'Winter of the World' Review: Ken Follett's Second 'Century' Novel Tops 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
"Winter of the World" by Ken Follett has topped "Fifty Shades of Grey" on the New York Times Bestseller List.
The second novel in Follett's Century trilogy is now #1 on the Combined Print and E-Book Fiction list, Hardcover Fiction list, and E-Book Fiction list.
"Winter of the World" was published on Sept. 18 by Dutton Adult.
The 960-page book is described:
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Ken Follett follows up his #1 New York Times bestseller Fall of Giants with a brilliant, page-turning epic about the heroism and honor of World War II, and the dawn of the atomic age.
Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, the first novel in his extraordinary new historical epic, The Century Trilogy, was an international sensation, acclaimed as "sweeping and fascinating, a book that will consume you for days or weeks" (USA Today) and "grippingly told and readable to the end" (The New York Times Book Review). "If the next two volumes are as lively and entertaining as Fall of Giants," said The Washington Post, "they should be well worth waiting for."
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 bombs.
Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. . . . American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific. . . . English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. . . . Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war-but the war to come.
These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.
As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With passion and the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.
The book got some rave reviews:
Anyone who has invested the time and energy in this trilogy will no doubt want to see these characters through, including social climber and ultimate survivor Daisy Peshkov. One suspects we'll be sorry to see them all go. We know them better than most of our relatives by now. More interesting, too.
The Washington Post
Follett is an efficient, rather than elegant, stylist...[His] real gifts are those of a natural storyteller: swift, cinematic pacing, the ability to juggle multiple narratives coherently, and an eye for the telling detail. The result, as in Fall of Giants, is an honorable piece of popular entertainment and a consistently compelling portrait of a world in crisis.
The book also got rave reviews on GoodReads, getting mainly four and five stars:
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.
Ken Follett can do no wrong in my eyes (Ok, A Place Called Freedom is the exception to that). Winter of the World is even better than it's lead-up, Fall of Giants. I think it appealed to me in that it's about WWII (as opposed to WWI that I'm not as familiar with).
I can't remember the last time I read a book I loved as much as this. It completely engrossed me so that I paid no attention to what was going on around me and I sat reading it for hours at a time.
USA Today reported that the third book in the Century trilogy will follow, revolving around the postwar era and the Cold War.