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23 February 2015

Ken Follett: Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy, Book 2)

A very lengthy epic saga
Ken Follett took on a major task when he started a trilogy about the 20th century seen through the eyes of families from various countries - this time from America, Germany, Russia, England, and Wales. The first in the trilogy, FALL OF THE GIANTS was a huge (slightly disappointing) read at 850 pages and this one was similarly huge, so much that I put it aside for a couple of years until I could find the time to absorb such a giant book.

I wasn't disappointed when I did find the time but I wasn't ecstatic. I have read a lot of books focussing on different parts of the same terrible times and they probably gave me a better canvas overall than the single canvas that Follett attempted.

Follett takes us through the build up to WWII and into the war in Europe and then in the Pacific seen through the eyes of a diverse group of characters, many of which are related or who knew one another before the war. IMHO he goes a bit far in trying to get interesting characters and put them into key places during these chilling and dangerous times.

I recently read THE WINDS OF WAR and WAR AND REMEMBRANCE by Herman Wouk which gives an American take on the same events covered by this book. Those books will stay in my Classic Epic Sagas collection but I am not sure if this one will go into that collection.

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