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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Jack Austin, TX 02-01-12
    Jack Austin, TX 02-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Historical Fiction at it's Best"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Winds of War to be better than the print version?

    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!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lanlady Woodbridge, VA USA 02-01-12
    Lanlady Woodbridge, VA USA 02-01-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Boring -- adds nothing to our knowledge of WWII"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara Northglenn, CO, United States 02-01-12
    Tamara Northglenn, CO, United States 02-01-12
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    "great historical novel"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nanny Yetz Denver, Colorado 01-30-12
    Nanny Yetz Denver, Colorado 01-30-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Digestible History - Thanks"

    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".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean Roseland, VA, United States 01-29-12
    Dean Roseland, VA, United States 01-29-12 Member Since 2011

    Niki Boyer

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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    "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

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