a thousand more pages." —The Huffington Post
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, includes the bestselling Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, and Edge of Eternity. He lives in England with his wife, Barbara.
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All of the "good guys" have tolerant, 21st century attitudes towards blacks, Jews, homosexuals, and sex. It seems that with every new book Mr. Follett's anachronisms have gotten worse and worse. I began to notice them in Pillars of the Earth, but by the time the modern-thinking, twelfth century, yuppie power-couple in World Without End started spouting psychobabble about their daughter's low self-esteem, I'd had enough. Somehow I hoped this trilogy would be better. I'll have to go back and re-read Eye of the Needle and Triple to see if they were as bad. If they were, then my tastes have changed.
But the worst annoyance for me is that Mr. Follet insists on explaining his characters' every reaction and line of dialog, as if we're not smart enough to understand what they're thinking without dumbing it down for us. It ruins the flow and bugs the heck out of me. A good writer develops his characters so well that we understand the feelings, perspectives and motivations behind their dialog, without having them re-explained after every sentence. It's like explaining the punchline of a joke: If you have to do that, then you didn't tell it right.
I greatly admire Mr. Follet's attention to detail and all the work that must have gone into this book, but it reads like it was written by an amateur romance novelist. For good "you are there" historical fiction, I much prefer Herman Wouk's "The Winds of War."
I've read the complete trilogy. It is entertaining and a great history lesson.
Follett engages the reader into the families and characters in a powerful way, even though the complexity of the book is challenging.
I could have underlined many passages that spoke to what I am sensing is happening in today's world.
Fact is, what happened between 1914 and 1945 should never be forgotten so it never can happen again. And Kent Follet's first two books of his trilogy are a reminder that gets more significant than ever in our present days. Besides this, it's history written how it should be: not dates, facts and scholastic explanations but real people in a real world and in a way that captivates the reader. Very recommended.
I look forward to get the third book of the trilogy (to be published in a few days).