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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 (3027 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mary 01-16-12
    Mary 01-16-12
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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
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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
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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
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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
  •  
    Douglas Falls Church, VA, United States 01-02-12
    Douglas Falls Church, VA, United States 01-02-12 Member Since 2014
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    "The Best 45 Hours I've Ever Spent!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Winds of War to be better than the print version?

    This audiobook is every bit as good as the print version, and a wonderful way to revisit this Great American Novel without reading it again. For those of us who have read the novel, many of us more than once, this is a great way to gain a new appreciation of this crucially important historical novel. If you work at a computer screen all day long and your eyes are tired at night (but your mind is not), this audiobook is a great way to spend your evenings.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Franklin D. Roosevelt is my favorite character. Herman Wouk has portrayed his


    What about Kevin Pariseau’s performance did you like?

    Pariseau is an obvious admirer of Wouk's art and manages to convey a wide variety of characterizations with only minor inflections of his voice.


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

    Civilization on the Brink...


    Any additional comments?

    For those of you who love the novel, and love the miniseries, you will love the audiobook at least as much! This wonderful audiobook edition of

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerald Rakos Wilton, CT United States 12-28-11
    Gerald Rakos Wilton, CT United States 12-28-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Powerful"

    Outstanding performance by Pariseau. He handles so many different accents with ease.
    Highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan and Mary Kennedy INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States 12-26-11
    Jonathan and Mary Kennedy INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States 12-26-11

    The MacJew

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    "Horrible Reader makes Great story difficult"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Winds of War to be better than the print version?

    Kevin Pariseau may be a capable reader, but not for this book or its sequel. His diction is too clipped and his pronunciation is horrible. Just when the listener is being brought into the power of the story, we are jarred out of it by Mr. Pariseau's reading. Instead of allowing us to get lost in the power of the book, we are, instead, reminded that this IS a novel we are listening to, whereas when we read it, we become drawn into the drama and feel for the characters.


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

    War and Remembrance: written by the same author, and it is the continuing adventures of The Henry and Jastrow families.


    What didn’t you like about Kevin Pariseau’s performance?

    His words were too clipped and his pronunciation was terrible.


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

    No. Way too long for that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Dublin, CA, United States 12-21-11
    Margaret Dublin, CA, United States 12-21-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Fantastic book and audio book!"
    Where does The Winds of War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the tops, after >10 years of listening to audio books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pug Henry. Genuine character. Full of moral and emotional strength, not to mention very smart.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to count. Meeting Stalin at Kremlin banquet


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I am now watching the TV series, just bought War and Remembrance Audio book, just bought FDR biography. Avidly learning about WWII, all due to this book.


    Any additional comments?

    This is truly a great book, and a great audio book. The book itself, plot, characters, language, all ring true, while also keep you guessing. The dialogues are intelligent. The WWII strategic analysis is brilliant. The historical personalities are both amazing and down to earth at the same time. The audio reader is wonderful. It must be a hard job to read through close a 1000 pages, but the Mr. Pariseau does a great job giving each character his/her own voice. Looking forward to War and Remembrance!Winds of War and War and Remembrance will go on my recommended reading list for my children and grand children, although I am only in my 30's now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angelyn Lynn Haven, FL, United States 12-15-11
    Angelyn Lynn Haven, FL, United States 12-15-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Great Writing"

    This is one of the great epics about WWII. So masterfully does Wouk lay out the events that lead up to the Second World Ward, that you become absorbed in the history. This is a great listen with an excellent narrator.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorthea Brooks Boston, MA 12-03-11
    Dorthea Brooks Boston, MA 12-03-11 Member Since 2015

    rdw959

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    "Very interesting and entertaining read."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. It's extremely well researched and intelligent. The story is entertaining but my main takeaway is that I learned an enormous amount about the lead up to WWII.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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