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)
The story is a great historical novel. I am 73 and it gave me an understanding of WW II which I appreciate. Things like explaining "Lend Lease" which I had heard but never understood. English must be the reader's second language. When reading regular dialog he pauses between every word, absolutely excruciating. If the story had not been so good I would have never finished the book. Of the more than 200 audio books I have listened to, this is the worst reading I have encountered.
I think Henry Kissinger was right to call this book "The war itself". The way Pariseau (the narrator) plays all the different characters, including the women and as well as men in the story, is amazing. Anyone who has seen the move and/or read the book should also listen to this.
I'm just disappointed that Audible.com doesn't have the sequel to this (War and Remembrance). That's my only disappointment.
I found this to be an entertaining and informative story about the politics of WWII. The narrator did a great job except for the women's voices which seemed overly affected and artificial.
I read so I can write
It surprises me how much I enjoy Mr. Wouk's book every time I read it, and now I have enjoyed the pleasure of listening to it.
Mr. Pariseau is the perfect narrator for this master work, bring every character to life with great talent.
I plan to enjoy this again in the future.
I saw the mini-series in the 80's, but had never read the book. What an achievement! This book is hard to put on pause, although one has to due to its length. Herman Wouk's storytelling is fabulous, and I think the narrator delivered his words in exactly the way he would have wanted. I have learned so much about WWII that I never knew, and it was truly eye-opening. I am starting the sequence, War and Remembrance, right now. If you enjoy history, you will love this book!
My comments apply to The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. They are the same novel with the second spending very little time bringing the reader up to the present. I find the works a masterpiece. In the overall scope of the work, it has to approach fine literature. It definitely is one of the finest stories you will ever listen to. I had not previously read the books and bet they could be captivating but also could be daunting do to the length and the forays into the occasional history lessons. I would venture that the listener would do best listening to the epilogue at the end of War and Remembrance before starting The Winds of War. The epilogue only clarifies the factual people, locations, event and ships from the fictional. The epilogue will allow you to appreciate the effort in research necessary to achieve this wonderful book.
Winds of War is an all-time excellent book, and it isn't diminished on "tape."
Exceptional story amid exceptional history. Very accurate representation of the period and the history.
Roosevelt and Churchill..
Nope... almost 46 hours... had to take some breaks, but it was often hard to stop.
An all-time favorite, especially for the history buff.
I read Winds of War many years ago and remember enjoying this at its sequel. So, I thought I would listen to the audio version. It was good, not great. My reservations have nothing to do with the narration, which I thought well done though his female voices were not the greatest, nor with the different perspectives leading up to WWII. Nor with the main character, Pug Henry, who was a well developed and complex character. My reservations were with the soap opera aspect of the story which I found unnecessary and distracting at best. Still, I thought the insightful perspectives of the various leaders and countries were fascinating.
If you listen to this book, I highly recommend proceeding to the sequel, War and Remembrance.
Not having read the print version, nor seen the TV mini-series, I chose to listen to the audio version of "The Winds of War" for the freedom to travel and move about while enjoying the story. Herman Wouk did a believable job of adding Victor Henry into the history of World War II, creating a character that I had to remind myself was fictional. The fantastical meeting of the major leaders of the European Axis and being a high-level errand boy for FDR was quite good. There were a few loose ends that I wish had been tied up, but for the sake of the story, that probably wasn't necessary.
The narrator, Kevin Pariseau, has sharp quality to his voice that took me some time to get used to, but it was a good fit for this story. His accents were generally quite good, but a few times I had to pay close attention to which character was speaking as Aaron Jastro sometimes had a British accent and other times a New York accent. All in all, however, he used his voice to paint believable characteristics of people we could only hear and not see.
First of while this book would stand alone perfectly fine it is in fact part 1 of the 2 part story that concludes in 'War and Remembrance'. Epic, doesn't do justice to these books. Big, doesn't do a very good job of describing the story told in these two books. The simple fact is that Wouk did a masterful job of telling the story of world war II and Kevin Pariseau did a superior job of narrating these two books. Some might say that Wouk put too much emphasis on the Holocaust. Perhaps he did put a lot of emphasis on it and perhaps that was because he himself was Jewish, but to this I say two things; First it was his story so he can tell it any way he chooses and secondly to my way of thinking it doesn't hurt for people to be reminded of the Holocaust to be sure that it never happens again. All in all I enjoyed these books immensely and I am grateful to Audible for making them available. If you like a big story expertly told and superbly narrated then you should like these two books.
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