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Book Name: The Winds of War

Author: Herman Wouk

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Overall Rating: (4.81/5) View all reviews (total 26 reviews)
Description

Herman Wouk acclaimed novels include the Pulitzer Prize winning The Caine Mutiny; Marjorie Morningstar; Don't Stop the Carnival; Youngblood Hawke; The Winds of War; War and Remembrance; Inside, Outside; The Hope; and The Glory.--This text refers to theAudio CDedition.

Reviews

Epic Storytelling

by Andres R. Guevara
(5/5)

Let's start off by being clear here: Winds of War is not a bang-em up war book. Although there are scenes of battles, they are told either (a) from the perspective of an observer (i.e. Pug Henry seeing the battle unfolding); (b) or as a historical overview of what happened during the battle. So, in answer to the negative review that this book contained no major military battles: it isn't that kind of book. Winds of War is essentially a story about the Henry family and Pug and Byron in particular against the backdrop of the rise of the Third Reich. Both Pug and Byron have vastly different love interests and the book interweaves their love stories with the events that lead up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Of course, the book is so much more that a romance novel. Wouk takes his main characters from the German invasion of Poland, to England during the Battle of Britain, to Moscow during Operation Barbarossa, and finally to Pearl Harbor and Manilla Bay. (with lots of other ports of call in between). Interspersed in the book are excerpts from a fictional book written by a german general after the war (and after Neuremburg). These excerpts give a fascinating look into the "german side" of the war. Wouk also uses these excerpts to give historical context to many of the battles and events which occur behind the scenes. Winds of War doesn't merely tely a story, it attempts to describe why certain events occurred. For example, the characters in the book don't merely react to Hitler and call him every bad name in the book; certain of the characters actually discuss why they think Hitler rose to power. Wouk then takes the character's opinions on certain events to help explain their conduct and make it more believable (for instance, Aaron Jastrow seems to lack concern when faced with the prospect of Nazi rule in part because of his knowledge of history and what he believes history tells him about the German people.) Each of the main characters is wonderfully unique and Wouk does an amazing job of keeping all the characters distinct, to the point where I could anticipate certain reactions (like Slote's nervous giggle in times of high stress). This is the fastest 1000 page book you will ever read.


Best Ever

by Barbara Wingardner
(5/5)

I read Winds of War as well as War and Remembrance 30-something years ago, and ever since have felt that they were the best, most compelling books I had read in my life. That's never changed, despite having read hundreds of books since then. So I put Winds of War on my Kindle and am rereading slowly, savoring each chapter this time through.If you haven't read them, do so. You won't regret it.


One of my favorite

by Beverly
(5/5)

Wonderful story of World War II, told by one man's family who happen to be in all the right (wrong?) places to be involved in the many aspects of the war, from Europe to the Pacific to the home front...sort of a serious Forrest Gump story. I checked the validity of some of the history and everything seems to be accurate.


Most compelling historical fiction about WWII ever written

by Billy Hollis
(5/5)

The pair (Winds of War plus War and Remembrance) are must-read books for anyone who wants to understand World War II. Following a military family through the pre-war years up until Pearl Harbor, Winds of War sets the stage and covers the early war in Europe in detail. War and Remembrance then picks up after Pearl Harbor and gets all the way to the victory over the Japanese.Artfully using characters that have a plausible reason to be in important locales for the war, Wouk combines the family's story with military analysis (by a fictitious German general) to give a complete story. It's amazing that he can work so much that's relevant to the war into a drama about fictional characters.The novel gives you a sense of the military and geographic factors that drove the war, the logistic and economic factors, and the psychology of the leaders of the great powers. But you're also treated to an understanding of the spirit of the times. Younger readers especially will begin to understand what it was like to live in an age very unlike the modern world, and one in which mortal threats were commonplace.I recently reread Winds of War after a twenty year gap, and enjoyed it even more this time. I feel that I know the characters even better the second time through, and better understand their predicaments and the choices they made.I only have only one quibble about characterization. One of the characters, a Jewish wife to one of the military family, is the on-scene witness in Europe to Germany's treatment of the Jews. While I think that material is very important, the series of circumstances that keeps her and her uncle in Europe seems a bit contrived to me. But I'll give Wouk a little license. The book would have not been complete or nearly as powerful if it had left out a complete understanding of the Holocaust, and if it took a little contrivance to get two Americans to witness those events, I consider that a worthwhile trade.If you've seen the TV series and liked it, you really ought to get the complete picture by reading this book. I've given it as a gift to friends for years. I used to pick up copies I would see in used book stores so that I could give it to folks I thought might be interested.Unfortunately I ended up with no copies except one very old falling-apart one, and bought a recent printing of the paperback. The quality was not as good it should be, probably because this book is over a thousand pages and they cut some corners on production. I have to wash my hands after each reading because the print smudges off the book. So if you can afford it, you might want to get the school/library binding version instead. It's more than twice as expensive, but I expect it's of far superior quality. I'm probably going to pick up one of those myself. This pair of books is one that ought to be displayed proudly in any thinking person's library.


