“Winter of the world” and “Edge of eternity”, by Ken Follet

I know it has been a really long time without publishing anything in the blog, but I plan to ammend it. As you can imagine, in this time I have read many books (and not so many papers as I should).

I would want to start reviewing the two thickest books I’ve read, from the Century trilogy from Ken Follet. If the “Fall of giants” was about the World War I, this new two books are about the World War II and the Cold War respectively.

The Winter of the World continues with the second generation of the families of the first book. We all can imagine how hard could have been the times around the WWII, but in this case you feel that you have an insight in the most important events of the time: the Blitz in London, the Nazi regime, the Manhattan project… I really liked that in the book one of the characters lives really near to where I leave right now, and in the book Ken Follet talks about the Battle of Cable Street. In East London there was a big jewish community, and the fascist wanted to come by. There was a big anti-fascist movement that tried to stop them, and clashed with the police. It seems that this part of London has been traditionally a place for immigrants, since nowadays it is a Borough with a majority of Bangladeshi.

I didn’t really liked as much the last book, Edge of Eternity. There is much more emphasis in the love story between the characters than in the history happening behind. As in the previous books, we follow the same family through the Cold War with the Cuban Missils and the Berlin Wall, the Civil Rights movement with Martin Luther King, and also the rock scene.

In summary, about the trilogy I can say that I have learned a lot, since I was born nearly at the end of the last book, and although at school I have studied most of the events, it is a good way to refresh what you know and to learn new things. Also the fact that in Spain during that time something else was happening (our Civil War and the following dictatorship) has made it more difficult for me to be informed about everything else in the world.

“The fall of giants” by Ken Follett

In the Bethnal Green library, I saw this book that a friend of mine has recommended. At the beginning I was scared by the dimensions, since as a non-English speaker, to attack this book was a great challenge. After a few pages, I got involved into the story, and I forgot that I was reading in another language.

Like the other books of Ken Follet, the story is really powerful, with different characters that tell their own point of view, to finally learn that all of them are related to each other. It’s a book about the first World War, about how it started, how it affected to some of the countries involved, and how it ended. Mixing fiction with historical events makes it easier to get an overview of how was this period of time.

It’s a good written book, along the same lines of Pillars of the Earth or A World Without End. This is the first time I’ve read something of Ken Follett in English, and I appreciated the use of the language. I will try to find the second book of the series in the library to know how it continues, and to revise the horrible period of World War II.