Working mom (HRMgr/healthcare) in western Michigan. INTJ. Red Vines. Disneyfreak.
I was amazed at how the characters came to life. Very vivid. Some of the plotlines felt a bit predictable, but I thoroughly loved the phrasing and pace.
I absolutely loved the technique of describing the pre-war scenario from the German perspective through one character's translation of a German military officer's memoirs. This book gives a sweeping view of the time just before WW II from so many perspectives. I feel as though I learned so much about such a large part of history in a very exciting way.
Pug Henry is a wonderful character. He is written as a classic military man, but having come from a military family myself, it didn't feel unrealistic. People like this really exist, and they are a big part of the American story.
Hearing this story made me appreciate the 'smallness' of the stresses in my everyday life. I am so thankful that I do not have the same life and death issues of this story or of wartime in general.
The story made me appreciate modern day communications as well!
I can't wait to hear the 'rest of the story'!! (War and Remembrance)
Herman Wouk has now endeared me to his style of writing. History comes alive in this tomb and I enjoyed each character and felt as if I was there with them in their ups and downs while WWII was playing out in a behind the scenes fashion. With this tale, I fully understand and have unpacked the why's of the German, Russian and Japanese governments actions before and at the start of the war, thus the reason why I appreciate historical fiction. I whole heartedly endorse this work and will enjoy, I'm sure, the second half! Big fan of Herman Wouk Now!
I made it about half way through the book before giving up. I was disappointed with the character development, particularly the females who are cast as flighty, self-absorbed and irresponsible. The young men in the story didn't fare much better, and came across as immature and either reckless, indecisive or cowardly. Perhaps it's a reflection of the mindset of the 70's or simply my own opinion, but the story could have been much richer had those supporting characters played more significant roles earlier in the book. As it was, it felt all too much like a made for TV soap opera mini series, which of course it did become in the 80's.
Since I didn't finish the book, perhaps the characters all matured and made significant contributions to the war in the end. The writing itself was fine and the historical context was satisfying. I learned a lot about the impact of the war upon central Europe, and perhaps at some point I'll return to finish the book for that reason alone. But for now, there are other historical novels such as Ken Follet's Century Trilogy that are more satisfying.
The story was appropriately centered in history without being so mired in the details that the story and character development suffered.
My favorite character was Byron because he struggled to be his own person in the midst of a war and family that required walking the line.
His various accents for the characters really brought them to life.
Yes, it was like listening to a movie.
The love affair in Warsaw.
It was a wonderful story and so well read, he did each character with a different accent.
I had read the books several years ago. The books were fantastic and the audio made it even better.
At this stage in my life, Pug. The age and family life.
Recommend with no reservations.
The story itself, and the fact it is so detailed and read with so animated voice, a joy
The characters came to be living breathing individuals
I listen audiobooks while doing crafts, and with this book it has been a joy!
Say something about yourself!
I wish this book was available by another narrator. I am intrigued by the story but will probably have to give up on it because I am increasingly distracted and annoyed by the choppy cadence of the reader. He pauses after every second or third word, regardless of whether the pause makes sense syntactically. It sounds pretentious and overdone, and I find myself getting extremely impatient for him just to "spit it out!" I would increase the narration speed, but the reader only uses this tortured, choppy pace when he is doing the descriptive narration parts, not when he speaks in character. So if I tick the speed up to 1.5x, I miss important parts of the dialog.
I would encourage listeners to spend some time listening to a sample before they buy this book.
I loved Kevin Pariseau's extraordinary reading. Every character came alive - and he had no shortage of characters and accents to portray. Yes, the story was engrossing and this is Wouk's Great American Novel, but he couldn't have asked for a better reader. Pariseau is among the top two or three readers I've enjoyed listening to in more than 30 years of listening to audio books. He's a brilliant talent.
Several characters being caught in Poland and barely escaping during the German invasion.
See above, but it's a long book.
Just another endorsement for Pariseau. With all due respect to Herman Wouk's fine writing, Pariseau makes the story so enjoyable for the listener. The producer(s) were smart in finding the right actor because the wrong person reading such a long work would have been potentially disastrous.
Absolutely! The book is historically accurate. The characters are believable. And the narrator is outstanding.
Pug Henry. He is a great foil for characters with more dynamic and colorful personalities.
Everything! His ability to speak multiple languages, change voices, and make you think you were listening to a radio show was truly amazing.
Talky Tudsberry. He was a comical but believable Brit.