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.
"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)
I have recommended it, but most think it is too long, and would be too slow.
Escaping from Warsaw after the German invasion.
I love long books especially historical fiction so I couldn't wait to start this book. After the first 30 minutes, I had to switch it off. Please believe me, this is not something I do easily as I hate to waste money. However it was so utterly boring and difficult to follow that I just could not continue! I had trouble following the storyline and connecting with the characters. Had I known, I would not have wasted my credit. Who knows - I may go back to this one again and give it another try - it's unlikely though.
Through the eyes of a naval family we are taken to Berlin, London, the Kremlin and the White House where we get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes in world dramas. One family member marries a Jew hence we also get a thorough look at the attempted genocide of the Jewish citizens who come under the sway of the Nazis. The author also attempts to show us a history of World War II from the point of view of a German historian.
The Narrator's stulted rendition takes a bit of getting used to but the story is so riveting this can be forgiven.
A great story and a wonderful way to absorb history! I didn't want the book to end.
I regret all my previous five-star ratings and reviews. Nothing is as good as "The Winds of War." Except perhaps, for its sequel, "War and Remembrance." The plot lines are intricate. The characters are conflicted; right and wrong are constantly pulling at them. The backdrop is World War II. Author Herman Wouk puts everything together and the end result is literature's greatest historical novel(s).
But the greatness does not end with the writing; it does not end with the story itself. Narrator Kevin Pariseau also brings his art to new heights. Not only does he give each and every character a distinct voice, he gives those voices depth of emotion and maturity as the story unfolds. His women's voices actually sound like women speaking. And when the novel calls for singing, he breaks into perfect song. A tour de force of voice acting.
You cannot go wrong with "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance."
Written before the fall of the Soviet Union it interesting to hear some of that old ideology about communism and the Soviet Block states. For those of you under the age of 55 it an interesting introspective of how your parent viewed the world. Remember also that a flood of historical documents have been released from both the Soviet Union and the USA which strengthen arguments for WWII, or at least clarify the reasons.
I willl never listen to another book by Kevin Pariseau. This was so awful, I wish I would not have wasted the credits. Quite a disappointment because I had waited for years for this book and the sequel from Audible. John Lee or George Guidall should be the narrator. I will not be purchasing the sequel.
I read both books years ago and watched the mini-series. I liked the history.
The narration runs together. Cannot tell when a description ends and the
This is a great book for anyone interested in the history of WWII. This and it's sequel War and Remembrance are the best historical novels I have ever read or listened to. That being said these books are a bit soapy but the narrative is strong all the was through. Kevin Pariseau does an excellent job. Other then Scott Brick he is the best story teller I have heard in 15 years of listening to audio books ( use to live in Houston, TRAFFIC, 2 hour commute a day!!!) He really brings the characters to life. Highly recommended!!!
A challenge for anyone writing a story based on historical facts and events is that the reader essentially knows how it will end; the key to success, in my humble opinion, is to illuminate some unknown, intriguing, or original aspect of that history that will add to our appreciation. Winds of War begins by raising two interesting (although hardly original) questions: how could a civilized country like Germany descend into such madness? and, how did Hitler get away with it for so long? (in Wouk's telling, the Allies didn't get their act together until the Nazi invasion of Norway). Unfortunately,once raised, the story doesn't explore these questions in any depth, which is a shame. Winds of War unfolds as a kind of Greatest Hits of WWII narrative (the Holocaust! the Blitzkrieg! Pearl Harbor! the A-bomb!) from the perspective of Navy Captain Victor Henry and his family. I had trouble working up any interest in the Henrys and their entourage; the characters are shallow and one-dimensional. "That Churchill fellow gave a pretty good speech last night" is about as deep as it gets. One thing that troubled me no end: neither Henry nor his annoying wife, Rhoda, ever question the morality of their living in the SS-appropriated home of a Jewish family that is clearly destined for Auschwitz.
About mid-way through Winds of War, it occurred to me that plunging into a good, general history of WWII would be considerably more interesting than Wouk's fictionalized version--not to mention the many great works of fiction set during that time period (two of my favorites are Erich Maria Remarque and Irene Nemirovsky) that plunge the reader into a Europe turned upside down and force us to confront that most disturbing of moral dilemmas: what would YOU do in this situation? would you act any differently? And there are so many fascinating, real-life stories from WWII that can't be topped by any fiction (read Studs Terkel, The Good War). Winds of War just doesn't measure up, I'm sorry to have wasted an audible credit on it.
Its not my usual genre but I found it entertaining and absorbing. I felt like I knew how things were back then. The characters were well written and complex.
While unbelievably long, detailed, even mundane at times, this book is the best way imaginable to digest the history of the era leading up to America's entry into World War II. Herman Wouk's work is amazingly detailed, and provides so many different perspectives into the global climate that produced "the winds of war." My parents were of the WWII era, I lived one year in Germany (1968), and visited Pearl Harbor, and I was a history major in college. This book is real, humbling, eye-opening and passionate. It is a perfect summation of all I have read, heard, and seen of the juxtaposition of people, places, and politics that forever changed the World.
After weeks of having Mr. Wouk and Mr. Pariseau (who is nothing short of brilliant) in my car with me - I'm looking forward to more by diving into "War and Remembrance".
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