Winter of the World

Winter of the World by Ken Follett Book Summary

"This book is truly epic. . . . The reader will probably wish there was a thousand more pages." —The Huffington Post

Picking up where Fall of Giants, the first novel in the extraordinary Century Trilogy, left off, Winter of the World follows its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh—through a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the great dramas of World War II, and into the beginning of the long Cold War.

Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until daring to commit 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 social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set until war transforms her life, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war but also the war to come.

Look out for Ken's newest book, A Column of Fire, available now.

Winter of the World by Ken Follett Book Reviews

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- Winter of the World5 star

Book two of three. Very good as always. I couldn’t put it down. The people seemed reallife.


My poor wife has often referred to her status as a being a “living widow” as I’ve been mesmerized and submersed by the first two volumes of Ken Follett’s trilogy. Day and night, at any spare moment, I pick up the book and find every excuse I can to avoid putting it down. I’d write more now but I’ve got to start volume three. This trilogy will enhance your life. Rick

- B gym toy. Fab guy3 star

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- Must read5 star

I learned so much about the 20th century, the wars, the politics, the powers behind the scenes, and the cultures of the nations. It's amazing that less than 100 years separate us from these events. As always, these novels are written with lots of history, passionate love stories, and characters that make their way into your heart. Bravo!

- Winter of the world4 star

What a compelling history lesson! I wish I had printed out the 'list of characters' in order to keep up with the developments. But the author kept referring to their history in a way to refresh your memory. Can't wait for the next installment.

- History told differently4 star

Great read that ties historical events into a story of life.

- The trilogy5 star

I will wait for Ken Follet's 3rd book of his trilogy, because it is well worth the wait,based on all the other books of his that I have read. "Winter of the World" his last work,was in my opinion an other masterpiece. GunterAlberts

- Pretty Good4 star

Somehow I thought the first book (fall of giants) was a little better, but I enjoyed Winter of the World. The story was interesting and the characters helped relate the various political views of the time. Sometimes I thought there could have been a little bit more history and sometimes I thought the characters were a little unbelievable. But as I said, I liked the book.

- Not as good as the first3 star

The second book focussed less on the characters influences on the world stage and more on their romantic inclinations. The similarities of their infatuations were redundantly distracting. I hope that in the next book Mr. Follett returns to the intrigue each character brought to the historical events they were involved.

- Winter of the world5 star

From riches to rags to riches. An eye opener of families from all aspects of life and a fascinating journey through World War II from Germany to England to the USA. Another winner by Ken Follett.

- Winter of the world4 star

Typical historical novel but it captures in a vivid fashion the historical issues and movements through which the characters move. A couple of errors cited: first, Dolittle's raid was on April 18, 1942, not the 25th; second, in a chain reaction U238 atoms give off 3 neutrons not 2, more than a 'doubling effect' as described in the book.

- Winter of the World5 star

If you want a good history lesson about both WWI and WWII, read Winter of the World and it's prequel, Fall of Giants. The books combine real historical characters, with an international cast of fictional characters in Russia, Germany, England and the US. This book gives a real feel of what it was like before, during and after World War II. This is a very long book that I really hated to see end.

- Awesome book5 star

The winter of the world. By Ken Follett. A real and thrilling trip to the World War Two, a narrative from the perspective of five families that lived during that time. Makes you appreciate away from the propaganda that time full of turmoil. Loved it. Is as good or even better than the first book. The fall of giants.

- Winter of the world3 star

Enjoyed the book so much, I read it in no time, the story, superb; one gets very personal with the characters in the story, I learned so much from the historical point of view, it open my eyes on things I could not comprehend before, I only regretted the Hollywood style where the beautiful are the good guys and the fat and ugly, are the bad guys. Congratulations , A job well done

- Too expensive!!!!!!5 star

Both Kindle and Barnes and Noble are charging $14.25! What gives Apple?!

- World without end5 star

This book is by far the single most enlightening, educational and entertaining book i have ever read about world war 2. It is unendingly intersting and compelling. I could not put it down. I feel this series should be part of every school's curriculum across the globe. May we all learn the many valuable lessons there are to be learned herein; and at the same time adopt the integrity and vitality these characters achieve.

- Amazing5 star

A must read! Can't wait for the third installment in 2014!

- Winter of the world5 star

Amazing, I cannot wait for the third installment.

- Winter of the World4 star

I love this series; I was so happy the characters from the first were all in this one and I hope it all carries through to the 3rd book. I hated that Fritz still did not acknowledge Lloyd what a jerk he is and to not help his own sister. Cannot wait for the next book!

- Outstanding series5 star

After becoming hooked on Ken Follet's books after reading Pillars of the Earth, I downloaded this series. Absolutely mesmerizing & captivating. Book three cant come out soon enough!

