This sprawling epic follows a group of fictional characters - a family - through a painstakingly researched recreation of the events leading up to the Second World War, in Winds of War, the first volume, and up through the end of the war in the second volume, War and Remembrance. The historical sequence, the actions of world leaders, and the events of the war are detailed and factual, but the main characters and their places in those events are fictional. It's a brilliant device to bring the history we think we know to life, and grounds momentous events in the humanity of individuals trying to cope with the total upheaval of a worldwide conflict and the unimaginable horror of events like the rise of Hitler, the Pearl Harbor attack, the Atomic Bomb, and the Holocaust.
The Audible production is truly a masterful interpretation of a masterwork, primarily due to the monumental work of Kevin Pariseau. He handles a huge cast of characters, with a m??lange of accents - Russian, British, German, Yiddish, Italian, French, several American dialects, and more - with convincing ease, but it was the singing as multiple characters that put the icing on it for me. When Udom sang to the crowd at Theresienstadt before being sent off on the train to Auschwitz, it tore my heart out.
I read these books to gain a deeper grasp of my father's generation, of the sacrifices they made, and of the events that shaped their world view. I came away with so much more than that. My faith in humanity was restored.
What can I say? By the end of this, I'd spent over a hundred hours with the Henrys and the Jastrows. It's quite a commitment, but I had to stop myself from going back and starting again - an impulse I've only had with Bryce Courtnay's Potato Factory epic saga. I thought I knew a lot about the second World War, but I didn't realize how much there was going on in the Pacific. This brought that epoch vividly to life and, although I wouldn't say I enjoy military history, I did here woven as it is into historical fiction. I believe this book came out in the late 70's and all in all, I think, it's held up rather well. Some of the female characters struck me as sterotypical, but others (Natalie particularly) were fully developed and I rooted for her all the way until the last page. Bravo!
In "The Winds of War", Herman Wouk set the storyline and developed the characters for this most excellent follow-on book. The two book series runs ~100 hours of listening - an incredible amount of time to spend listening to one person. I never really thought about the narrator, Kevin Pariseau, as I listened hour after hour (and I've listened to the books twice!). His reading and character portrail is wonderful.
You will learn plenty of real history thru the lives of these fictional characters and enjoy it much more than reading history books. Seen from the perspective of individuals living during WWII, this book helps the reader to experience the emotion of the time as well as understand, as much as possible, the big picture too.
Live WWII thru the eyes of naval officers, military wives, Jewish men and women - from the high points of their lives (marriages, children being born, financial success) to emotional and/or traumatic lows (divorce, death, life in Jewish concentration camps). This book is compelling from the breadth of historical detail and the very real characters with whom you will share both joy and sorrow.
If you are looking for WWII historical fiction - it doesn't get any better than this!
A writer and journalist living in the great Pacific Northwest
I recommend this to anyone and everyone. The novel, combined with The Winds of War, is Herman Wouk's masterpiece. And Kevin Pariseau's narration is outstanding in every way. Th work and artistry he puts into every character is masterful.
You must look at the two epic novels together. Winds of War starts the story of the Henry family through the lead-in to World War II up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and War and Remembrance takes them through the entirety of the war and even hints at their life after the war.
I loved the way he characterizes FDR, with the jaunty lilt we've come to expect from Roosevelt on screen.
Since this book comes in seven parts, I doubt anyone can sit that long willingly. But it does inspire you to spend long, relaxing hours listening, and makes you want to sneak in a few minutes whenever you can.
Because iIt is not only good, but entertaining, also I learned a lot about World War II history. The author is great; however the best of all was the reader. He is an artist. He made the book alive. I just love it.
Everything, the plor, the characters, the history lessons, but most of all, the reader.
Henry the father
I think the name is OK
Is it superb
I love books and now with Audible I can enjoy books on the go. I like to listen while walking my golden retriever Karma.
If your a world war II history fan this book is for you. Its chalk full of all kinds of great history and the author ties in the real with the fictitious with the skill of a chess grand master. The narration is spot on and really brings Wouks masterpiece to life. This Book is Epic in scope and for just one credit well worth your time.
I'm a keen, if eclectic, reader.
I still feel a loss having finished Winds of War and War and Remembrance. I long to hear more about the Henry family.
This book is simply wonderful.
For more details, you can read the many, many other reviews here.
Telecommuter living outside of San Francisco, CA. I listen to books while walking my dog, quilting, and doing chores around the house.
This is a classic novel. Love the author and his careful research on the treatment of Jews during WWII.
Yes, but it's a long one!
i love reading historical novels, and family sagas. I'm a nurse manager, and a marriage celebrant and adore my family!!!
This book was enthralling, riveting and had me totally absorbed.
The detail was excellent, I learned a lot. I felt very involved with the family and had lots of discussions with family and friends regarding the story. I walked many kilometres walking and walking and listening and listening!!!
Loved it all.
I was devastated when it finished, but delighted to find the sequel!!!
I love history,I am into genealogy, my iPod is my constant companion. Favorite authors...D. Gabaldon, N. DeMille, K. Follett, E. Rutherfurd
Kevin Pariseau again is outstanding in his narration. I am old enough to vaguely remember WWII. I remember seeing newsreels of prisoners being shot, pictures of the concentration camps. I now feel like I have been there. By the time you are finished reading (listening) to this book each character is a person you know well, I read the hard cover of this book years ago and loved it, but the audio version is so superior. After 50 some hours later of listening, I was very sad to have it end and actually went back several chapters and listened again.