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The Winds of War | [Herman Wouk]

The Winds of War

Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Has any lengthy, sweeping epic ever felt more personal than The Winds of War? Kevin Pariseau helps the listener inhabit the events and relationships of this massive and beautifully-told story with a palette of vividly imagined characters, each with a well-defined voice and perfect accent. His transcendent performance makes the hours fly, but don't worry - when the book ends you can still enjoy more with the sequel, War and Remembrance. —David

Publisher's Summary

A masterpiece of historical fiction, this is the Great Novel of America's "Greatest Generation".

Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

Also listen to War and Remembrance.

©1971 Herman Wouk (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Wouk's real genius lies not just in the narrative power of his books, but in his empathy with the people and the times of which he writes…. The genius of The Winds of War and War and Remembrance is that they not only tell the story of the Holocaust, but tell it within the context of World War II, without which there is no understanding it." (The Washington Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (3290 )
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4.6 (2808 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 11-02-11
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 11-02-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good old-fashioned historical epic novel"

    I don't know when I've enjoyed a book more. This is a really interesting book with multiple plot lines. I've listened to a LOT of WWII history. This brought the first part of the war to life. I hope Audible has War and Remembrance soon.

    I liked this book so much that I ordered the mini-series so I can watch it.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike From Mesa 01-07-12 Member Since 2014

    MikeFromMesa

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I had forgotten"

    I seem to fit in the same demographic as many other reviewers of this book. I first read it about 40 years ago when it was released and then saw the made-for-TV movie. In the intervening years I had forgotten how well Herman Wouk wrote (as of today he is still alive but no longer writing) and how well drawn and compelling the main characters of the book are.

    The story, of course, is that of a naval family drawn into the start of World War II up to the point of America's entry into the war. As a vehicle for telling the story of the period up to the Pearl Harbor attack the main character, "Pug" Henry, ends up being assigned to posts that have him, or members of his family, at important places during important times. Thus we get to see vignettes of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Joesph Stalin and Adolph Hitler as well as those around all of them.

    The characters are compelling, the events were real, the story well-drawn and important and the family large enough to have members scattered around the globe and seeing events from many different perspectives. This is a first class book, extremely well read and highly recommended.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Lebanon, Ohio, United States 10-24-11
    Connie Lebanon, Ohio, United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Very enjoyable"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I love epic histories that follow families over a period of time, and this one was exceptionable.


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Pariseau – was your favorite?

    Definitely Victor Henry. But the narrator did an excellent job with all the characters, especially since there were so many different accents involved.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was on pins and needles to see who would make it through Pearl Harbor.


    Any additional comments?

    This book covers the events leading up to the United States involvement in WWII. It is not dry history. Although some historical narrative is necessary to provide the backdrop to what the characters are going through, the author handles it with a unique method that makes it much more interesting.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John-Mark Stensvaag 10-18-11

    John-Mark

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    "Stunning Novel by a Great Writer"

    I am going to jump the gun here, because I have not yet listened to this, but I recommended it to Audible some time back, and I am thrilled that it is now available. I am writing this review early, because I want to encourage Audible listeners to purchase it immediately. This book and its sequel, "War and Remembrance," are stunning works of historical fiction. I very much hope Audible is preparing the sequel. Thank you, Audible, for listening to your customers!

    48 of 63 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 03-04-13
    Timothy 03-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perhaps a bit dated..."

    I love historical fiction but this one just didn't work for me. Perhaps because I recently finished the first two volumes of Ken Follet's new trilogy (Fall of Titans, Winter of the World), which are in a completely different class. I'm sure that Wouk's book made fascinating reading in the period shortly after World War II, but now it's just a little flat and probably dated. The characterization is on the level of Bonanza or The Waltons, and I just couldn't find it in myself to be interested in these shallow and really rather uninteresting people, particularly since the focus is so much more on their story than on the actual history of the War.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John bakersfield, CA, United States 12-24-11
    John bakersfield, CA, United States 12-24-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well done"

    This is very well done and is a classic and is narrated by Kevin Pariseau. This is a good one for only 1 credit!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 12-22-11
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 12-22-11 Member Since 2013

    Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the BEST ficticious/histories out there"

    Being able to blend pure fiction with actual historical events takes something akin to genius. It's done here perfectly. IF you love WWII, and you are in need of a compelling story about that time in history, then this is an absolute gem. It's a commitment, but well worth it. To echoe a few other reviews...I NEVER would've thought an audiobook could hold my interest for over 50 hours, but this one did!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Acme, Alberta, Canada 11-10-11
    Brenda Acme, Alberta, Canada 11-10-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "captivating performance."

