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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

4.4 (3144 )
5 star
 (2005)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.5 (2682 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (2673 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (40)
1 star
 (44)
Performance
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  •  
    Dean Roseland, VA, United States 01-29-12
    Dean Roseland, VA, United States 01-29-12 Member Since 2011

    Niki Boyer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, great performance"

    Kevin Pariseau is fantastic and makes this book come to life. The way he switches between, characters, accents and genders during the dialogue portions of the book is incredible. Even though this book is really long, I've enjoyed every minute of it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer CYPRESS, TX, United States 01-28-12
    Amazon Customer CYPRESS, TX, United States 01-28-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, but narrator speaks a little slow"

    Great story, keeps you interested. I really enjoyed the perspective. My only complaint is the narrator speaks too slow. This is easily fixed by changing the talking speed to 1.5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Lecke 01-25-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story and period piece"
    Would you listen to The Winds of War again? Why?

    yes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    PUG


    What does Kevin Pariseau bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    very talented voice actor


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

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    Wouk seems to capture the essence of the 1940s americana. Great storytelling - cuts right through all the fluff usually associated with retelling WW2 and gets to how people were thinking and feeling. Very entertaining and interesting

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Austin, TX, United States 01-20-12
    Melissa Austin, TX, United States 01-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    111
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    "Wow, this is one intense read"

    I am so amazed by Wouk's ability to write a GOOD story. It was so very complete and well structured. The story flowed so very easily. I am really, very impressed. This book takes a lot of time, but if a book keeps me up late, hurting myself to find a stopping place so I can sleep, it gets 5 stars. Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Edinburg, TX, United States 01-20-12
    Sarah Edinburg, TX, United States 01-20-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    96
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    "Excellent Story & Narration"
    What did you love best about The Winds of War?

    The story was really interesting, informative and captivating. Little by little, you're drawn in to this world and to the characters. You want to know what happens to them because you've gotten to know them and you care about them.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Character development and the descriptive settings and events in the story. You hear from different characters through their own unique perspective.


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

    Kevin Pariseau gives everyone a different voice and accent. I liked FDR's character as I heard him given a voice by Kevin. It was excellent work.


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

    As I listened to the noose tightening around Natalie and Aaron's living situation, I kept thinking that I wanted to tell them to get out, get out of there, right now!


    Any additional comments?

    I've already purchased

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Cerritos, CA, United States 01-18-12
    Sharon Cerritos, CA, United States 01-18-12
    ratings
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    11
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    Story
    "Great sweeping saga very well done."
    What made the experience of listening to The Winds of War the most enjoyable?

    So many things. Great story to begin with, and a great narration made it so very listenable.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Byron-because he grew so much in the story-but this also has to include War and Remembrance.


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Pariseau’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but he is very, very good. I love the way he can impersonate famous characters, and even songs of the era.


    If you could rename The Winds of War, what would you call it?

    I think the name is too good to change.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't miss this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 01-16-12
    Mary 01-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Living WW2 as you listen"
    What made the experience of listening to The Winds of War the most enjoyable?

    Herman Wouk is a master both of the history of his period here, and of storytelling. Although as an American Jewish writer, he must have very painful feelings about the wartime events in Europe - especially in Poland, Russia, and Germany itself - he is able to inhabit the point of view of all his characters, whatever their nationality: the American family, the American Jewish family, the English family, and many other characters. One even sees Hitler and Roosevelt as real people - and in a slightly different light. This is astonishing because it enabled me to experience much more clearly than in a fictional film or documentary a little of what it meant to be alive in those various countries during WW2.


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

    In its scope and focus on a handful of families involved, it might by some people be compared to Ken Follett's Fall of Giants about the First World War


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Pariseau’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was the first time I heard Kevin Pariseau as narrator. Male and female characters were equally convincing, I thought. He also made a very good shot at the various European accents as well as giving Pug Henry exactly the warm strength that I felt he would have.


    Any additional comments?

    A major part of the book for me, was just how involved I felt with these people. Unlike us, they have no overview of the years they are living through, day by day. They can only guess at what is going to happen and hope for the best. There are even certain key points when you know more than they do and yet are unable to warn them or give help when they are powerless. The way the author ensured I felt empathy for the heightened experiences of war -the characters' ambitions, passions, fear, guilt, terror, powerlessness, fury, but also their humour, courage and love - this seemed to me to be the triumph of this book. The various strands of their stories did more than keep my interest all the way through - it kept me as anxious and hoping for a happy outcome as if these were people really known to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Brown Columbus, OH USA 01-09-12
    C. Brown Columbus, OH USA 01-09-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed The Heck Out Of It"
    If you could sum up The Winds of War in three words, what would they be?

    Superb story & narration


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pug Henry. The story is told thru his eyes.


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Pariseau???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. He's not the very best I've ever heard, but he kept a very long story enjoyable. Other than some small mispronunciations, I'd be hard-pressed to criticize his performance. Very strong.


    If you could take any character from The Winds of War out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Pug


    Any additional comments?

    Was planning to wait quite awhile before listening to the sequel before I listened to the first one. Loved this so much that I will probably get it in the next few days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Australia 01-06-12
    Joseph Australia 01-06-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Two Stars !"

    Yes, I rated this book 5 Stars in all three categories.

    But, there are two stars here; Herman Wouk and Kevin Pariseau. The story Wouk tells is incredibly compelling and engaging. Just when I though I might have had enough of one character or situation he switched gears and always left me wanting more.
    Pariseau, I think, is brilliant. So many characters, nationalities, accents and ages; but he does them all and does them well. He brought those characters to life for me in a way I may not have done reading the book.

    I can't wait for War and Remembrance.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    imcharle Shenandoah, Va, United States 01-04-12
    imcharle Shenandoah, Va, United States 01-04-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    606
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    "BEWARE"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator !!!!!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Length - needed something for a 5 day drive.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Replace narrator


    Was The Winds of War worth the listening time?

    With another narrator it would have been . The performance was so painful I could only listen for short periods before my annoyance made me switch stories.


    Any additional comments?

    LISTEN TO THE SAMPLE CAREFULLY. The narration makes long listens impossible!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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