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!
Old Man's War, a futuristic interstellar tale, was quite engaging for me. In this imagined future, Earth people (at least some of them) are given the opportunity to join the "Colonial Defense Force", or "CDF", when they turn the ripe old age of 75. They join the CDF sight unseen. And, after joining, they leave their Earthly life behind, being officially declared dead. The amazing thing is none of them have ever seen the CDF or a single soldier in the CDF. These elderly individuals all imagine what is on the other side of joining but none actually know anything about what really is there. Of course joining is voluntary, but those that join must figure 'what the heck, it is either join or grow older and die.' Everyone knows old men and women can't possibly actually fight any battles so all believe they'll either not be fighting anything or they might get some sort of rejuvenation, of dare they think they'll get "new bodies"? You've got to read (or listen) to find out.
I found the story line kept me listening, kept me engaged in the story, and I really enjoyed how the author presented very interesting lines of thought as it applies to getting older, or younger - the moral dilemmas, the rationalizing on all sides. John Scalzi obviously spent time working this thru and I like what he has come up with.
I recommend the book to sci-fi fans.
I can't imagine the work that went into developing this storyline and these characters. The audio book version is wonderful, Kevin Pariseau has an easy to listen to manner which is a good thing given the length of the this and the follow-on book (War and Remembrance). I am in awe of the level of detail Herman Wouk delves into brining out the pre-WW II America and Europe.
My favorite genre of books is historical fiction. This book does not disappoint - it holds its own with the very best. And, of course, you can't stop with just this book. You have to go on to finish the story with "War and Remembrance".
A classic Harry Dresden story. Harry doesn't tell everything he knows to a pretty young woman, holds out on his best buddy cop (Murph), gets way more than knee deep in s*** with the werewolf world, then pulls it out at the last minute with an unexpected but timely act of wizardly wow-dom. I thought Harry was a little too preoccupied with the thought that all the bad things happening were his fault, i.e. not telling all to everyone. But that is in line with him being an old fashioned kind of guy I guess.
Also, I note that Harry is very much human with his enjoyment of the other sex (almost all the women in this book look good PLUS they end up naked at one time or another for mostly non-sex related reasons) and his apparent chronic lack of sleep (like most Americans if not other nationalities too).
I did get distracted by the narration this time, unlike in the last book by the same reader. Maybe my sound system (or my own ears) improved because I heard some swallowing and lip smacking sort of sounds from time to time. Just enough to make me remember as I write this review.
Still, all-in-all, a good magical world kind of read.
A friend recently recommended I read The Dresden series by Jim Butcher. Since I respect this friend's opinions, I grabbed an audible.com version of the book, plugged it into my truck's audio system and listened as I drove across Texas. Texas is a big state and I ran out of book before I ran out of Texas. Darn - but at least this tale kept my mind from wandering into boredom while driving across the west Texas desert. My friend was right, I like the style and story line of this book. Harry Dresden is an old fashioned sort of guy in a wizard's life in modern day Chicago. He combats all sorts of bad guys and ghouls while trying to stay on the right side of his conscience and the wizarding world's board of governors called the White Council. I especially enjoy his memory spirit imaginatively named Bob. You'll never guess where Bob resides - read the book to find out.
If you like wizards, spirits, vampires, etc. - there's a good chance you'll enjoy this book.
By the way, if you want to make it clean across Texas listening to only one book - better have at least 10 hours of listening up your sleeve!
This is my second Steve Berry book to listen to. I enjoyed the narration by Scott Brick - I don't recall being distracted by his performance, thus it must have enhanced my experience. Mr Berry has plots within plots that keep the mind working overtime, sometimes laboriously. He reaches back into 1835 and brings the Andrew Jackson assassination attempt deep within the story line of this book. I listen to books while taking long trips and I appreciate non-abridged editions. This one kept me entertained my whole trip and then some. The hero/heroin are sometime superhuman but I would not really appreciate anything less. I recommend this book for those that like adventurous tales, especially ones that twist history into current day action.
Report Inappropriate Content