- Winter of the World5 star

Follett's Winter of the World is a true page turner. Set in pre World War II, it continues to follow fictitious families from the Fall of Giants. We learn the fates of families living in Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Follett makes history come alive weaving his story about how members of these five families affect each other's lives. Now we are understanding how two world wars has deeply affected three generations. Can 't wait for Follett to write his third book in this trilogy!

- Winter of the World!5 star

Wonderful story, love the history and the detail that Mr. Follett puts into his work!

- Not Typical Follett2 star

This book is broad but not deep. He rushes through key historic events as backdrops for undeveloped characters having sex. The staff lieutenant dying on a beach at Bougainville trying to rescue his gay lover? Really?

- Lacking Immensely2 star

Reading Ken Follett has never been so disappointing. Having just finished this book, I am hopeful that my passion for reading can now be restored by starting something interesting and intelligently written.

- Winter of the World5 star

I have always loved history, but it was mostly all facts. Your books have given me a look at the human side of history. History all of a sudden became real. I supplemented my reading by watching Ken Burns documentaries. It has been a very rich and enlightening experience intellectually as well as emotionally. You laced the two together brilliantly. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. I am a retired elementary teacher (40 years) from Little Rock, Arkansas. My father fought in WWII. He was a P51 pilot in Africa and Sicily. I was surprised you didn't mention anything about the horrors of finding the concentration camps. I'm looking forward to reading more of your books. my reading

- Winter of the world5 star

Excellent book. One of Ken's best. Didn't want it to end.

- Fantastic and interesting read5 star

Cant wait for the next chapter in this amazing triliogy.

- Price5 star

How can folks be such cheapskates! Great read, ready for the conclusion!

- Winter of the World3 star

I have read his four books of this genre. I rated all those as 5s. This was a disappointment to say the least. Weak character development. Rather boring backdrops and story lines for most of them. One reviewer lamented the absence Of any focus on the holocaust. I strongly agree. I also missed having a chart at the beginning to show the link between characters and families in this and The fall of Giants. I hope his last in the trilogy rises to the quality of the others.

- It's just ok3 star

I waited for 2 years for this book to come out and I can honestly say that I don't know that I'll read the third. I found both the story and the characters in this book to be underdeveloped. Generally Follett does a great job of bringing both to life but this book fell flat. It's a decent way to pass the time but at the end of the book, I was actually glad to be done with it, so I was no longer being subjected to fantastical coincidences, boring plot lines and shallow characters.

- Winter of the World3 star

This book was a decent read, but not as compelling or informative as the first in the series. Why was the Holocaust given such cursory treatment.? No character represented the real depravity of the Nazis. Additionally, there were too many convenient coincidences. I won't read the sequel.

- Winter of the World5 star

Wonderful development of characters in a historical novel.

- Great book5 star

One of the greatest books I have ever read.

- Excellent Writing; Engrossing Story5 star

What a great way to learn about an important period in history: the events leading to and during World War ll. We also see the aftereffects of such destruction. The author weaves his characters into actual events and has them interact with real people. The words spoken by the historical characters are their own words so you get a real sense of their personalities and the public's reaction to them. It is fascinating to see the world through the eyes and attitudes of people living in both Allied and Axis countries. Follett's characters are well-developed and give a true sense of that generation's attitudes and beliefs in a series that is both informative and very entertaining. I re-read the first book in the series (Fall of Giants) to prepare myself for this one. These books are so good was a treat to do so. Most people believe our schools teach fictional history so why not learn about actual events through the eyes of mostly fictional, but fascinating and sympathetic characters, and thoroughly enjoy yourself while doing so?

- A fascinating historically correct story5 star

Well written. This kept my attention throughout. While I've read much on the events leading up to and following WWII, I continued to learn little nuggets. Follett and Wm. Shirer write in different styles, but both have important things to communicate. Is this a glimpse of where our national press and administration are taking us?

- Whiners of the world5 star

Whiners, please stay away. Price too high? Strange you can't read it on an expensive iPad... Coincidences ? Well that is the mastery of Follett: make all the stories intertwined! The story, a continuation of ch. 1 of the saga, gets the reader straight inside Nazi's Germany in its dawn until the end of WW2, going through different continents, characters and historical facts. It is fantastic how history can be seen from a different point of view reading a novel: chapeau. So, bottomline, a great book, hard to put down and especially will leave you longing for next part!

- Disappointing1 star

What a let down. Far fetched soap opera is full of coincidences that are absurd. Expected better from Ken Follett.

- Winter of the World5 star

As good as Book 1 of the trilogy. Don't listen to the whiners who complain about the price. If you enjoy a very good read, this book is for you. (You will even learn a lot about the history of WWII.)

