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!
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.
Narrative makes the world go round.
Riveting storytelling of mostly well-balanced history, especially the parts that educate about the Holocaust. We learn best in narratives, and the soap opera elements enhance our learning here -- I found the personal stories a bit "soapier" than in Winds of War and some of the didactic parts not as well-integrated into the storyline - but I would not have Wouk change even one plot element. While it's not high art, it is the best in old fashioned story telling. As someone mostly interested in social history from a Commonwealth viewpoint, I never thought I'd find myself interested in the American involvement in the WWII Pacific theatre - but it was difficult to hit pause even for those parts.
I tried to save this listen for the holidays, but after devouring the Winds of War, I waited impatiently for this release, and then I couldn't postpone the listen. Another reason why audiobooks matter - making titles like this widely available and promoted.
Absolutely. It was a remarkable story brought to life by an amazing narrator. It seemed at the same time unhurried but relentless. This must be listened to after "Winds of War" so together it is a 100+ hour commitment, but it was tremendous. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about WWII and I learned a great deal about the conflict through that most ancient of human skills: storytelling. I look forward to listening to it again.
The way the narrative shifted between the different viewpoints - from a "God's Eye" view of the progress of the war to the more myopic German perspective to the personal American and Jewish experience. In hindsight it really is the only way to tell such a grand and terrible story.
His command of accents and cadence is amazing. He was always clear and easy to understand but it really put you in the thick of the action.
Listen to this book. It is well worth your time. In this age where we are losing 1000's of WWII vets every day this is perhaps one of the best ways to connect to that time.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
Herman Wouk and Kevin Pariseau are simply an unbeatable combo. They combined to make this the best listening experience I've had in my five years with Audible.
I must add that you need to read Winds of War first, as that is part one of the story/history. I chose to read these books in my ongoing attempt to try to comprehend how a monster such as Hitler could have arisen and caused so much carnage. I shutter to think that if I or my family lived in Europe during his reign, we would likely have been eradicated, too. I previously read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I hoped that reading Wouk's books would give me a different perspective on how individual lives were affected.
Wouk's characters were wonderfully developed and acted in believable ways. I really cared what happened to them. I enjoyed how he interwove the individual stories, particularly the way he quoted from books purported to be written at the time (Von Roon and Jastro.) While this is considered historical fiction, the historical parts are true to what happened with most of the major players in the war. This is all explained by the author after the ending of the book.
Kevin Pariseau surpassed anything I have experienced from a narrator. I could immediately tell which character was speaking and it seemed, he never slipped up. He added so much to the telling of this story. I never felt the book lagged or slowed down. I savored every moment of this listening experience.
I would highly recommend this book (and Winds of War) to all readers, even if you think a war story is not your cup of tea. I keep hoping that the more we know of our world's history, the less chance we have of repeating our most egregious mistakes.
Fast approaching retirement as a life long oncology nurse. I love family more than anything. I enjoy reading (audio only), movies, travels, paper crafting, photography, gardening and just being alive.
Excellent book and story. Excellent narrator. Great character development. I love historical fiction and can't wait to read Herman Wouk's next book. I enjoyed the story and I learned so much at the same time. What a treat!
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.
I love a good story and being able to broaden my literary horizons especially while I do my day to day mundane functions.
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 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!!!