loved the history brought to life, hated the inhumanity of the Nazis. the fictional story is compelling, the lessons learned from the behavior of average German citizens are cautionary for us all.
I loved the format of the faux translation to tell the German perspective and the storyline to tell the American and English perspective.
I followed up "The Winds of War" with "War & Remembrance". The first installment is better, but this is still a great listen. Some of the scenes from the Nazi concentration camps are very disturbing mostly because they are true and it's hard for most people to fathom how anyone can treat another human in such an inhuman way, though the Jews are still persecuted to this day. The history in the book is terrific, though there is great detail on some aspects of the war and little on others. The Henry family makes learning about WWII enjoyable and I recommend it to all. It will stoke your desire to learn more about the events of WWII.
Kevin Pariseau is a fantastic narrator, performing both male as well as female parts equally will, drawing the reader in
My dream job would be reading for a living...
Just like the first book, Winds of War, the second installment is absolutely amazing. All and all it took me about 2 months to get through these books and I count it as time well spent. The author does a brilliant job of depiciting WWII from all of the vantage points of the characters he portrayed. You get a truly multi-faceted perspective when considering the motivations and occurences of this war. He does an absolutely amazing job of marrying little known historical facts and lenghty commentary on significant battles all while making the book feel like an experience rather than a lecture. By the time I got to the second book, I was already deeply invested in the characters so wrapping up War and Remembrance is like saying goodbye to friends. All and all this book is masterfully done and leaves me with a much deeper understanding of WWII from both a historical and human standpoint. Recalling the events portrayed in these books forces one to truly consider what it is to be a part of the human experience.
I love historical fiction, so for me not only was it informative but weaving these fictional characters in to real events made it one of the best I have listened to.
The fictional characters with the historical real events. While the main characters aren't real there are real people who lived it and it gives you a peek into that time period.
There are a lot of characters and I knew exactly which character he was speaking for.
Since it was 56 hours that wasn't possible.
Engineer the Bass Player
This book is a bit of a mess. It mixes parts that read like a popular history of the war with parts of a novel (written in the past tense) with other parts that are written like a silent movie (with no dialogue in the present tense) along with lots of big epistolary chunks. It's as if Wouk could not decide what he wanted to write and so wrote everything. The result is that there are better histories and better novels. This whole mess is made worse by the narrator who makes most of the male characters sound either arrogant or stodgy and whose reading of the narration is frustratingly melodramatic. Overall, I'm glad I got through it (and it was a struggle) since I suppose it is considered a "modern classic", but I'll never pick it up again in audio or paper format. I'll also avoid books read by this narrator.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This is the less a sequel to The Winds of War than it is part two of one huge novel. The account of the Henry family is laid out here. I found this book to be less significant than the first volume. The people are so driven by their romantic passions, both in and outside the bounds of marriage that is becomes a bit of a Soap Opera for the greatest generation. I found the Henry saga to be tedious.
The inexorable march toward the Jewish Holocaust is excruciatingly slow and tragic. But the result, for some of the main characters, is so oft foreshadowed that the culmination is entirely anti-climatic.
As in the previous volume, Wouk intersperses historical sections liberally through the novel. He has constructed several imaginary historical works from which to quote to allow him to promote his historical opinion. Victor Henry reads lengthy sections from his translation of the memoirs of a German General. And we are also treated to the musings of Aaron Jastrow through his journal entries as he slips further and further into the Nazi concentration camp system.
I knew this was a long book when I began, and so did not expect a rapid pace, but I eventually tired of following the adventures of the main characters. Once my fascination for the fictional characters ws lost the book became a slog.
Kevin Pariseau is again excellent possessing a wide range of male character voices. He is somewhat limited in his expression of the female voice but manages to make them sound distinctive, if not convincing.
First, an incredible performance!! I would easily give it a 10+ if possible. The story as historical fiction is beyond words. The characters are so well developed and very credible. I learned much about the war that I did not know. Overall, listening to this was an incredible, deeply moving experience although very difficult to listen to at times, especially the portrayal of the atrocities in the death camps. The world must never forget this horrible war and all of the gore.