- Bored3 star

What I love about Follett is his characters. I get involved in them. Not so here. I don't like them or hate them. Meh.

- The Third5 star

Just as good as the first one, and I can't wait to read the next.

- Winter of the World - great read5 star

Ken Follet is the master of writing deeply entertaining parallel story lines that intersect through out his novel. Very entertaining. Only wish I had read slower!

- Winter of the World5 star

One chapter in, I quickly and eagerly forgot the price. You get what you pay for. Not quite as perfect as the first, this follow up is still fantastic, mixing historical drama with impressive fictional character and story development. I struggle to think where a third can possibly live up to the amazing backdrop painted in I and II. What could possibly match the times our world endured in the first half of the 20th Century? I can hardly wait to find out.

- Why are people paying $19.99??1 star

Looks like these Giants (Ken Follett and Penguin) have fallen...fallen for greed. I have been a Ken Follett fan since I was 14. I have read every single book and to this day he is my favorite author so I really, really wish I could buy this book but I can't. First, it's just too expensive for me right now and second, I think on principle, people shouldn't be paying $19.99 for an ebook.

- A great disappointment...2 star

I thought Fall of Giants was Ken Follett at his best. This follow up was lacking in every way. Character's dialogue was fitted to known historical events in a formulaic way. The characters lacked depth and were disappointing. The story of the five families from the first book marched forward woodenly and unconvincingly. It was contrived and disappointing fiction. Follett is capable of MUCH better work. I hope he puts more than typing for money in his third. I'll wait and borrow it from someone. I won't buy it.

- Winter of the world5 star


- Winter of the World5 star

Follet has done it yet again!!! I have read every book he has written and without fail, another book that one must force themselves to put down for fear of finishing to quickly! I cannot wait for the final book in this trilogy! Fabulous!!

- Download failure1 star

I've tried everything to download. It has failed since publication, so I bought a hard copy. How do I get rid of this pre purchase and a refund ? DT

- Winter of the World5 star

Started reading more slowly when I knew I was getting close to the end of this book. Did not want it to end! Loved this! Can't wait for the third now.

- Winter of the world5 star

I could not put this book down. Loved the historical context and the authors attention to detail.

- Great follow up5 star

The books picks right up where it left off gets into the nitty gritty food world war 2 and the cold war while developing the characters in helping the mature and grow as people. There are some HUGE tragedies and it really gives some perspective.

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gaby1944 - Winter of The World1 star

I can hardly believe this is a Ken Follett book! I've read all the previous books and loved them.I'm sorry to say I found this book boring and tough slugging ! I had to skip quite a bit just to get it done. I was very disappointed. I only finished it because I bought it.

Jila13 - A great job5 star

The essence and the knowledge of two world wars beautifully written in these novels is absolutely amazing. A great job. I am starting " Edge of Eternity "

Ethel.Louise - Masterful Sequel5 star

The saga continues and the characters become more engaging. The history is well researched and integrates well into this epic saga.

Sharjah47948 - Simply amazing5 star

Can't wait for the next book!

ice255a - Great novel5 star

Great fast paces novel keeping you turning pags every step of the way.

Kathryn Aberle - Gripping read5 star

Ken Follett is a master of the sweeping epic novel. The first book in his Century trilogy -- Fall of Giants -- takes places during the Great War. I couldn't wait to plunge into the second in the series. Winter of the World picks up where Fall left off, following the next generation of a number of intertwined families in Russia, Germany, Great Britain & the USA in the short period between the wars, during the war and the early days of the Cold War. I know this is historical fiction but after reading these two novels I feel I have a greater understanding of the social and political forces at play during the first half of the 20th century. I can hardly wait for the third book in this series. In the meantime I think I'll do more reading of the history of this period.

c.bu - Winter of the world3 star

Ce livre est bien écrit et intéressant. Je trouve qu'il penche énormément vers la pornographie. Il me semble qu'il n'est pas nécessaire d'entrer dans les détails très intimes pour convier une idée et un message. Je trouve regrettable qu'un auteur de la trempe de Ken Follett doive recourir au sexe pour vendre son produit. Dommage... MERCI

120magnum - Winter of the world5 star

This continuing saga is absolutely the best historical fiction I have ever read.

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Benbabe350 - Fantastic!!!5 star

I wasn't sure if this book could be as good as part 1 of the trilogy but I think it was even better. Impossible to put down. Can't wait for part 3.

BEKB123 - Couldn't put t down5 star

I enjoy the human interaction stories placed around history. Pillars of the Earth, a favorite read and this trilogy is just as good. However, the long wait of release is weary.

