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3 Since I am on hiatus from writing reviews for the month, being a beach bum , I just wanted to note that this was another typical for the author work of Historical Fiction However, maybe it is me, maybe it is the fact that I grew up in the Eastern Block and have some knowledge of the history there, the author s prejudices are even obvious and no matter how unwillingly they might creep up, they hamstring him and put his writing in a box much too small for the scope he intends I actually want to believe that he is trying to give a fair view of all the sides, but he can t help write through his own experiences of a Western born and raised individual, thus his writing will always slant that way I guess it was just a bit too obvious here Once again, if you have this in mind and don t take everything as the complete truth, it is a good overview of the World during WWII The second in Follett s Century Trilogy follows the main characters from Fall of Giants and their children as they navigate the major events of the 1930s and 1940s Readers will see the rise of Nazi Germany, the epic battles of World War II, and the birth of the atomic era through the eyes of men and women from several countries.Winter of the World is a grand accomplishment, and one of the most thoroughly enjoyable books I ve read this year I m looking forward to the next installment The novel isn t always nuanced, and some events are glossed over in the name of moving the plot forward However, it s to Follett s credit that this almost 1000 page book never seems to drag, and that he manages the large cast of characters so deftly.Follett is at his best when there s action and intrigue, and there s plenty of that, especially in the scenes set before and during World War II A dramatic account of the Battle of Midway serves as a memorable climax to the subplot encompassing the war in the Pacific, while a dramatic confrontation between Boy Fitzherbert and his half brother Lloyd Williams is a memorable scene from the European front.I loved this book and have given it five stars for both historical accuracy and its literary form and I highly recommend reading this book I can t wait for the third work in this outstanding trilogy and marvel at the scope of the authors undertaking. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Just finished my second read through I m so happy to dive back into this trilogy full of amazing characters This book makes me the most uncomfortable it deals with the most lose and offers little relief to the reader For every triumph you see another character pushed to the breaking point. 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, than anything, sums up this execrable book a long, painful hand job from a dirty old man. 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 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. 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. `DOWNLOAD ↙ Winter of the World ⇻ Depois Do Extraordin Rio Xito De Repercuss O Internacional Alcan Ado Pelo Primeiro Livro Desta Trilogia, A Queda Dos Gigantes, Retomamos A Hist Ria No Ponto Onde A Deix Mos A Segunda Gera O Das Cinco Fam Lias Cujas Vidas Acompanh Mos No Primeiro Volume Assume Pouco A Pouco O Protagonismo, A Par De Figuras Hist Ricas E No Contexto Das Situa Es Reais, Desde A Ascens O Do Terceiro Reich, Atrav S Da Guerra Civil De Espanha, Durante A Luta Feroz Entre Os Aliados E As Pot Ncias Do Eixo, O Holocausto, O Come O Da Era At Mica Inaugurada Em Hiroxima E Nagas Qui, At Ao In Cio Da Guerra Fria Como No Volume Anterior, A Totalidade Do Quadro Nos Oferecido Como Um Vasto Fresco Que Evolui A Um Ritmo De Complexidade Sempre Crescente