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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 (4531 )
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4.6 (3965 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sari Alton, United Kingdom 02-25-13
    Sari Alton, United Kingdom 02-25-13
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    "The winds of war"
    What did you love best about The Winds of War?

    The story itself, and the fact it is so detailed and read with so animated voice, a joy


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

    The characters came to be living breathing individuals


    Any additional comments?

    I listen audiobooks while doing crafts, and with this book it has been a joy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    evans045 St. Paul, MN USA 02-21-13
    evans045 St. Paul, MN USA 02-21-13 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

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    Story
    "Good story but I cannot stand this reader."

    I wish this book was available by another narrator. I am intrigued by the story but will probably have to give up on it because I am increasingly distracted and annoyed by the choppy cadence of the reader. He pauses after every second or third word, regardless of whether the pause makes sense syntactically. It sounds pretentious and overdone, and I find myself getting extremely impatient for him just to "spit it out!" I would increase the narration speed, but the reader only uses this tortured, choppy pace when he is doing the descriptive narration parts, not when he speaks in character. So if I tick the speed up to 1.5x, I miss important parts of the dialog.

    I would encourage listeners to spend some time listening to a sample before they buy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim MOUNT DORA, FL, United States 02-19-13
    Jim MOUNT DORA, FL, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Captivating"
    What did you love best about The Winds of War?

    I loved Kevin Pariseau's extraordinary reading. Every character came alive - and he had no shortage of characters and accents to portray. Yes, the story was engrossing and this is Wouk's Great American Novel, but he couldn't have asked for a better reader. Pariseau is among the top two or three readers I've enjoyed listening to in more than 30 years of listening to audio books. He's a brilliant talent.


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

    Several characters being caught in Poland and barely escaping during the German invasion.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    See above, but it's a long book.


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

    Practically impossible.


    Any additional comments?

    Just another endorsement for Pariseau. With all due respect to Herman Wouk's fine writing, Pariseau makes the story so enjoyable for the listener. The producer(s) were smart in finding the right actor because the wrong person reading such a long work would have been potentially disastrous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Andrew Stone 02-14-13

    Rockbreaker

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    "A Great Story Told By a Great Narrator"
    Would you listen to The Winds of War again? Why?

    Absolutely! The book is historically accurate. The characters are believable. And the narrator is outstanding.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pug Henry. He is a great foil for characters with more dynamic and colorful personalities.


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

    Everything! His ability to speak multiple languages, change voices, and make you think you were listening to a radio show was truly amazing.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Winds of War and why?

    Talky Tudsberry. He was a comical but believable Brit.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Darlington, Australia 02-12-13
    Amazon Customer Darlington, Australia 02-12-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Good history, middling characters"

    I listened to this very long book whilst making a quilt. I was half living in WW2 all this time. The atmosphere and informative nature of the book kept me involved. I learned heaps about events and the issues America faced regarding getting into the war. I also liked the military accounts cleverly written by a war criminal whilst serving his sentence after Nurenburg with translators comments attached.
    I did not however care for most of the characters. There is a definite mysogynistic quality in the portrayal of the women whilst the men are (almost) all brave and resourceful. The book was written in the seventies which perhaps accounts for the use of terms like "yellow race" etc. as well as a distinctly moralistic attitude to sex.
    For all that though I learned a lot from the book and got a lot of quilting done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NatesNana 02-10-13
    NatesNana 02-10-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing detailed account (but I prefer Ken Follet)"

    Good way to learn details of the 2nd world war but I found it a bit dry and ponderous. I prefer Ken Follet's account, which gripped me fully from start to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-05-13

    Goofy Grandma

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    "Impressive Performance, Epic Story"

    I read this book and its sequel many years ago, and was so impressed then. It should be a classic. But the narration by Kevin Pariseau is stunning. He does various foreign accents: English, German, Italian, Russian, Polish, even different American accents. He even sings when the story quotes songs. His doesn't narrate this story, he PERFORMS the story. It truly comes alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caryll Southland 01-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful book. I hated for it to end."
    If you could sum up The Winds of War in three words, what would they be?

    Well written & narrated. I have learned more about what led up to our involvement in WWII even after reading The Rise & Fall of theThird Reich!


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

    No


    Who was the most memorable character of The Winds of War and why?

    Pug Henry. Because of his cool observation & assesment of people & events.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Simonton Texas, USA 01-29-13
    J. Simonton Texas, USA 01-29-13

    Fun Happens

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly the best historical fiction"
    Where does The Winds of War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    By far, this was my favorite listen on Audible. Such a great story that I couldn't wait to listen to more.


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

    Pillars of the Earth- both give a great story about fascinating times and processes. You fall in love with the characters.


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

    My favorite character was Victor Henry- he was a somewhat ordinary man living in extraordinary times. His sense of loyalty and love of his country and family made me just want to hear more about him.


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

    It took me almost two weeks to get through the book and that is listening for 3 hours a day. You definitely don't want to put this title down but it does take a little bit of patience to get through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica minneapolis, MN, United States 01-23-13
    Jessica minneapolis, MN, United States 01-23-13 Member Since 2017

    i'm listening

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "fantastic performance of a great historical drama"

    I love historical fiction when its done well. Done well to me means the social and political period is layed out and experienced through the life stories of actual people. There are several points of view in this third person narration and their stories are engaging and thoughtful.

    The performance is one of the best I have heard yet. This art of performing books is a fine and subtle one. Too much and the story is cartoonish and painful, not enough and its a droning bore. This one is perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • 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
  • sharon
    Falmouth, United Kingdom
    7/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Irene
    London, United Kingdom
    5/5/13
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    "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
  • Amazon Customer
    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
  • Philadelphus
    New Quay, Wales
    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
  • Jacob Timotheus
    10/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book in a while"

    Loved it, great story but even better narrator. Really brought the story to life. Will recommend to friends and I can't wait to read the second part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • StuartS
    4/20/16
    Overall
    "Great narration"

    This is a wonderful book which I have read many times. Kevin Pariseau's narration is outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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