Winter of the World

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: Ken Follett
Narrator: John Lee
Genres: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Published In: September 2012
# of Units: 25 CDs
Length: 24 hours, 50 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

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.


12 CDs, 13 Hours
Read by John Lee

Reviews (10)

Written by Julie G on April 18th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I love this series I can’t get enough of it!!!

0

Written by Erwin D on March 6th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Excellent series. On the third book now...I will be sad to finish as I have really enjoyed these books!

0

Written by Peter M on December 27th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Awesome story by an excellent story teller. Narration is great, really fits mood of the story. Highly recommend this book, and audiobooks.com.

Spellbinding

Written by Anonymous from Alpine, TX on February 23rd, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Incredible follow up to "Fall of Giants". Both my wife and I can't stop listening. Great story, characters, and writing. And you get a history lesson along the way!

Written by Heidi Von Graevenitz on February 17th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this book, esp the way Follett interweaves historical fact and his fictional characters. It covers a wide breadth of European

Disappointed

Written by Anonymous on April 25th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I have loved all of Ken Follett's works and could not put them down. Winter of the World, however, caused my mind to warder and lose focus. I kept trying to give it a chance and listened to the first eight CDs but just never saw the point of the book. I love 20th century history but this held no relevance and was just plain boring, scattered and confusing. I am disappointed.

Written by Lisa Zepponi on December 27th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Wonderful! A great story teller! Great historical detail interwoven in a fiction tale of several families!

Loved it

Written by C. Dailey on November 27th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I truly enjoyed this book. I loved how the story weaved through all the character's lives. The beginning was hard to take, but once you get through it you are hooked. I loved all the historical facts throughout. I actually learned a thing or two.

Written by Laurie Sherman on September 20th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Compelling historical fiction with excellent reader!

Winter of the World

Written by Anonymous on April 30th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Heavy on Historical facts and light on relationships, so it dragged a little for me.

Author Details

Author Details

Follett, Ken

Ken Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector. He was educated at state schools and graduated from University College, London, with an Honours degree in philosophy. He was made a Fellow of the college in 1995.

He became a reporter, first with his home-town newspaper the South Wales Echo and later with the London Evening News. While working on the Evening News he wrote his first novel, which was published but did not become a bestseller. He then went to work for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director. He continued to write novels in his spare time. Eye of the Needle was his eleventh book, and his first success.

He went on to write four more bestselling thrillers: Triple; The Key to Rebecca; The Man from St Petersburg; and Lie Down with Lions. Cliff Robertson and David Soul starred in the miniseries of The Key to Rebecca. In 1994 Timothy Dalton, Omar Sharif and Marg Helgenberger starred in the miniseries of Lie Down with Lions.

He also wrote On Wings of Eagles, the true story of how two employees of Ross Perot were rescued from Iran during the revolution of 1979. This book was made into a miniseries with Richard Crenna as Ross Perot and Burt Lancaster as Colonel 'Bull' Simons.

He then surprised readers by radically changing course with The Pillars of the Earth, a novel about building a cathedral in the Middle Ages. Published in September 1989 to rave reviews, it was on the New York Times bestseller list for eighteen weeks. It also reached the No. 1 position on lists in Canada, Great Britain and Italy, and was on the German bestseller list for six years. Chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her book club in late 2007, 'Pillars' became a best-seller again 18 years after it was first published.

For a while he abandoned the straightforward spy genre, but his stories still had powerful narrative drive, strong women characters, and elements of suspense and intrigue. He followed Pillars with Night over Water, A Dangerous Fortune, and A Place Called Freedom.

Then he returned to the thriller. The Third Twin is a scorching suspense novel about a young woman scientist who stumbles over a secret experiment in genetic engineering. Miniseries rights were sold to CBS for $1,400,000, a record price for four hours of television. The series, starring Kelly McGillis and Larry Hagman, was broadcast in the USA in November 1997. In Publishing Trends' annual survey of international fiction bestsellers for 1997, The Third Twin was ranked No. 2 in the world, beaten only by John Grisham's The Partner.

Ken Follett The Hammer of Eden, another nail-biting contemporary suspense story, came in 1998. Code to Zero (2000), about brainwashing and rocket science in the Fifties, went to No.1 on bestseller lists in the USA, German and Italy, and film rights were snapped up by Doug Wick, producer of Gladiator, in a seven-figure deal.

Ken returned to the WWII era with his next two novels: Jackdaws (2001), a World War II thriller about a group of women parachuted into France to destroy a vital telephone exchange – which won the won the Corine Prize for 2003 – and Hornet Flight (2002), about a daring young Danish couple who escape to Britain from occupied Denmark in a rebuilt Hornet Moth biplane with vital information about German radar.

His next novel, Whiteout (2004), is a contemporary thriller about the theft of a deadly virus from a research lab. Set in the remote Scottish Highlands over a stormy, snow-bound Christmas, Whiteout crackles with jealousies, distrust, sexual attraction, rivalries, hidden traitors and unexpected heroes.

His latest novel is World Without End, the long-awaited sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, published in October 2007.

Ken's papers are held in a collection at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, United States. These include outlines, first drafts, notes and correspondence, original manuscripts and copies of early books now out of print. He has sold approximately ninety million books worldwide.

Ken Follett is married to Barbara Follett, the Member of Parliament for Stevenage in Hertfordshire. They live in a rambling rectory in Stevenage, 30 miles north of London, with two Labrador retrievers called Custard and Bess. They also have an eighteenth-century town house in London and a holiday home in Antigua. Ken Follett is a lover of Shakespeare, and is often to be seen at performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. An enthusiastic amateur musician, he plays bass guitar in a band called Damn Right I Got the Blues.

He was Chair of the National Year of Reading 1998-99, a British government initiative to raise literacy levels. He is president of the The Dyslexia Institute, Chair of the advisory committee of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) UK, a council member of the National Literacy Trust, a member of The Welsh Academy, a board director of the National Academy of Writing, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is active in numerous Stevenage charities and is Chair of Governors of Roebuck Primary School.

Around 100 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.