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The Winds of War Audiobook
The Winds of War
Written by: 
Herman Wouk
Narrated by: 
Kevin Pariseau
 >   > 
The Winds of War Audiobook

The Winds of War

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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 (3778 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rory 08-09-12
    Rory 08-09-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW!"
    Would you listen to The Winds of War again? Why?

    Yes. Very compelling story, neatly done.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole Von Roon imitation of Manstein's Lost Victories and Halder's and Von Bock's War Diary and even Speer's books, was incrediblbly dead on. Great mechanism for not only explaining events, but also demonstrating the prejudices of the Germans in a very subtle fashion.


    What about Kevin Pariseau’s performance did you like?

    Astounding his ability to mimic the different voices. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


    Any additional comments?

    I am an amateur historian of WWII, and have over 2,000 books covering various aspects of the war. But when I was 7 or 8, my parents had me watch the Robert Mitchum miniseries(knowing even then my fascination with the period) However, Mitchum and the rest of the cast were so horribly stiff and their stilted performances bored me to tears. And of course Pug appearing in every major scene of WWII was mindboggling. Strangely, listening to this book, I was able to suspend my disbelief on that point and enjoyed the story immensely.
    And yes, I went back and tried an episode of the miniseries on NetFlix and still found it incredibly poor, even for the 80's. Shame as Blue and the Gray showed it could be done well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Kitty Hawk, NC, United States 08-05-12
    Ellen Kitty Hawk, NC, United States 08-05-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Journey"

    I don't know how I missed this story years ago and I cannot believe I missed the miniseries. I suppose it's just as well. The story brought such much too life. Well worth reading by anyone who loves historical fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine 07-30-12
    Catherine 07-30-12 Member Since 2016
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    27
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    "There are a lot of good books out there."
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    A great book.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Pariseau played all the characters well. All became very real personalities flawed in ordinary ways but quite individual in their courage. You cared about all of them.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Beryl Jastro


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Fr. Spannelli of the Vatican


    Do you have any additional comments?

    The author took the necessary time, talent, and effort to develop a large cast of characters to their fullness. When you reached the end of the book, you really knew who the characters were. the book is still relevant and the characters are real and fascinating. Every page counted in the telling of the story. Favorite line " We had become a tumbleweed family tossed around the globe by the winds of war." As good today as it was 30 years ago. The great ones always are,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tk Singapore, Singapore 07-30-12
    tk Singapore, Singapore 07-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved It"
    Where does The Winds of War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This has been one of my favourite audiobook experiences. I highly recommend this, especially to those who have long commutes and like to really get to know the characters in a book. Kevin Pariseau's voice is gorgeous.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael GILBERT, AZ, United States 07-23-12
    Michael GILBERT, AZ, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "enjoyable book and series"
    Would you listen to The Winds of War again? Why?

    It was most interesting and the story didn't bog down like some


    What other book might you compare The Winds of War to and why?

    the companion book read this one first


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary DALLAS, TX, United States 07-19-12
    Mary DALLAS, TX, United States 07-19-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love every minute of it"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Winds of War to be better than the print version?

    yes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    hard to say. The characters are all great and such depth of developement


    What about Kevin Pariseau’s performance did you like?

    fanastic!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    .


    Any additional comments?

    Such a good listen. Im sad its over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Friendswood, TX, United States 07-11-12
    Amazon Customer Friendswood, TX, United States 07-11-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Best detailed historical fiction I've ever read!"

    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".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Philadelphia, PA, United States 07-10-12
    Scott Philadelphia, PA, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2009

    Scott P

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the Best Books I've Ever Read..."
    If you could sum up The Winds of War in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling, incredible, addictive


    What other book might you compare The Winds of War to and why?

    New York, A Novel


    Any additional comments?

    I am now listening to the follow up book, War & Remembrance, and even though it's 56 hours long I am already dreading that it will have to end. I have come to admire and care for the characters and can't say enough about both the writing and the narration. This book educates you about all of the little things that went on around the world while World War II was raging but before the US entered the fray. If you enjoy history you will love this book. If you enjoy great writing you will love this book. If you enjoy compelling characters you will love this book. In short YOU will love this book..unless you have a very short attention span.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 07-08-12
    Kathi 07-08-12 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well worth reading"
    Where does The Winds of War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is not my favorite, but I think it is very memorable in a positive way.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Winds of War?

    Descriptions of the early takeover of Warsaw--the characters move through it in a way that brings the intensity (and the horrors) of the war very much alive--even while keeping a moving and engaging human story going that did not sentimentalize any of the circumstances but gave a much greater sense of what that event must have been like. The compelling story is one that left me feeling I had a far deeper understanding of factors that led into, and sustained, the war.


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

    Pug Henry--the man of many roles (military, family, advisor to a president, historian). His character held the entire book together. The book is about the very human side of war--which is often seen in an abstract way--one in which each character is developed along lines that demonstrated their understandings of what was occurring, what they were doing, from a perspective that made sense to them at the time. Pug Henry is the character who seems most able to have a view of most of those perspectives--even though he does not, himself, embrace each one.


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

    There were many--literature of tells stories about people who live through a war, but in this book, the war itself seemed to have its own voice. (The book interweaves Pug Henry's "translation" of a German's account of the war into english--something he works on through the book--which provides an insight into the war that almost creates the war as one of the characters and tends to hold the different facets together).


    Any additional comments?

    I do not often choose to read/listen to books about wars. However, this one was exceptional in the way it told a story of humans trying to make sense of themselves and what was happening around them, and was also a great historical learning experience.

    Wherever we come from, we tend to learn history from the perspective of those who want to impress us with a particular viewpoint. What I found so interesting in this one was that Wouk chose to create characters who displayed a variety of mindsets and beliefs--so that one could see various people as having (what to them were valid points of view) even though they conflicted with each other.

    It was a reminder that people have many ways of justifying all kinds of things to themselves and even have difficulty understanding why others don't agree with them. There was a great effort here to portray ordinary people who were led into horrendous acts--not all at once, but by little adjustments of thinking and activities--till they were caught up in actions they probably would never have performed earlier in their lives. Very good insight into group (or mob) psychology.

    And also, it seems to show that despite a huge and unthinkable atrocity occurring, people can be so caught up in their own lives that they compartmentalize what is happening. Perhaps because they would find it too overwhelming to take in, perhaps because the war was of such enormous scope that many could not understand it all--but Wouk also was drawing some characters who, in their great humanness, just didn't live far beyond their personal concerns. (This seemed exemplified in Pug Henry's wife).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry 07-03-12
    Jerry 07-03-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "As good as I remember!"
    What did you love best about The Winds of War?

    This was a book I read as a young adult in the 70's. Listening to the book again after 40 years was like getting back in touch with a long lost friend.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Historical fiction with great characters.


    What three words best describe Kevin Pariseau’s performance?

    Not good enough.The narration was OK, but there are so many narrators that are better than OK. I very seldom get bored with narration, but I did in this case.


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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
  • 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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Irene
    London, United Kingdom
    5/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Amazon Customer
    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
  • StuartS
    4/20/16
    Overall
    "Great narration"

    This is a wonderful book which I have read many times. Kevin Pariseau's narration is outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dot
    9/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    A must listen didn't want to stop listening to it.
    2nd book is a must too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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