BeachBlonde1962 - Another Adventure5 star

As expected, Follett delivers a follow-up second book to his "World Without End" that satisfies and more than carries on. The characters families are further developed, welcoming future generations who capture the best parts of their elders & additionally show greater elements of their own growth. Historically, the book is so interesting that I found myself constantly pausing to copy words & phrases to the Internet, whether to simply define a word or to look up a Complete Naval operation. I return again& again to Ken Follett & truly enjoy all his works.

holzra - As usual5 star

Follet does it again! Using the backdrop of history he has created characters which come alive. Some we can love and respect while others we loathe and detest. A great read, a wonderful part two leaving me anxious for the final part. Well done Mr. Follet.

hljake - Hard copy available @$19.891 star

Hardcover copy available @ Costco for $ 19.89; no download problems!

Mandy4319 - Winter of the World1 star

I too, bought this book and found it will not download. What is this? How can I rate a book I can't read?

The STAZ - The land of ten thousand characters1 star

I have always been a fan of Ken Follet, but there are so many characters introduced on every page that this book is nothing more than a confusing mess. The characters are not properly developed and the author's normally twisted plot seems more like the aftermath of a tornado.

BigMac16 - Get Real People!5 star

How about making this a review section for the outstanding story content itself, rather that the pricing of the book? We can all see the price and make our own decisions on it's value. The same complainers will spend $20 for 2 people to watch a 90 minute movie at the cinema, or $14.99 for a 250 page book. This is 1000 pages from one of the best storytellers today. Please. Another amazing story from Ken Follett!!

Uncle Pietro - Greed1 star

This is penguin (note lower case) groups greediest moment in history. They believe the market will bear this price point. They have no idea what they've lost already. I hope Ken Follett (note the upper case of respect) was no where near penguins unfortunate pricing decision.

Cowboy0937 - Very Happy5 star

Come on folks. Mr. Follett did not set the price. The story is outstanding. I've laughed, cry and mad as hell at times. I love this series. Can hardly wait for the third book.

Falkender - Too much1 star

I agree that the price is really too high. Publishers are getting just plain greedy - prices keep going up. Won't buy it at this price.

Dollyheart - Winter of the world1 star

19.99? You're kidding, right? For an eBook? Not gonna do it... No way, no how.

BexJackson - Pricing complaints not relevant to content5 star

Price is set by publisher not the author and I am not going to bother with complaints since I did not experience this issue. I've only read a few chapters so far but I think it will be as wonderful as Mr. Follett's other books. Very happy with my purchase!

Tsevni2 - Please5 star

All these price complaints, this book is over triple the contents of a book I spent the typical new book price of 14.99, and it was a 2 year project, so PLEASE. Besides we do have options, shouldn't ratings be about content and not the price. I thought the book was great and look forward to the next one.

THOMAS TRAYNOR - Are you mad?1 star

$20 for an e-book. Was going to download, but forget it.

Doesn't download - Doesn't download1 star

I prepurchased and paid for this book but it won't download. I contacted support and received an email saying they would get around to responding to my problem in 48 hours. Meanwhile they have my money and I have no book. You shouldn't buy this through ibooks if you want to actually read it.

Kreeny junior - Cannot download1 star

I cannot download and cannot cancel because I used a gift card. What now?

Pigfishlane - Why so greedy for an ebook1 star

So looking forward to reading this book and now so disappointed with ebook price. Refuse to spend $20 for "air" and will wait for hardback at library for free. Shame shame shame on you Mr. Follet!!!

woodlady79 - Poor support1 star

Paid too much for this book because my husband had a stroke and can only read on his iPad at this point. Now after several tries and contacting support, still can't download the book. So I called AmEx and cancelled payment. Thank God AmEx works the right way

Miasmakid - Really?1 star

19.99 for an e-book?

Jim- kay - Winter of the World1 star

I spent $19.99 and can't get the book to download. Those who decided to pass were the lucky ones. First time that has happened.

Lady Di UK - Price !!1 star

I have been so looking forward to the release of this book. I am not impressed with price. Sorry Ken, you just lost an ardent follower !! I'm actually hoping the $19.99 is a misprint !!!

AngieR9 - $19.99???????1 star

I'll be checking the remainder of this series from my local library, or waiting for the paperback.

Ken Follett - Winter of the World Comments

About Ken Follett Wiki

Kenneth Martin Follett, (born 5 June 1949) is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels who has sold more than 160 million copies of his works. Many of his books have achieved high ranking on best seller lists. For example, in the US, many reached the number 1 position on the New York Times Best Seller list, including Edge of Eternity, Fall of Giants, A Dangerous Fortune, The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, Triple, Winter of the World, and World Without End.
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