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.
I listened to this very long book whilst making a quilt. I was half living in WW2 all this time. The atmosphere and informative nature of the book kept me involved. I learned heaps about events and the issues America faced regarding getting into the war. I also liked the military accounts cleverly written by a war criminal whilst serving his sentence after Nurenburg with translators comments attached.
I did not however care for most of the characters. There is a definite mysogynistic quality in the portrayal of the women whilst the men are (almost) all brave and resourceful. The book was written in the seventies which perhaps accounts for the use of terms like "yellow race" etc. as well as a distinctly moralistic attitude to sex.
For all that though I learned a lot from the book and got a lot of quilting done!
Good way to learn details of the 2nd world war but I found it a bit dry and ponderous. I prefer Ken Follet's account, which gripped me fully from start to finish.
I read this book and its sequel many years ago, and was so impressed then. It should be a classic. But the narration by Kevin Pariseau is stunning. He does various foreign accents: English, German, Italian, Russian, Polish, even different American accents. He even sings when the story quotes songs. His doesn't narrate this story, he PERFORMS the story. It truly comes alive.
Well written & narrated. I have learned more about what led up to our involvement in WWII even after reading The Rise & Fall of theThird Reich!
Pug Henry. Because of his cool observation & assesment of people & events.
By far, this was my favorite listen on Audible. Such a great story that I couldn't wait to listen to more.
Pillars of the Earth- both give a great story about fascinating times and processes. You fall in love with the characters.
My favorite character was Victor Henry- he was a somewhat ordinary man living in extraordinary times. His sense of loyalty and love of his country and family made me just want to hear more about him.
It took me almost two weeks to get through the book and that is listening for 3 hours a day. You definitely don't want to put this title down but it does take a little bit of patience to get through.
I love historical fiction when its done well. Done well to me means the social and political period is layed out and experienced through the life stories of actual people. There are several points of view in this third person narration and their stories are engaging and thoughtful.
The performance is one of the best I have heard yet. This art of performing books is a fine and subtle one. Too much and the story is cartoonish and painful, not enough and its a droning bore. This one is perfect.