Ken Follett's Winter of the World covers the same era in the same personalized way but with different characters. They're both "must listens."
The time at the end of the book when Byron finally finds Natalie and Louis and what is so clear is the mis-match of the trauma she's been through and the one that he's been through. You feel as if they'll get through it because they both love each other so much, but that it will be hard.
Don't forget to read Winds of War first . . . you'll never understand this book without that experience. Also, the audio book was better than the print book for me because this very long story became too depressing in the print edition and I couldn't finish it. I finished the audio book with relish.
Not as good as the first book but if you read the first book and liked it, it won't disappoint. I think Wouk is one of the best storytellers I have ever read. Kevin Pariseau is a perfect fit for this book, he does a tremendous job narrating.
Apples and oranges. I read both volumes of this work some years ago and was so impressed that I was drawn to listen to the audio versions on long walks. Both formats have their advantages.
Pamela Tudsbury. I just liked the way Wouk wrote her: plucky, humorous and willing to trust her heart. She had great valor. Pug was a bit of a stick and for much of the story his perspective was one of black and white, while Pam's was far more tinged with shades and color. It was nice to watch him evolve. He was a good man and a wise one. It was not preposterous for Pam to love him so deeply.
This is the most gifted reader I have experienced. These two volumes are more that 2,000 pages of dense narrative involving a multitude of characters, real and fictional. Pariseau can pitch his voice or change his inflection to create a distinct sense of each individual, keeping track of a character's voice throughout thousands of pages. I have a good ear and there was only one small place where I was aware that he failed to use a particular voice (Aaron Jastrow's). Pariseau even sings well! This is a really gifted actor! The only suggestion I would make is he should watch out for egregious mispronunciations, e.g. coup de GRASS for coup de gras (should sound like 'gra') or Jan when it should have been pronounced 'Yawn'. Picky points considering the Herculean task he undertook.
This series represents a very important piece of historical literature. I am in awe of Herman Wouk.
the dilution of the facts and factual details with the henrys and their acquaintances
not maudlin but sensitive treatment of the sufferings, the cost, of the war years
reads at perfect speed, stresses and intonations good, with feeling non troppo
pug; his stoic repressed feelings hinted at,because his marriage is reexamined because of the war, and inconsolable at the death of the son he adored
Because this and "Winds of War" are so long, it's a great value for your credits. These are both great books with a lot of detail about WWII woven throughout interesting stories of characters you care about. You're getting history lessons while you enjoy a good read. The narrator is terrific.
I believe I downloaded this book and its companion, The Winds of War, from a Audible list called "Magnum Opus" or something of that sort. It was no lie. These two books are among the best Audible has to offer.
Herman Wouk must have decided to write his own, American, version of War and Peace, and while not many writers could compete with Tolstoy, he had the chops to pull it off. The novels, simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring, have everything a reader (or listener) could wish for: historical research, character development, plotting, great themes.
Audible chose wisely in getting Kevin Pariseau to narrate these two books. He not only had to be able to pronounce bits of language and place names from locations around the globe, but also to sing songs representing a variety of cultures. Who can do that? Kevin Pariseau can! There are too many examples of his brilliance to list, so I'll limit myself to just one: I'm thinking of a section in which he had to sing an old song from the twenties as one of the characters reflected on the happier days of her marriage - and somehow he managed to give it the scratchy shaky feel of an old 20s record.
By any measure, these two books and the Audible productions of them are outstanding.
I don't generally read historical fiction, and I steer away from WWII, but something about Wouk's books are completely enthralling, fascinating, interesting, enjoyable.
I love the performance, he does all the characters very well, good pacing, pronunciation--an expert reader.
All 56 hours of this book, and the huge Winds of War that I listened to before, were stories I listened to straight through, rarely breaking it up with other books (as I do when I am really fascinated by a book).
Byron Henry. He was really fleshed out and human.
When the Jastros are reunited in the German camp. I was listening while running, and I literally stopped in the street and cried.
Awesome WWII Novel, Part II
The historical accuracy with the fictional characters woven in to make the story entertaining. Very well written and prompted you to put yourself in the characters shoes. Great story to cause remembrance of WWII and the history of what happened to Jews.
When Natalie was summoned to the SS and her baby's life threatened.
Yes, The Winds of War. It was good too. He seamlessly goes between characters in the dialog. He has a great voice for audiobooks and I will look for books where he is the reader. Good accents too.
War and What would you do? The author describes the moral dilemmas of the characters' lives. Human morality and how people react.
I would recommend both the Winds of War and its sequel War and Remembrance. I didn't want it to end!
56 hours of feeling like you were there.
If this book does not make you cry get mad then rejoice you didn't listen.