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Winter of the World (Century Trilogy 2) (English Edition)
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Winter of the World (Century Trilogy 2) (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Ken Follett
4.1 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (47 commentaires client)

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Chapter One


Carla knew her parents were about to have a row. The second she walked into the kitchen she felt the hostility, like the bone-deep cold of the wind that blew through the streets of Berlin before a February snowstorm. She almost turned and walked back out again.

It was unusual for them to fight. Mostly they were affectionate—too much so. Carla cringed when they kissed in front of other people. Her friends thought it was strange: their parents did not do that. She had said that to her mother, once. Mother had laughed in a pleased way and said: “The day after our wedding, your father and I were separated by the Great War.” She had been born English, though you could hardly tell. “I stayed in London while he came home to Germany and joined the army.” Carla had heard this story many times, but Mother never tired of telling it. “We thought the war would last three months, but I didn’t see him again for five years. All that time I longed to touch him. Now I never tire of it.”

Father was just as bad. “Your mother is the cleverest woman I ever met,” he had said here in the kitchen just a few days ago. “That’s why I married her. It had nothing to do with . . .” He had trailed off, and Mother and he had giggled conspiratorially, as if Carla at the age of eleven knew nothing about sex. It was so embarrassing.

But once in a while they had a quarrel. Carla knew the signs. And a new one was about to erupt.

They were sitting at opposite ends of the kitchen table. Father was somberly dressed in a dark gray suit, starched white shirt, and black satin tie. He looked dapper, as always, even though his hair was receding and his waistcoat bulged a little beneath the gold watch chain. His face was frozen in an expression of false calm. Carla knew that look. He wore it when one of the family had done something that angered him.

He held in his hand a copy of the weekly magazine for which Mother worked, The Democrat. She wrote a column of political and diplomatic gossip under the name of Lady Maud. Father began to read aloud. “‘ ‘Our new chancellor, Herr Adolf Hitler, made his debut in diplomatic society at President Hindenburg’s reception.’”

The president was the head of state, Carla knew. He was elected, but he stood above the squabbles of day-to-day politics, acting as referee. The chancellor was the premier. Although Hitler had been made chancellor, his Nazi Party did not have an overall majority in the Reichstag—the German parliament—so, for the present, the other parties could restrain Nazi excesses.

Father spoke with distaste, as if forced to mention something repellent, like sewage. “ ‘He looked uncomfortable in a formal tailcoat.’ ”

Carla’s mother sipped her coffee and looked out of the window to the street, as if interested in the people hurrying to work in scarves and gloves. She, too, was pretending to be calm, but Carla knew she was just waiting for her moment.

The maid, Ada, was standing at the counter in an apron, slicing cheese. She put a plate in front of Father, but he ignored it. “ ‘Herr Hitler was evidently charmed by Elisabeth Cerruti, the cultured wife of the Italian ambassador, in a rose-pink velvet gown trimmed with sable.’ ”

Mother always wrote about what people were wearing. She said it helped the reader picture them. She herself had fine clothes, but times were hard and she had not bought anything new for years. This morning she looked slim and elegant in a navy blue cashmere dress that was probably as old as Carla.

“ ‘Signora Cerruti, who is Jewish, is a passionate Fascist, and they talked for many minutes. Did she beg Hitler to stop whipping up hatred of Jews?’” Father put the magazine down on the table with a slap.

Here it comes, Carla thought.

“You realize that will infuriate the Nazis,” he said.

“I hope so,” Mother said coolly. “The day they’re pleased with what I write, I shall give it up.”

“They’re dangerous when riled.”

Mother’s eyes flashed anger. “Don’t you dare condescend to me, Walter. I know they’re dangerous—that’s why I oppose them.”

“I just don’t see the point of making them irate.”

“You attack them in the Reichstag.” Father was an elected parliamentary representative for the Social Democratic Party.

“I take part in a reasoned debate.”

This is typical, Carla thought. Father was logical, cautious, law-abiding. Mother had style and humor. He got his way by quiet persistence, she with charm and cheek. They would never agree.

Father added: “I don’t drive the Nazis mad with fury.”

“Perhaps that’s because you don’t do them much harm.”

Father was irritated by her quick wit. His voice became louder. “And you think you damage them with jokes?”

“I mock them.”

“And that’s your substitute for argument.”

“I believe we need both.”

Father became angrier. “But, Maud, don’t you see how you’re putting yourself and your family at risk?”

“On the contrary. The real danger is not to mock the Nazis. What would life be like for our children if Germany became a Fascist state?”

This kind of talk made Carla feel queasy. She could not bear to hear that the family was in danger. Life must go on as it always had. She wished she could sit in this kitchen for an eternity of mornings, with her parents at opposite ends of the pine table, Ada at the counter, and her brother, Erik, thumping around upstairs, late again. Why should anything change?

She had listened to political talk every breakfast-time of her life and she thought she understood what her parents did, and how they planned to make Germany a better place for everyone. But lately they had begun to talk in a different way. They seemed to think that a terrible danger loomed, but Carla could not quite imagine what it was.

