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.
In the past month, I have waded through both Winds of War and War and Remembrance. I suppose preferences for narrators are highly personal, but I cannot understand any of the objections to Kevin Pariseau. I found his work delightful, with particular regard for the voice he assigns Pug Henry. With dozens of voices in an epic of this magnitude, Pariseau makes each character recognizably new.
The quality of Wouk's fiction is unimpeachable. The epilogue clarifies historical points and the specific points at which the fiction digresses from history. Within the genre of historical fiction, this work commands both respect and engagement of the reader.
This book, and the first, are enthralling works of literature - each character, each story line, each word - simply outstanding. The performer is as magnificent as the writer. Worth every minute.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
I've already written a review of the Winds of War, the first half of this marathon two-part historical drama. War and Remembrance picks up right where that one left off, shortly after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Now, the US is fully in the Second World War, and Victor, Warren, and Byron all see action in the Pacific. Meanwhile, Byron's Jewish wife, Natalie, is trapped in fascist Italy, where a series of misjudgements and bureaucratic tangles have blocked the escape of her and her uncle. And there are a few other dramas, involving characters we'd met before, such as Leslie Slote and Pamela Tudsbury.
As in the previous book, Wouk masterfully illustrates how the war unfolded and how it looked to the Allies, with the much-pounded British grasping the full urgency of the situation while America was only beginning to get into gear. His overview of the politics and fighting takes into account the bumbling mistakes made by both sides, and the many opportunities the Axis powers had to achieve some devastating victories, on top of those they'd already had over the dithering Allies. If Wouk's narrative is to be believed, the fate of nations can turn on a single faulty report from a scout plane or a lucky accident of timing.
Compared to the first book, there are more scenes of battle and combat, which are well-written. There’s a subplot concerning the development of the atomic bomb, involving Rhoda’s lover, Palmer Kirby. We can see the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union on the horizon. There’s more from the fictional German general, Armin von Ruhn, whose cerebral apologism for fascism becomes ever more disquieting, considering that his views don’t seem all that far off from those held by present-day right-wing groups, though his analysis of the war remains compelling. And there’s a subplot that exposes the horrors of the Holocaust, through both the eyes of a Jewish character interned in Auschwitz and the chillingly mechanical viewpoint of the camp’s commandant.
If the plot turns are a little more soap opera-like, with the main characters getting into drawn-out dramas and crossing paths strangely often, they’re still absorbing. Through the storyline involving Natalie, her uncle, Aaron, and her friend Leslie, it becomes easy to see how Holocaust denial paralyzed much of the civilized world, which wanted to believe that the terrible stories were mostly just propaganda by people with an agenda (I couldn’t help but think of climate change deniers). The two Jews, as they struggle to find an out, get ever more inexorably trapped in the Nazi web, ending up in the sham showcase ghetto of Theresienstadt, and these desperate scenes are gripping.
Both this novel and the Winds of War should really be thought of as one long work, though not everyone will want to power straight through both of them in sequence, as I did. As before, my compliments to Kevin Pariseau for his spoken performance. When I at last reached the final page, while biking along a lake in Massachusetts, I felt that I’d completed a real journey across eight profoundly world-changing years of history. Through the sheer scale, vision, energy, investment in storytelling, and deeper truth-seeking of his drama, Wouk has left a work for the ages.
I've been listening to audio books for well over twenty years (even before audible was available). Secretly, I wish I could be a narrator.
This is an outstanding fictional work of history, and the author did an exceptional job making history come alive. My only criticism was the narrator's pronunciation of "forecastle"; having served in the Navy it's pronounced "folk-sal". This comes from the British English pronunciation.
This incredibly long epic takes Pug Henry and his family through WW II and follows the prequel, Winds of War. Parts of this story were riveting and fascinating, other parts dragged along painfully. Wouk describes the events of the holocaust in pretty graphic detail, a painful reminder of the horrors of WW II and Hitler's regime. The stark contrast between the factual aspects of the retelling of the events surrounding the war through the eyes of this fictional family and their pretty petty personal lives made the story a bit disconnected for me.
This story may be easier to read than listen to...
War and Remembrance is a story that follows a family as they fight through the second world war. On its own the story is riveting and an emotional experience. We squirm for Natalie and her uncle, all the while feeling we know their fate, yet hoping for them to make better decisions. Victor Henry is at the same time, a caricature of the classic WWII war commander and a conflicted man.
If you are looking for a combat book, move on. This is a character study. We are examining people and their experiences in the midst of world turmoil. World events are discussed and battles are featured, but our heroes are studied as people dealing with and surviving a world at war.
The personal conflicts and sexual affairs surrounding the Henry family seem almost modern yet are cast in a bygone era. Almost in contrast are the Jastrows, whose conflicts and troubles are far more serious life and death issues. The variety of minor characters and situations are equally engaging.
As the story progresses, Wouk makes certain we are current with the events surrounding the story. He breaks into the fiction with factual historical information from perspectives of both sides of the war, American Victor Henry's and the fictional Nazi General, Armin von Roon.
Perhaps most interesting to me is Wouk's handling of the Jewish plight in Nazi Germany. Through the use of several characters, Wouk is able to demonstrate their sufferings and their delusions. As a relative, of a survivor, it rang true to my understandings of those times. Shocking and educational.
If the story has a weakness it is the Pacific and African theaters. While Wouk does visit these area of the world, the stories there are thin. However, this is more than compensated for by the richness of the European stories.
Had this story not been as compelling as it was, it would still have been a pleasant listen as the narrator, Kevin Pariseau, is incredible. His performance is nearly indescribable. He reads effortlessly in a wide variety of accents, all of which he seems to do very well, and performs female parts convincingly. The latter is no easy task and many an audible book has become humorous when the narrator over-acts or badly reads the role of the opposite sex. However, this is not the case for Pariseau, his performance is flawless. I would listen to him read the newspaper if he happened to.
I highly recommend this book.
This second and final book in Wouk's series is easily as engrossing and mesmerizing as the first. With detailed character development, some twists you expect, others you don't, it was hard to stop listening. There is so much that has already been said about this novel that I doubt I could add anything of value. What I would like to comment on is the narration. I think I'd enjoy listening to Kevin Pariseau read the phone book. This was by far the best narration in an audiobook I have ever heard. The voices he used for each of the characters was magnificent without ever becoming cheesy and how he kept track of all them and kept them separate, I have no idea. His narration helps the listener fall into an ease of experience as if you were actually there talking to and interacting with characters heroic and villainous alike. I truly have never been more impressed with an audiobook performance and could not rate this story or narration as high as it deserves. Simply outstanding.