This was a great story for me. I've always wondered about the U.S. actions after Germany invaded Poland, but before Normandy. This book does a wonderful job of using historical fiction to explain our involvement and the progression of our actions to full war.
Pug's first hand dealings with FDR. Wouk goes far to try and represent Roosevelt as a full person, not just a Presidential figure.
Yes - Pariseau is a real pro and does an INCREDIBLE job here. He has to represent a father and two sons of the Henry family, such that each has a distinct personality, but have family traits. Pariseau also portrays Hitler, FDR, Churchill, etc., all with real personalization.
A very long but enjoyable book.
The story, learning details about WWII and all the players that wasn't taught in school. Interesting characters that get you hooked. I immediately bought the sequel, War and Remembrance.
The way historical figures are brought to life eg: Meeting Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, etc.
His diction was precise and easy to understand. However, I didn't find him riveting as I did other narrators (Eduardo Ballerini, Michael Beck, Davina Porter). He was better than adequate but his mispronunciation of some naval words bugged me - "forecastle" instead of the widely used "foke'sol". Overall, I'd recommend him but he wasn't the best at clearly delineating the characters so you'd know immediately who was speaking.
Despite the small drawback of Kevin Pariseau's slightly lackluster narration, I really enjoyed the book and look forward to War and Remembrance.
This is the first book I have finished that was over 40 hours in length.
I feel like I deserve a medal.
I didn't particularly enjoy it. I wouldn't read it again. And, I would only recommend it with a few cautions.
As a "history" of events leading up World War II, and the main players involved, it was admirable; About as entertaining as you can expect from an historical fiction.
That said, I didn't like any of the characters. For a forty-five hour book, I felt that they were shallow caricatures only serving to move the narrative. The dialogue was realistic and kept the story together, but the people were flat. A moment (any moment) of humor would have been like a ray of sunshine in an otherwise drab world!
The thing that really put me over the edge however, was the "cliff-hanger" ending (if you can call it that) leaving the reader only half way through the story. Imagine my surprise to find that another 45 hour book is needed to explain the rest of this story.
No, I am not going to read the next book because I don't care what happens to any of the characters involved.
This is a very long story that follows the fortunes of a family caught up in the tumult of the Second World War. Through the character of Captain Victor Henry (United States Navy) the reader is introduced to the likes of Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. The story offers some unique and fascinating insights into the strategic perspectives of the Second World War and indicates how close Hitler came to achieving his vision of a german european empire. At times the story moves at glacial pace and I feel spends far too much time on the small details. It could be half as long and still achieve its aim. You must be prepared to spend a lot of time listening. The narration is excellent. The scene of the SS officer trying to weed out the american jews is like a scene from the movie 'inglorious bastards", full of suspense and rivetting.
My only problem is with the American women. Why are they made out to be so shallow? I seem to find that in a lot of books ( Vince Flynn for e.g.) extremely annoying. It makes me wonder why the strong men have these women in tow. Is it to make them look good? Do they really need this?
Apart from that the book was excellent.
If I didn't have Audiobooks, I would never get on a treadmill or clean my house. Also, my best weapon for fighting road rage in mad traffic.
Yes. But in all honesty, I didn't read it in print. I consider all fiction, and most non-fiction, to be better as an audiobook, especially the long ones such as this one. This book is quite meaty, and I would never have finished the print version.
Victor "Pug" Henry is a very well developed character - not flawless, but indeed noble, honorable, straightforward, honest about his disappointments and frustrations, entirely human.
FDR, so he could make sure my martini was perfect, or Byron Henry, so I could talk him into finding a better woman than Natalie Jastrow.
If you love historical novels, especially if you saw and enjoyed the miniseries with Robert Mitchum, this one is worth a listen. Hearing historical data told in the context of a story helped me to understand the events leading up to the WWII. And the Henry family is endearing, especially the patriarch, Pug Henry.
If, however, historical novels are not your thing, I doubt this version will not make you fall in love with the genre. It's good, I might even say really good, but not great.
Semi-retired labor and delivery nurse, wife, mother and grandmother of 10. Love to read for pleasure. B&B owner in the Texas Hill Country.
If it weren't for the historical parts narrated by a Nazi that contained actual facts it would've been a total loss. I did learn that of the 20 million lives lost in WWII only 300,000 were US soldiers. That surprised me. BUT I couldn't help but feel like I was listening to a 1950's movie starring Kirk Douglas. Shallow, uninteresting characters.
Very nice narration. Would like to hear him again.
Asked and answered.
The writing seemed good, and the characters were interesting, as far as I could tell. It was difficult, though, trying to recognize any of that, filtered as it was through Mr. Pariseau's unbelievably limited range of expression. Every single sentence followed the same tone pattern, kind of like listening to newscasters on BBC, but more snide. There was little, if any, differentiation between the voices of the many different characters. The reading voice quickly became incredibly distracting as I was constantly dreading yet another repeat of the same tone pattern and quality, and after a few hours of listening, I had to give it up. Maybe I'll pick up a hard copy, since the book seemed to have some promise.
Not if they are expecting writing like Ken Follett or Tom Clancy.
He seemed to drone on at times and wasn't very expressive in tone. The main character, a conservative and analytically person, was consistently read as a monotone robot.
This is a fine book but if you are interested in epics I'd say there are better ones. I had a hard time staying with it because it dragged on with little plot or character development at times.
I live on a ranch with my family and lots of animals. I love audiobooks because I can "read" while I quilt, knit, embroider, etc.
It is a richly told story with well-rounded characters.
The description of the attack on Pearl Harbor--the moment when Pug Henry flies over the harbor and sees the destruction.
I like his performance of Pug.
I would like to take Pamela Tudsbury out to dinner. She was the most level-headed of the female characters and she would have interesting stories to tell.