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Winter: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945

Narrated by: James Lailey
Series: Bernard Samson, Book 0
Length: 24 hrs and 55 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Epic prelude to the classic spy trilogy Game, Set and Match that follows the fortunes of a German dynasty during two world wars.

Winter takes us into a large and complex family drama, into the lives of two German brothers - both born close upon the turn of the century, both so caught up in the currents of history that their story is one with the story of their country, from the Kaiser's heyday through Hitler's rise and fall.

A novel that rings powerfully true, a rich and remarkable portrait of Germany in the first half of the 20th century.

In his portrait of a Berlin family during the turbulent years of the first half of the century, Len Deighton has created a compelling study of the rise of Nazi Germany. With its meticulous research, rich detail and brilliantly drawn cast of characters, Winter is a superbly realized achievement.

©2016 Len Deighton (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Deighton's research and plotting are as surefooted as ever, while the pace and tension leave one almost breathless. A frightening yet compelling novel." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"A monumental work...brilliantly executed." ( Daily Telegraph)
"Deighton's most ambitious and subtle book to date, an epic fiction." ( Evening Standard)
"Deighton brilliantly depicts the evolution of Hitler's regime through telling detail." ( Today)

What listeners say about Winter: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book by favourite author

Had read the book 20 years ago and found this audiobook even better - very well performed.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-03-2019

Decent

I appreciate what the author was trying to do here, but the end result was a slower and somewhay dull story. Len's other books are excellent, but this one falls a little short. A good book though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joshua R. Powell
  • 21-04-2020

One of Deighton’s best.

If you read all of the Bernard Sampson and still want more. This is it.

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  • Mimihill76
  • 23-01-2020

I had forgotten just how much I love this book

This book has been sitting on my bookshelf since 1987 when I first read it. I remember that I was spellbound by it at the time. So, more than thirty years later, I decided to listen to it on audible. It was just as thrilling and engaging as the first time but even more so because of the amazing narration by the talented James Lailey! I think this is one of Len Deighton’s most compelling novels and now I’m ready to reread all of his master spy, Bernard Sampson books.

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  • Roan Chapin
  • 03-01-2020

Winter - how everyday people go wrong

Excellent on it's own or as part of Deighton's Bernard Sampson triple trilogy. Great narrator and superb author.

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  • Paul D
  • 14-06-2016

Wonderful book

It is not always a good idea to revisit books read long ago and I have had many disappointments Not so with this, read it 30 years ago and it is just as good, if not better than I remember. It stands as a family saga and as a historical account of Germany spanning the two wars. Still relevant today and rather worrying to see the similarities between the rise of Nazi Germany and a certain Republican presidential candidate in the US.
A masterful storyteller, the equal of La Carre, and I will be revisiting the Bernard Samson novels next

7 people found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 15-10-2016

Good overall

I thought the story was a little slow in parts but overall a good account of life between WW1 & WW2 for the Winter family. I will definitely be listening to more Len Deighton novels.

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  • S.M O'Neill
  • 08-06-2016

Wunderbar!

Cracking historical read charting the rise of the Winter brothers against the turmoil of Germany's recent past. First of the Sansom novels. Lailey's reading is excellent.

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  • Mr. Stephen Valente
  • 15-05-2016

Epic German family saga

Read this book when first published, and never been back to the story since. A truly epic portrait of a German family in the war torn political hotbed that was Europe in the first half of the 20th century.

Wish I'd managed to listen to this before the Samson trilogy of trilogies, but it was good picking out the common characters between the two tales.

The only criticism I would have is the rate at which the story seemed to move in the second half of the time period. Seemed a little quick at times, but then it could have made the book more plodding, so it didn't detract from my enjoyment.

Shame it had to end.

2 people found this helpful

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  • EJS
  • 08-07-2016

Enjoyable, but unnecessarily long

Where does Winter: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A good listen, but not as gripping as I had hoped, not quite the epic I was expecting. It was really interesting and I was listening to it during the build up to the EU referendum and beyond. Some rather salient comparisons at times.....

Would you listen to another book narrated by James Lailey?

James Lailey was a good narrator, but (and it's quite a big but) I really did not like his use of British accent variation - west country and west midlands to try and depict different parts of Germany/Austria. Really?!

Any additional comments?

I will try other Len Deighton for sure. A good story-teller.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Patricia H. Keane
  • 25-03-2016

Excellent historical story

What made the experience of listening to Winter: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945 the most enjoyable?

Well read and interesting story set in historical background

What other book might you compare Winter: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945 to, and why?

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk. A family story on a background of war. Well written and well read.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

It was enjoyable throughout.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Recommend to others

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 24-03-2016

absolutely superb !!

the story is enthralling. the characters feel real and the reader is spellbinding thank you

1 person found this helpful

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  • APat
  • 18-03-2016

Sets the scene

it's hard to know whether it is better to read this book before or after all the other Berlin related Len Weight in novels - I read it after and thoroughly enjoyed the way it intrigued all my old favourite characters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Che
  • 04-03-2016

Wow best 1900s saga ever written

If you are about to go find a story from a German ish perspective of the 1st 1/2 of the last century then look no further.. Very touching, and thought provoking look on two wars and how pointing the finger saying it's someone else's fault that the nation is in the trouble it is often leads to genocide.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DavidJones
  • 22-09-2020

Superb

I originally read this years ago and now intend to listen to all the Bernard Samson novels in order again. Winter is the prequel to these spy novels. If you love 20th Century history, then this is a book you’ll love. Deighton is a master storyteller.