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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,539
  • 4 Stars
    1,076
  • 3 Stars
    350
  • 2 Stars
    94
  • 1 Stars
    82

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    3,370
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    816
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    237
  • 2 Stars
    50
  • 1 Stars
    57

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,238
  • 4 Stars
    903
  • 3 Stars
    277
  • 2 Stars
    63
  • 1 Stars
    51
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ben
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 03-07-13

Wonderful

There is so much that has already been said about this piece that I don't think I can add anything of real substance. It is extremely well researched, enthralling and just enjoyable to listen to. From the writing to the performance I give this an A+.
Wonderful Listen.

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  • Brodie
  • Mornington, Australia
  • 03-07-13

No Wouk in the Park but an epic tale

Great and must be followed up with the sister book. Performance was great but for some of the British and European pronunciations but this is certainly not the fault of Kevin, it is the Director's failing.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sweeping and Scenic

Would you listen to The Winds of War again? Why?

I was amazed at how the characters came to life. Very vivid. Some of the plotlines felt a bit predictable, but I thoroughly loved the phrasing and pace.

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

I absolutely loved the technique of describing the pre-war scenario from the German perspective through one character's translation of a German military officer's memoirs. This book gives a sweeping view of the time just before WW II from so many perspectives. I feel as though I learned so much about such a large part of history in a very exciting way.

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

Pug Henry is a wonderful character. He is written as a classic military man, but having come from a military family myself, it didn't feel unrealistic. People like this really exist, and they are a big part of the American story.

Any additional comments?

Hearing this story made me appreciate the 'smallness' of the stresses in my everyday life. I am so thankful that I do not have the same life and death issues of this story or of wartime in general.

The story made me appreciate modern day communications as well!

I can't wait to hear the 'rest of the story'!! (War and Remembrance)

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  • David
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • 03-04-13

Sweeping!

What made the experience of listening to The Winds of War the most enjoyable?

Herman Wouk has now endeared me to his style of writing. History comes alive in this tomb and I enjoyed each character and felt as if I was there with them in their ups and downs while WWII was playing out in a behind the scenes fashion. With this tale, I fully understand and have unpacked the why's of the German, Russian and Japanese governments actions before and at the start of the war, thus the reason why I appreciate historical fiction. I whole heartedly endorse this work and will enjoy, I'm sure, the second half! Big fan of Herman Wouk Now!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointed for having expected better

I made it about half way through the book before giving up. I was disappointed with the character development, particularly the females who are cast as flighty, self-absorbed and irresponsible. The young men in the story didn't fare much better, and came across as immature and either reckless, indecisive or cowardly. Perhaps it's a reflection of the mindset of the 70's or simply my own opinion, but the story could have been much richer had those supporting characters played more significant roles earlier in the book. As it was, it felt all too much like a made for TV soap opera mini series, which of course it did become in the 80's.

Since I didn't finish the book, perhaps the characters all matured and made significant contributions to the war in the end. The writing itself was fine and the historical context was satisfying. I learned a lot about the impact of the war upon central Europe, and perhaps at some point I'll return to finish the book for that reason alone. But for now, there are other historical novels such as Ken Follet's Century Trilogy that are more satisfying.

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  • Story

Loved the story and narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story was appropriately centered in history without being so mired in the details that the story and character development suffered.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Byron because he struggled to be his own person in the midst of a war and family that required walking the line.

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

His various accents for the characters really brought them to life.

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  • cathy
  • santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 02-25-13

Couldn't put it down, had me mesmerized!

Would you listen to The Winds of War again? Why?

Yes, it was like listening to a movie.

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

The love affair in Warsaw.

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

NO.

Any additional comments?

It was a wonderful story and so well read, he did each character with a different accent.

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  • Story
  • AMSmart
  • Valdosta, GA, United States
  • 02-25-13

Marvelous mixture of fiction and fact.

What did you love best about The Winds of War?

I had read the books several years ago. The books were fantastic and the audio made it even better.

Who was your favorite character and why?

At this stage in my life, Pug. The age and family life.

Any additional comments?

Recommend with no reservations.

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  • Story
  • Sari
  • Alton, United Kingdom
  • 02-25-13

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!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • 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.