    I found myself looking for jobs that would let me plug in my earbuds to listen to this book. It captures the period and the narrator gives the characters depth

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 11-03-11
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 11-03-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "one of the best books I've ever read"

    I read this when it came out. For years, I gave this book with War and Remembrance as gifts and never came across anyone who didn't share my love of this story.
    The history is fascinating, though it definitely has a point of view and you may disagree with some interpretation of events.
    The narrator does a great job. When I first started, I felt he didn't get Pug right, but as I went along, I warmed to his interpretation.
    I can't recommend this enough, it is worthy of six stars in every category.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trip Graysdlake, IL 10-24-11
    Trip Graysdlake, IL 10-24-11 Member Since 2007

    Trip

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    "GREAT"

    I read this book years ago when my eyesight was still good enough to read. The story is as good as I remember and the performance by the narrotor is great!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
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  • Julie
    Worcester, United Kingdom
    11/11/12
    Overall
    "Incredible!!!!"

    I have loved every minute over this incredibly long book!! My ipod earphones have been glued into my ears for days...I now fear there may be permanent damage. Despite that fact this book is over 45 hours long, it still rockets along nicely.

    My one tiny issue is the narrator's attempt at some English accents, but hey, my New York accent is appalling!!!

    I would strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in WW2 novels.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • sharon
    Falmouth, United Kingdom
    7/15/13
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    "Absolutely Wonderful.."

    Compelling.. there is so much in this book to digest that it will have to be reread, it will be no hardship. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable on the WWII but I was wrong, and it was so refreshing to see it from different POV's, it only takes you up to Pearl Harbour so looking forward to the next one in series... recommended.. the type of novel that does not get old or out of date, wonderful wish I had read it years ago.. I know it will stay with me in many years to come.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    Ireland
    11/22/12
    Overall
    "Winds of War"

    An absolutely amazing book! This is meticulously researched historically and a must read for anyone. I was never interested in the history and facts of WW II even though five uncles served. My father served as a Captain in the Medical Corps in the Pacific. I wish he was still alive. I have so many questions I wish I could ask. I guarantee even if you don't like "war stories" this book will have you hanging on every word. Thanks Audible!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Irene
    London, United Kingdom
    5/5/13
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    Performance
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    "I can listen this book again & again"

    Magnificently read by Kevin Pariseau, this history of the second world war as seen by Americans through the lives of an American family and their English friends was a great experience. The characters came alive and you feel their hopes, loses, happiness and sorrows.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • James
    United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "A view from a different angle."

    A history af the run up to and the beginning of the second world war from the American viewpoint. up to thethe forced entry of the USA Into the conflict. Telling of the crucial mistakes of the leaders that contributed to the outcome.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. J. L. Reed
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "An epic story of love and war"

    I remember reading this book many years ago and was delighted to see it appear here as an audio book. I was concerned that my memories of Victor 'Pug' Henry and his family would not be as I remembered but I was not disapointed. Beautifully told and a joy to listen to. I would recommend this to both people with a love a huge sweeping stories and anyone interested in our recent history,

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Frances
    Shipham, United Kingdom
    2/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well researched, but not well written"

    I am in two minds about this book. The research and detail were brilliant, but the writing style is stilted. Conversations don't sound like real people. Almost all of the characters come across as synthetic. Having said that, I did enjoy listening to it. Maybe a better narrator would have helped.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lynne
    New Quay, United Kingdom
    12/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reader only so-so but story surmounts it"

    This is a bargain listen, worth every minute. It's a fascinating story. For me the reader is only so-so. His voices are not very individual so if your attention wanders you can lost track of who is speaking. And his accents are not very good - Englishmen saying "Toodur" and so forth. But the tale overcomes these irritations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • HM
    7/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good solid listen "

    I enjoyed the story, bit the narrator is a little dry for my liking, none the less I was hooked by the characters and am looking forward to the 2nd book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • dagbo
    London
    10/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic World War 2 story - compelling."
    What did you like most about The Winds of War?

    The scope and size of the drama and the characters. It's epic as it goes from one country to the next, one set of characters. All brought together brilliantly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Victor Henry - the main character is a well thought out, brilliant character. Flawed in his own way, quiet, and harsh. The growth of this character over the course of the book is a strength of the novel.


    What does Kevin Pariseau bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Really great reader. Good characterisation. Kept the pace up. The only disturbing character was Pamela esp. when she was being seductive...weird ;-) but not sure how else Kevin could have played it!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not possible, it's too long. However, I did listen to it over a period of weeks when commuting, flying overseas and going off to sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    Thankfully this is just part one of two and have already started War and Remembrance, which starts exactly where this one leaves off. Another 50+ hours of great story telling awaits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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