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.
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About the Author
Ken Follett burst into the book world with Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller and international bestseller. After several more successful thrillers, he surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth and its long-awaited sequel, World Without End, a national and international bestseller. Follett’s new, magnificent historical epic, the Century Trilogy, opened with the bestselling Fall of Giants. He lives in England with his wife, Barbara.
Date of Birth:June 5, 1949
Place of Birth:Cardiff, Wales
Education:B.A. in Philosophy, University College, London, 1970
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Excerpted from "Winter of the World"
Copyright © 2014 Ken Follett.
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What People are Saying About This
“Some of the biggest-picture fiction being written today.”—The Seattle Times
“A consistently compelling portrait of a world in crisis.”—The Washington Post
“Masterfully sweeping.”—The Louisville Courier-Journal
“Gripping…powerful.”—The New York Times
“[Follett] is so good at plotting a story, even one that takes on such a complex topic as the World War II era. That’s what makes Winter of the World so hard to put down. You want to know what happens next.”—The Associated Press
“An entertaining historical soap opera.”—Kirkus Reviews
What was the motivation for following five different families, as opposed to a single family in the Century Trilogy.
I wanted my characters to be involved in all the major upheavals of the centurywars, revolutions, riots, and so on. It was quite difficult to achieve this with only five families. With one it would have been impossible.
When do you expect readers to see the last book?
Autumn 2014, if I finish it in time.
How was writing about the two World Wars different? Did it require changing gears to write about one versus the other. Was one more interesting to you?
We think of the Second World War as a crusade against evil, and no one is in any doubt about who the good and bad guys are. World War One is different: there are no good or bad guys, and our question is: How did we let this happen?
How many of your books have been adapted for film? Which was your favorite film? And do you have any favorite actors in those films?
I was very pleased with the movie of Eye of the Needle. The miniseries of The Pillars of the Earth is also terrific. Donald Sutherland was in both! I'm looking forward to seeing the miniseries of World Without End this autumn.
In Pillars of the Earth, you immerse the reader in the role of cathedrals in society. Does that interest date from your childhood, or did you come to in later in life?
Later. Like many youngsters I never looked at the buildings around me. In my twenties I started to be curious about buildings in general and cathedrals in particular. While studying cathedral architecture I began to read about the people who built these huge churches. Around the same time I was trying to make it as a novelist, and pretty soon I had the idea of writing a novel about building a cathedral.
What your favorite band? And what's the name of your band?
Lately I've been listening to the Black Keys, a guitar band with vocal harmonies, which is what I like best. I play bass in Damn Right I Got The Blues, which is an amateur blues-rock band made up of people like me who have a career and don't want to be in the music business except for fun. I play occasionally in a folk-rock band called Clog Iron.
And have you met the Queen?
Yes. She shook my hand and said nothing.