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The Winds of War Audiobook

The Winds of War

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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

4.5 (4655 )
5 star
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4.6 (4080 )
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Story
4.6 (4079 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 04-10-13
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 04-10-13 Member Since 2012

    I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.

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    "Excellent"

    Someone wrote that the book was dated... I'm not sure how that applies to a book written in 1971 about the beginning of WWII, dialog, attitudes and most especially gender roles were different. I was born in the late sixties and did not find it to be dated.

    This was an excellent story full of detail and history, mostly accurate with a little poetic license. It brought home the reality that although the means of war change with technology, the fact of war is never as simple as good versus evil. The winners write the history books. There is much evil in the world, but sometimes we don't take action because of, maybe despite it.

    Even for a non politico like me, the book was engrossing. Excellent narration.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 01-05-17
    Richard Delman San Francisco 01-05-17 Member Since 2017

    I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books.

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    "Don't like war novels? Read this."
    What did you love best about The Winds of War?

    The fact that the plot is structured around one family, from the beginning of the war until its end. I have never really liked war books, and I have never really liked history either. However, Mr. Wouk has written two superb books (this one is in two parts, as is the "sequel," War and Remembrance) which in total make about one hundred hours of listening. If you told me that I would love these books before I read them, I would have been skeptical at best. However, once you get into it, these stories are fascinating, very moving and highly instructive. The narration is a little bit stiff, but that is nit-picking, frankly. The Henry family is a classic American family. Their experiences in and around WWII are the stuff of high adventure, romance, moments of true despair, and perfectly descriptive of the many emotional forces that bind families together and, occasionally, tear them apart. This is a masterpiece. It is great writing. Don't be put off by the length of the books, because after a while you will be deeply grateful that Mr. Wouk has made the phenomenal efforts necessary to put down everything he needs to say. This is the way to learn history, and a number of other topics.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Winds of War?

    There are so many. I think that the wild car ride that Natalie and Byron and several others take in the vast plains of Russian territory: this is a marvelously well-told saga of how frightening wars can be, and of how much two people can love each other, and of the heroism that arises from Byron's love and dedication to his young bride.


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

    I couldn't read something this long, I don't believe. Mr. Pariseau is very easy to listen to, and he covers a very broad range of scenes with talent and sensitivity. There are numerous accents to master and personalities to depict, and he does them all flawlessly.


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

    I'm just not good at this kind of thing. Plus, boiling down fifty hours of audiobook to two hours of movie: it can't be done. There is too much great stuff here, and you would have to throw out an unsupportable amount of it to condense it so severely. Not a great idea.


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book, even if you feel that this is the last kind of book that will appeal to you. You will be amazed and delighted at what you learn about the world, and about individual people, and about relationships, and...Have a ball. Thank heaven that the good guys won this one. What a world it would be if we had lost.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 11-02-11
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 11-02-11 Member Since 2014
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    "A good old-fashioned historical epic novel"

    I don't know when I've enjoyed a book more. This is a really interesting book with multiple plot lines. I've listened to a LOT of WWII history. This brought the first part of the war to life. I hope Audible has War and Remembrance soon.

    I liked this book so much that I ordered the mini-series so I can watch it.

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 11-03-11
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 11-03-11 Member Since 2011
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    "one of the best books I've ever read"

    I read this when it came out. For years, I gave this book with War and Remembrance as gifts and never came across anyone who didn't share my love of this story.
    The history is fascinating, though it definitely has a point of view and you may disagree with some interpretation of events.
    The narrator does a great job. When I first started, I felt he didn't get Pug right, but as I went along, I warmed to his interpretation.
    I can't recommend this enough, it is worthy of six stars in every category.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike From Mesa 01-07-12 Member Since 2015

    MikeFromMesa

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    "I had forgotten"

    I seem to fit in the same demographic as many other reviewers of this book. I first read it about 40 years ago when it was released and then saw the made-for-TV movie. In the intervening years I had forgotten how well Herman Wouk wrote (as of today he is still alive but no longer writing) and how well drawn and compelling the main characters of the book are.

    The story, of course, is that of a naval family drawn into the start of World War II up to the point of America's entry into the war. As a vehicle for telling the story of the period up to the Pearl Harbor attack the main character, "Pug" Henry, ends up being assigned to posts that have him, or members of his family, at important places during important times. Thus we get to see vignettes of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Joesph Stalin and Adolph Hitler as well as those around all of them.

    The characters are compelling, the events were real, the story well-drawn and important and the family large enough to have members scattered around the globe and seeing events from many different perspectives. This is a first class book, extremely well read and highly recommended.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Lebanon, Ohio, United States 10-24-11
    Connie Lebanon, Ohio, United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2017

    I am a retired Dressmaker living in a village in semi-rural Ohio.

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    "Very enjoyable"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I love epic histories that follow families over a period of time, and this one was exceptionable.


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

    Definitely Victor Henry. But the narrator did an excellent job with all the characters, especially since there were so many different accents involved.


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

    I was on pins and needles to see who would make it through Pearl Harbor.


    Any additional comments?

    This book covers the events leading up to the United States involvement in WWII. It is not dry history. Although some historical narrative is necessary to provide the backdrop to what the characters are going through, the author handles it with a unique method that makes it much more interesting.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John-Mark Stensvaag 10-18-11

    John-Mark

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    "Stunning Novel by a Great Writer"

    I am going to jump the gun here, because I have not yet listened to this, but I recommended it to Audible some time back, and I am thrilled that it is now available. I am writing this review early, because I want to encourage Audible listeners to purchase it immediately. This book and its sequel, "War and Remembrance," are stunning works of historical fiction. I very much hope Audible is preparing the sequel. Thank you, Audible, for listening to your customers!

    52 of 68 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Brooks Seattle, WA United States 06-04-15
    W. Brooks Seattle, WA United States 06-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Wow. A great book"

    I usually get books that are relatively new, but I've been on an historical fiction bent lately and recently completed some WW2-era best sellers, so I figured I'd try this one. I'm so glad I did. I went straight from this one to the sequel, War and Remembrance. About 100 hours, but I savored every minute of it. Wouk creates wonderfully full characters and weaves them through the run-up to WW2. Masterfully done. And Kevin Pariseau was the perfect choice for narrator. Each character was consistently voiced and unique. Made listening a pleasure. I was very happy to see that he was also the narrator for War and Remembrance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Austin, TX USA 01-21-13
    Jerry Austin, TX USA 01-21-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Absolutely amazing w/ equally amazing performance"
    Where does The Winds of War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top Five of all time


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

    I am really enjoying Ken Follett's Century trilogy, but this surpassed.


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

    I have not, but would rank him equal with Jon Lee


    Any additional comments?

    This is simply a must read. I switch between the kindle and audible copy (with some challenges) to enhance the experiences.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie L Walker 04-18-12 Member Since 2007
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    "One of the best WWII books ever written."

    I, as many others read this book in the hard cover, I watched the mini series as well. The audio version surpasses all. I loved it...I'm a avid history buff, will read most anything to do with history. The detail is fantastic, you feel you know the characters.
    The narration is great, Kevin Pariseau is probably one of the best, he does women, you know who they are without being told, he sings as well. I'm so happy to have this book in my library. Now I will listen to War and Remembrance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Dot
    9/20/15
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    Performance
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    "Great book"

    A must listen didn't want to stop listening to it.
    2nd book is a must too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • HM
    7/18/15
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    "good solid listen "

    I enjoyed the story, bit the narrator is a little dry for my liking, none the less I was hooked by the characters and am looking forward to the 2nd book

    0 of 0 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

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