Douglas's Reviews > Winter of the World

Winter of the World by Ken Follett
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Dec 04, 2012

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Read in November, 2012

A good book, but not as good as Fall of Giants, a little more (and too) sexy for me. He doesn't need to do that to sell; his writing is too good for it. His summary of the history appears accurate, but while his new characters, especially Daisy and Carla, are excellently developed, Follett does little to continue to cultivate those characters that remain from Fall of Giants. Lady Maude, for example, plays a tremendous role plot-wise in the book, and the fact that her circumstances being completely reversed (i.e. living through the war in Germany as a expatriate British noble married to a highborn Austro-German dissident) presents the perfect opportunity for Follett to explore her feelings, her motivations, her aspirations, and her disappointments. He throws it away. Maybe he'll save it for his next book if she should make it though the post-war period unscathed.

Still, there are some great moments:
ON MEETING FAMOUS (OR INFAMOUS) PEOPLE
"[Lloyd] was so fascinated to see them [Hitler and buddies] close up that he forgot to be horrified."
- Chapter 2

ON THE MADNESS OF EVIL REGIMES
" At every window was a face, and they were all different. Babbling, drooling, laughing hysterically, distracted or distorted with spiritual distress, all insane. Psychiatric patients being taken away by the SS: the mad leading the mad."
- Chapter 100

ON THE IDENTITY OF ONE'S FAMILY
"She looked around at the disparate group gathered in her home. They had payed her the compliment of coming to her door without an invitation, knowing they would be welcome. They belonged to her and she to them. They were, she realized, her family."
- Chapter 113

ON GROWING AND LEARNING
...Did every woman look back and think how foolish she had been when young . . . Daisy contemplated her own mistakes . . . she was not quite able to look back and think about the good that had come of those choices. It was really not until she had been decisively rejected by high society and found consolation at Ethel's kitchen in Aldgate that her life had taken a turn for the better. She had stopped yearning for social status and had learned what real friendship was, and she had been happy ever since.
- chapter 136

ON THE MEANING OF LIVING A COURAGEOUS LIFE
When she thought over the time that had passed since [before the war], she had a thousand regrets, but the biggest was her father's death. She missed him constantly and still cried when she remembered him lying in the hall, beaten so cruelly that he did not live until the doctor arrived. But everyone had to die, and father had given his life for the sake of a better world. If more Germans had had his courage, the Nazis would not have triumphed.
- Chapter 137

I will give him another chance.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Judith Dimitrov Great review!


Douglas Judith wrote: "Great review!"

thanks!


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