Father said: “God knows I’m doing everything I can to hold back Hitler and his mob.”

“And so am I. But, when you do it, you believe you’re following a sensible course.” Mother’s face hardened in resentment. “And when I do it I’m accused of putting the family at risk.”

“And with good reason,” said Father. The row was only just getting started, but at that moment Erik came down, clattering like a horse on the stairs, and lurched into the kitchen with his school satchel swinging from his shoulder. He was thirteen, two years older than Carla, and there were unsightly black hairs sprouting from his upper lip. When they were small, Carla and Erik had played together all the time; but those days were over, and since he had grown so tall he had pretended to think she was stupid and childish. In fact she was smarter than he, and knew about a lot of things he did not understand, such as women’s monthly cycles.

“What was that last tune you were playing?” he said to Mother.

The piano often woke them in the morning. It was a Steinway grand—inherited, like the house itself, from Father’s parents. Mother played in the morning because, she said, she was too busy the rest of the day and too tired in the evening. This morning she had performed a Mozart sonata, then a jazz tune. “It’s called ‘Tiger Rag,’” she told Erik. “Do you want some cheese?”

“Jazz is decadent,” Erik said.

“Don’t be silly.”

Ada handed Erik a plate of cheese and sliced sausage, and he began to shovel it in. Carla thought his manners were dreadful.

Father looked severe. “Who’s been teaching you this nonsense, Erik?”

“Hermann Braun says that jazz isn’t music, just Negroes making a noise.” Hermann was Erik’s best friend; his father was a member of the Nazi Party.

“Hermann should try to play it.” Father looked at Mother, and his face softened. She smiled at him. He went on: “Your mother tried to teach me ragtime, many years ago, but I couldn’t master the rhythm.”

Mother laughed. “It was like trying to get a giraffe to roller-skate.”

The fight was over, Carla saw with relief. She began to feel better. She took some black bread and dipped it in milk.

But now Erik wanted an argument. “Negroes are an inferior race,” he said defiantly.

“I doubt that,” Father said patiently. “If a Negro boy were brought up in a nice house full of books and paintings, and sent to an expensive school with good teachers, he might turn out to be smarter than you.”

“That’s ridiculous!” Erik protested.

Mother put in: “Don’t call your father ridiculous, you foolish boy.” Her tone was mild: she had used up her anger on Father. Now she just sounded wearily disappointed. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, and neither does Hermann Braun.”

Erik said: “But the Aryan race must be superior—we rule the world!”

“Your Nazi friends don’t know any history,” Father said. “The Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids when Germans were living in caves. Arabs ruled the world in the Middle Ages—the Muslims were doing algebra when German princes could not write their own names. It’s nothing to do with race.”

Carla frowned and said: “What is it to do with, then?”

Father looked at her fondly. “That’s a very good question, and you’re a bright girl to ask it.” She glowed with pleasure at his praise. “Civilizatio...

Revue de presse

“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

Détails sur le produit

En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Ken Follett, né au pays de Galles en 1949, compte parmi les plus grands auteurs de best-sellers et de thrillers d'espionnage (L'Arme à l'œil, Les Lions du Panshir, Le Réseau Corneille, Le Troisième Jumeau...), mais c'est avec ses romans historiques Les Piliers de la terre et Un monde sans fin qu'il a connu ses plus grands succès : vingt millions d'exemplaires vendus à travers le monde. Plusieurs de ses livres ont été adaptés au cinéma. Il vit à Stevenage, en Angleterre, avec son épouse. Son dernier roman, La Chute des Géants, premier volume d'une trilogie, est paru aux Éditions Robert Laffont en 2010.

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33 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great book but at 900 pages it's actually a bit too short 18 septembre 2012
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Winter of the World is an excellent successor to Fall of Giants. It is gripping and believable. It makes you wonder how you would have acted when history is happening around you and choices have to be made without the consequences known. My only wish is the book had been a bit longer, now with ebooks, I really don't care about the number of pages the book is.

The model is the same as the first book. The great events of the 20th century pass by and the impact and role of people in Russia, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States is described and followed. The same families as in the first book star, but now the book is more about the children, though their parents do play a role. Many historical characters act in the side line.

The book is fast-paced and takes you from the Reichstag fire to the Spanish Civil War, to the battle in Cable Street and then to various locations in the Second World War and the start of the cold war aftermath. It's not just history, there is plenty of love, laughter, loss, betrayal and a bit of sex here and there. Some of the plots of the previous book are carried on to this book. Not everyone gets the one they want and not every romance is a success. Specifically the illegitimate children of the first book that have varying roles to play in the new book and you constantly wonder about how their parentage will play a role.

All in all what I love about the books is that it constantly makes me wonder how I would have reacted in certain cases. What if I had been a Russian, what if I had been a Welsh miner, a German social democrat. It's easy enough now that we know the winners and losers, but when the choices are made not much is known. I also love the historical and pieces of trivia.
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8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Génialissime 18 octobre 2012
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A lire à tout prix.

