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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 (2807 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda B. San Francisco, Ca 11-09-11
    Linda B. San Francisco, Ca 11-09-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
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    "wonderful historical novel"

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MickeyMarie 03-30-13
    MickeyMarie 03-30-13 Member Since 2003

    I read so I can write

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How Many Times Can One Book be Enjoyed?"

    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.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M 01-24-14
    M 01-24-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Definitely keeps your interest...."

    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!

    HIGHLY recommended.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Indian Springs, AL, United States 10-30-13
    Linda Indian Springs, AL, United States 10-30-13
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    "Phenomenal on Many Levels"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. OHagan Tempe, Az 10-25-13
    T. OHagan Tempe, Az 10-25-13 Member Since 2009
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    11
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    "Exceptional..."
    Where does The Winds of War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Winds of War is an all-time excellent book, and it isn't diminished on "tape."


    What did you like best about this story?

    Exceptional story amid exceptional history. Very accurate representation of the period and the history.


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

    Roosevelt and Churchill..


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

    Nope... almost 46 hours... had to take some breaks, but it was often hard to stop.


    Any additional comments?

    An all-time favorite, especially for the history buff.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Chesapeake, VA, United States 09-14-13
    David Chesapeake, VA, United States 09-14-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Insightful"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen B San Antonio, TX USA 07-24-12
    Karen B San Antonio, TX USA 07-24-12 Member Since 2011

    birkelbk

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    "A Modern Classic"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas LEWISTON, IDAHO, United States 12-19-11
    Thomas LEWISTON, IDAHO, United States 12-19-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Big, as in lagre"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Port Shepstone, South Africa 12-05-11
    Marie Port Shepstone, South Africa 12-05-11
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    "Captivating read!"
    What did you love best about The Winds of War?

    Global impact of the great tragedy and loss of life generally, and the compelling family saga.


    Has The Winds of War turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not really


    What about Kevin Pariseau’s performance did you like?

    Excellent characterization. Authentic dialects.


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

    Both, and it kept me spell-bound.


    Any additional comments?

    It enabled me to enter into the thought-life of the leaders. Lovely homely touches too.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 12-05-11
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Even Better Than The First Time"
    Where does The Winds of War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the top 25


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Victor (Pug) Henry is everyman at his best, he is the man you wish you knew and even when he slips you can forgive him.


    What about Kevin Pariseau’s performance did you like?

    He did an amazing job with all of the character's voices.


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

    I listened to it every possible minute, it mesmerized me.


    Any additional comments?

    I had read the book when it first came out and loved it, but I think I enjoyed it even more now as a mature adult, wife and mother. I had forgotten much of the story and found the actual war part to be much more interesting now that I have lived in Europe and Japan. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 211-220 of 229 results PREVIOUS1212223NEXT
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  • Julie
    Worcester, United Kingdom
    11/11/12
    Overall
    "Incredible!!!!"

    I have loved every minute over this incredibly long book!! My ipod earphones have been glued into my ears for days...I now fear there may be permanent damage. Despite that fact this book is over 45 hours long, it still rockets along nicely.

    My one tiny issue is the narrator's attempt at some English accents, but hey, my New York accent is appalling!!!

    I would strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in WW2 novels.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    Ireland
    11/22/12
    Overall
    "Winds of War"

    An absolutely amazing book! This is meticulously researched historically and a must read for anyone. I was never interested in the history and facts of WW II even though five uncles served. My father served as a Captain in the Medical Corps in the Pacific. I wish he was still alive. I have so many questions I wish I could ask. I guarantee even if you don't like "war stories" this book will have you hanging on every word. Thanks Audible!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • sharon
    Falmouth, United Kingdom
    7/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Wonderful.."

    Compelling.. there is so much in this book to digest that it will have to be reread, it will be no hardship. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable on the WWII but I was wrong, and it was so refreshing to see it from different POV's, it only takes you up to Pearl Harbour so looking forward to the next one in series... recommended.. the type of novel that does not get old or out of date, wonderful wish I had read it years ago.. I know it will stay with me in many years to come.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Irene
    London, United Kingdom
    5/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I can listen this book again & again"

    Magnificently read by Kevin Pariseau, this history of the second world war as seen by Americans through the lives of an American family and their English friends was a great experience. The characters came alive and you feel their hopes, loses, happiness and sorrows.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • James
    United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "A view from a different angle."

    A history af the run up to and the beginning of the second world war from the American viewpoint. up to thethe forced entry of the USA Into the conflict. Telling of the crucial mistakes of the leaders that contributed to the outcome.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. J. L. Reed
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "An epic story of love and war"

    I remember reading this book many years ago and was delighted to see it appear here as an audio book. I was concerned that my memories of Victor 'Pug' Henry and his family would not be as I remembered but I was not disapointed. Beautifully told and a joy to listen to. I would recommend this to both people with a love a huge sweeping stories and anyone interested in our recent history,

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Frances
    Shipham, United Kingdom
    2/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well researched, but not well written"

    I am in two minds about this book. The research and detail were brilliant, but the writing style is stilted. Conversations don't sound like real people. Almost all of the characters come across as synthetic. Having said that, I did enjoy listening to it. Maybe a better narrator would have helped.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lynne
    New Quay, United Kingdom
    12/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reader only so-so but story surmounts it"

    This is a bargain listen, worth every minute. It's a fascinating story. For me the reader is only so-so. His voices are not very individual so if your attention wanders you can lost track of who is speaking. And his accents are not very good - Englishmen saying "Toodur" and so forth. But the tale overcomes these irritations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • dagbo
    London
    10/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic World War 2 story - compelling."
    What did you like most about The Winds of War?

    The scope and size of the drama and the characters. It's epic as it goes from one country to the next, one set of characters. All brought together brilliantly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Victor Henry - the main character is a well thought out, brilliant character. Flawed in his own way, quiet, and harsh. The growth of this character over the course of the book is a strength of the novel.


    What does Kevin Pariseau bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Really great reader. Good characterisation. Kept the pace up. The only disturbing character was Pamela esp. when she was being seductive...weird ;-) but not sure how else Kevin could have played it!


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

    Not possible, it's too long. However, I did listen to it over a period of weeks when commuting, flying overseas and going off to sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    Thankfully this is just part one of two and have already started War and Remembrance, which starts exactly where this one leaves off. Another 50+ hours of great story telling awaits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

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