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Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  70,042 Ratings  ·  6,191 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 960 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2012)
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Rick I just finished Edge of Eternity. All three books were a treat. I would suggest taking a break between each because they are all fantastic reads. It's…moreI just finished Edge of Eternity. All three books were a treat. I would suggest taking a break between each because they are all fantastic reads. It's like eating your favourite candy. You don't want to risk too much of a good thing. I am sure that each time you come back to start another one you will find its like visiting an old friend.(less)
Marisa I think that a lot of time is spent on the PRE-WWII years in Germany - Hitler's rise to power. I really enjoyed learning more about that, particularly…moreI think that a lot of time is spent on the PRE-WWII years in Germany - Hitler's rise to power. I really enjoyed learning more about that, particularly against the backdrop of the 2016 election climate.

The actual dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan is mentioned only in passing, and the aftermath there not at all.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mohammed Arabey
Apr 11, 2016 Mohammed Arabey rated it it was amazing

عام جديد يبدأ ولكني استهليت قراءته برواية تدور أحداثها منذ حوالي 75 عاما
واعتبرها إضافة مميزة لقراءاتي المعتادة من الروايات

من قال أن الروايات ليست بأهمية الكتب النصية لهو فعلا ضيق الأفق
فهنا امتزجت دراما ممتعة مع أحداث سياسية تاريخية هامة

وشخصيات متنوعة مثيرة مع شخصيات حقيقية غيرت التاريخ

عملا ملحميا بحق يمزج بدراما متميزة وتاريخ اوروبا وامريكا علي مدار قرن من الزمان يرصد المميزات كما يرصد العيوب ... لا ادري فعلا إلي متي تظل "أغلب" رواياتنا المصرية والعربية السياسية سقيمة لا تقدم الأمور بحيادية او م
Max de Freitas
Sep 13, 2012 Max de Freitas rated it it was amazing
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 describe ...more
Jay Connor
Nov 02, 2012 Jay Connor rated it liked it
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: "The
Nov 13, 2012 CS rated it really liked it
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 C
Karina E
Dec 28, 2014 Karina E rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
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, Amer
Mar 20, 2014 Glenn rated it liked it
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
Apr 11, 2016 Carl rated it liked it
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.
Jul 15, 2013 Bill rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
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. Per ...more
Christine Hughes
Sep 23, 2012 Christine Hughes rated it it was amazing
Ken Follett's second book in his Century trilogy ' Winter of the
World ' 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.
Feb 18, 2013 Katie rated it it was ok
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
Nov 04, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
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 di ...more
Waheed Rabbani
Jan 03, 2014 Waheed Rabbani rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Hailey (HailsHeartsNyc)
I DID IT hell yeah
So, 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 issu
Joana Esteves
Apr 09, 2016 Joana Esteves rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Maravilhoso! Mais de 800 páginas que passam praticamente a voar!
Nov 09, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
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 minutia
Matt Schiariti
Nov 14, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it it was amazing
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 e
Oct 14, 2012 Kevin rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Dem rated it liked it
An interesting long....................long.................... read but not up to the standard of Pillars or Fall of Giants.
Marco Tamborrino
Oct 26, 2012 Marco Tamborrino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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 l
Oct 21, 2012 Gary rated it it was amazing
Of course, you must read FALL OF GIANTS'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 ...more
Melissa Rochelle
Sep 28, 2012 Melissa Rochelle rated it really liked it
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, t
Feb 20, 2013 Peterspepper rated it it was ok
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 i
Apr 25, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
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
Silvia Ribeiro
Nov 20, 2014 Silvia Ribeiro rated it it was amazing
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 mai
Xime García
Nov 22, 2015 Xime García rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, reseñados
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
Oct 06, 2012 Allison rated it really liked it
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 R ...more
The Book Maven
Feb 20, 2015 The Book Maven rated it really liked it
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 leng
Cátia Santos
Nov 21, 2014 Cátia Santos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winter of the World is a very large book but, just like its predecessor Fall of Giants, not a page is too long and every chapter is a pageturning delight. Ken Follett knows arguably better than any writer how to breathe life into a book, largely though its sympathetic and believable characters, both male and female. I had a few minor issues with the depiction of some of the female characters here but otherwise I was utterly and happily immersed in the novel and its fantastic plot, which turns on ...more
Cristina Delgado
Absolutamente fantástico!

Ao contrário do volume anterior, que me desiludiu um pouco no final, este manteve-me agarrada da primeira à última página.

Existe um salto de cerca de dez anos e encontramos agora as crianças já crescidas e vamos deixando um pouco de parte a vida dos pais, que tão bem conhecíamos, para os acompanhar a eles (os que já tinham nascido no livro anterior e os que nasceram entretanto). Continua a ser óbvio que, apesar de serem família oriundas de diversos países (Rússia, Ingla
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Do I need to remember Fall of Giants? 8 54 Oct 18, 2015 02:04PM  
Bound Together: Winter of the World 8 107 Jun 27, 2015 11:19AM  
The Century Trilogy: how excited are you? 14 98 Nov 13, 2014 08:08AM  
2016 Reading Chal...: Winter of the World by Ken Follett 19 39 Sep 15, 2014 11:14PM  
Character similarities to other Follett books. 14 273 May 01, 2014 10:58AM  
Bookworm Buddies: Winter of the World 50 71 Feb 05, 2013 05:52PM  
Historical Fictio...: Winter of the World comments 10 145 Dec 05, 2012 05:42PM  
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Ken Follett burst onto the book world in 1978 with Eye of the Needle, a taut and original thriller with a memorable woman character in the central role. The book won the Edgar award and became an outstanding film.

He went on to write four more bestselling thrillers: Triple; The Key to Rebecca; The Man from St Petersburg; and Lie Down with Lions.

He also wrote On Wings of Eagles, the true story of ho
More about Ken Follett...

Other Books in the Series

The Century Trilogy (3 books)
  • Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1)
  • Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy, #3)

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“Why do you have to be the same as the others? ...Most of them are stupid.” 58 likes
“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?” 39 likes
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