Il convient de commencer par le tome 1, La chute des Géants (Fall of Giants) pour ne rien perdre au plaisir. Le tome 1 relatait la première guerre mondiale à travers les destins de plusieurs familles aux quatre coins du Globe. Dans ce tome on retrouve les mêmes personnages et leurs enfants, et à travers leurs aventures on revit la deuxième guerre mondiale, de la montée du nazisme au précurseurs de la guerre froide.

Génialissime, parce que l'on ingurgite plusieurs années de cours d'histoire, parce que l'on comprend finalement "comment on a peu en arriver là", comment Hitler a pu être élu, quelles sont les forces politiques en jeu, le tout sans jamais s'embêter une seule second. Le tout en lisant un roman d'amour et d'aventure. J'ai adoré le livre de bout en bout, mais je tire une révérence particulière à la lente et angoissante description de la montée du nazisme à Berlin. En effet dans le contexte de crise économique actuel, il est bon de se rappeler à quoi mènent les extremismes en tout genre.
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Le monde est décidément petit 12 juin 2013
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Ce roman faisant suite à "Fall of Giants" il faudrait mieux lire les deux dans l'ordre. On retrouve, donc, les personnages de FOG et surtout leurs enfants. Le roman est basé sur le principe que quelques familles vont participer dans tous les grands évènements de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale. En ce qui me concerne pour certains de ces évènements (mouvement fasciste britannique, par exemple) je n'avais que très peu de notions.
J'ai des réserves en ce qui concerne ce roman que j'ai beaucoup moins aimé que la série de Ken Follett sur le Moyen-Age.
Personnages: Quelques exemples: Là où on ressentait une certaine empathie avec Ethel Williams Leckwith , jeune gouvernante dans le premier tome ici n'est que stéréotype -- mère courage du parti travailliste . Les aristocrates anglais sont gâtés, insensibles aux autres, -- toujours des clichés. Même la jeune génération n'est pas assez approfondie.
Dialogues: Puisqu'il s'agit de familles très politisées, les conversations tournent autour des sujets politiques nationales et internationales et même des ados de 14 ans ont leur mot à dire -- c'est vrai que certains de ces ados sont plutôt précoces !! Ces dialogues servent très souvent à avancer les idées politiques de l'auteur -- donc artificiels. .
Intrigue: Comme j'ai dit plus haut, ce roman (comme le précédent) suit les personnages qui se trouvent sur place au moment de tous ces grands évènements -- l'incendie du Reichstag, l'attaque de Pearl Harbor, le projet Manhattan (bombe atomique) etc.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Not his best. 11 octobre 2013
Par Alfred
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
There were too many characters. It was too predictable and the coincidences were too far fetched. A melange of every possible war time situation.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 7 janvier 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
It's the Ken Follett trilogy, absolutely brilliant!
The saga continues from the fall of giants and I couldn't put the book down. A must!
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Une déception 29 novembre 2012
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Très décevant par rapport à The Fall of Giants. Ici la grande histoire est trop souvent vue par le petit bout de la lorgnette.Quelques partis pris aussi un peu trop visibles.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 informative
Not light reading by any means, but something everyone should read.
it gives the inside story into and during the second world war. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 5 jours par wendy reed
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must
If you read book one (see my comment underthat title) , you'll automatically feel compelled to read book 2. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 8 jours par Amadea Lorenza
5.0 étoiles sur 5 un plaisir
à lire pendant vos vacances. C'est énorme mais c'est fascinant. Aussi bien que la 1ère partie "fall of giants". Lire la suite
Publié il y a 1 mois par Denise Ghesquiere
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Winter of the world
The story line a bit far fetched at times but still very enjoyable .Can't wait to start the third book.
Publié il y a 3 mois par HARVEY berno
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Pas une seule fois les 6 millions de juifs gazés à...
Je ne comprends pas que Ken Follett qui s'est fait aider par des historiens a "omis" de consacrer plusieurs chapitres au cours de ce deuxième tome aux six millions... Lire la suite
Publié il y a 5 mois par REINGWITZ
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Deuxième épisode d'une trilogie passionnante
Des êtres humains pris dans la tourmente de l'Histoire. Des êtres humains face à la folie des idéologies. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 6 mois par Antonio Donadio
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Une saga extraordinaire
L'incroyable quantité de personnages oblige le lecteur à se reporter en permanence au lexique, ce qui en ralentit la lecture de l'ouvrage...mais quel suspens !
Publié il y a 6 mois par irad
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellente suite
Très bon livre et on prend plaisir à lire la suite des aventures des personnages rencontrés dans le 1er volet Fall of Giant. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 7 mois par irwin_a
4.0 étoiles sur 5 I learned a lot
As usual with Ken Follet his characters are easy to relate to. You find yourself wanting to know what's going to happen to them next and caring. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 7 mois par Andy Tooms
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent !
This is the perfect continuation of Fall of Giants. I can't wait to read part 3 of the Century Trilogy!
Publié il y a 7 mois par Hugo
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