The narrator is magnificent!
This is the second time I've read this book and it's companion, "the Winds of War". Both books tell a gripping story about the world at war.
I really can't say enough about the narration. Mr. Pariseau is simply perfect.
University administrator. Commuter cyclist. Dad, husband. Loves books of course. Aspiring Jedi Knight and Warder.
Didn't read the book, but what I can say is that the narrator was superb. As many others have indicated, his accents, the way he did female voices and overall pacing is the simply best I've heard.
That's tough. I've only read a few stories that are as epic as this one. While it's a different genre, I guess Lord of Rings might qualify due to is expansiveness, its rich character development, the writing (his use of English language is first class) and for its sheer ambition. Whether you're a history buff or have any interest in WW II this book really must be listened to. It is compelling in every way and I came out having learned more about this period of history than all my readings and learning combined. In everyway it's something special.
He was a perfect match for the book. He nailed all the accents. He did a great job across the board and unlike many narrators, he can portray female voices very well. But if I had to pick, he really hit a home run with the German SS officers, particularly when they were enraged. Gripping really.
I don't think you can listen to this book and not have a strong reaction to the Jews and how they were treated. Wouk does an incredible job of describing all of the sad and very maddening details. Like the allied populations, even now it seems unbelievable that a modern country could collectively enact this despicable program. It explains and informs many of today's world events. Very sad and terribly frustrating stuff.
I stumbled across this book. I'd never heard of it and hadn't heard of the author. Perhaps it's because I'm Gen X'er. I'm not an expert, but I feel this book deserves to discussed and talked about by my generation, those younger than me. It's a compelling and approachable story that touches on some truisms and realties that should never be forgotten. I guess its length would be part of the problem, but that aside, it really something more of us should be reading.
The story is compelling and complex, the characters sympathetic.
The Winds of War
Nothing in particular: he is a competent reader who doesn't get in the way of Wok's story too often.
It is simply one of the best books every written and or recorded - it and the WINDS OF WAR are simply fantastic. I thought I would never make it through all those hours.... now wish there was a third book to this great tale.
PUG. Kind of like John Wane - AMERICAN
ONLY WINDS OF WAR - great in both
PAMELA. Bright & Plucky....
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.