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Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy CD-ROM – September 18, 2012
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"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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I can't wait till I get the next in the series. My sister was right, these are terrific books!
After reading several books on Nazism, I see the juxtaposition of then and now. I also see the irony of what is happening in the USA - false hysteria, bullying of the press, xenophobia, sexism and hurt and pain to the weak and less fortunate. While Follett writes historical fiction, he is spot-on with his work as he paints the Nazi picture of hate and oppression. Thank you for writing this book and reminding us of how valuable our precious democracy is to us all. This story, his story, is exactly what is needed so that we never ever accept tyrants and dictators and repeat ourselves.
The novel covers a wide range of world events; the rise of Nazism, the ascent of Franco in Spain, the Battle of Moscow, the Blitz, the Normandy landings, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the development of the atom bomb, the fall of Berlin and many more. This was a fun way of brushing up on my history.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
Now for the third book!!!!
Ken Follett spins a great yarn. It's easy read escapist fiction, but the characters and plotting are woven around real events and there's a fair smattering of history. This book spans the pre war years and the scope is diverse. It starts with the rise of Fascism, not only in Germany, but throughout Europe and touches on Daily Mail, Royal and Conservative 'support' for a few odious initiatives and ideas. When one of the characters gives birth to a child with brain damage, the seeds of a later eugenic control programme are sown. The themes are sweeping and even though, at times, the dialogue is a little banal, it's easy to become immersed in the story. There's the Spanish Civil War, Pearl Harbour amongst many other events and the narrative moves forward into the early 1950s before leaving the reader to pick up the plot in the next book.
This is a great book to curl up with on a dull afternoon and evening. It sweeps the reader into a different era and although it's a few years since I read the first book, this one quickly had me enthralled in the lives, hopes, loves and losses of the main characters. It's storytelling at its best.
That said, there are some genuinely exciting moments - the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, a murder in wartime Berlin, the race for atomic bombs towards the end of WW2 - all are woven into the story with some skill, even though in the majority of cases you'll know what is about to happen and can see it coming. As some other Amazon reviewers have rightly said, the coincidences are too numerous and unconvincing for the book to be taken seriously at times, and occasionally it feels like the families at the heart of the book are more important than the events against which their lives are played out - but as a device to explore and experience the human side of such a tumultous period of history, you have to hand it to Follett that he has shaped the sprawling material well enough.
Sometimes the characters seem almost unbelievably dumb for apparently intelligent human beings - and as a narrative device to help Follett explain the basics of some of the events to readers this does grate here and there. As with volume one, the political and historical insights and context work surprisingly well, although Follett's admiration for the Labour movement frequently skews the bias of the narrative and makes it feel a bit infused with sentiments of motherhood and apple pie.
Overall, anyone who can craft a book this size - over 800 pages - and keep the reader engaged - is doing something right, even though the content is often quite sloppy, general and a bit juvenile here and there. Volume 3 appears to pick up in 1961, so I can only assume Follett considered the 1950s too dreary a decade with which to pick up the thread of the story for the closing book Edge of Eternity. We'll see.....