Peace Requires the Love of Peace

by Carmen Matthews "The Serene Samurai"
(5/5)

In the foreward of my copy, I am still touched by Herman Wouk's talents, "Peace, if it ever exists, will not be based on the fear of war, but on the love of peace. It will not be the abstaining from an act, but the coming of a state of mind. In this sense the most insignificant writer can serve peace, where the most powerful tribunals can do nothing."All family members, and military figures in this great novel had to find their own form of peace. Their faith was challenged. As was their fundamental ways of life.I especially enjoy how the arthor combined true history with the fictional family. It was easy to relate to each family member, and to root for their desire for peace.The message that the quote above carries in my heart is also something that I believe we must apply in our daily lives. It's extremely valuable to face problems from a desire for peace, knowing that looking directly at the problems, and what role we play creates love that is passed onto others, naturally.


Unique In Satsifying the Blended Genre Reader

by carol irvin "carol irvin"
(5/5)

I go from historical romance novels to historical fiction to non-fiction but easy-to-read history. Each of them has its own slant on perspective about that era, ranging from history-as- wallpaper to up-close rendering, as if you were there. This is one of the very few novels that manages to combine the elements of all 3 kinds of those books into a very gripping reading saga of WWII. So you are given well researched history in a very palatable form. It follows an interrelated cast of characters all over the map with WWII, taking us deeply into the critical locales. There is even a fascinating account given by a German general, interspersed throughout, of the war as seen through the opposite side's eyes. Wouk does an incredible job and his sequel, "War and Remembrance" is almost as goood.


Highly Entertaining

by CJA "CJA"
(4/5)

This novel was an enormous best seller in the 1970s for good reason. Wouk is a skilled story teller, and the reader quickly learns to like and to care about the fate of Wouk's characters. Also, Wouk portrays a vision of America appealing to Americans: they enter war reluctantly, but once in, they fight the good war and fight it well. Although Wouk knows too much about the military to abandon all cynicism, he portrays military men as generally competent, committed, and patriotic.The appeal of the novel is also its limitation. This is not a meditation on the human condition like Tolstoy's "War and Peace." Also, Wouk uses his characters to tell the whole story of the lead up to World War II. He is sufficiently skilled to pull it off, but he spreads his characters a bit thin in the process.I recommend the book as highly entertaining. Despite its length, it reads fast.


Engrossing great read!

by c joy "book lover/ dual android/apple user"
(5/5)

This was on my list of summer reads and is truly enlightening,I now have a deeper understanding of World War II. Herman Wouk is a master storyteller and keeps you coming back for more! Hisinsights on human nature and the human condition are right ontarget. It is truly frightening to think how close we were to losing both the Pacific and European battles, due to complacency and isolationism. War and Remembrance is also a must read.


a sequel?

by Grampa
(3/5)

A good book but i didn't know there is a sequel. I don't think I would have bought the first one.


World War Epic Part 1

by Gregory Hope
(4/5)

"The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" must be read together. These lengthy novels follow the trials and travails of one American family through the years immediately preceeding the Second World War through to the end of that war. The author does a great job of depicting the terrors of the holocaust and of the ground war on Europe's eastern front. Likewise pacific naval combat is dealt with on a personal level. The historical context of the books seemed to be quite accurate. By the close of the second book the reader will have an appreciation for the cost of global war. Personally, I could have done with somewhat less of the romantic double-dealings and intrigue. My only other caution to the prospective reader is the daunting length of these books. I listened to the unabridged Audible Audio version of both books and found the narration to be excellent.


The Winds of War

by GW Smith
(4/5)

Herman Wouk has a way with words and characterizations. The historical events and issues that lead to the U.S. entry into World War II are woven into the Henry family, a military clan that the father (Pug) characterizes as tumbleweeds blown around by the wind. I found this very enjoyable.


Classic Literature Type Novel

by James Hobson Jr.
(5/5)

If you compare the older writers with the newer writers, you can tell a distinct difference in their writing style. Older authors tend to utilize a wider range of the English vocabulary even at the expense of being a bit verbose. Newer writers are often times more succinct but also utilize a vary narrow vocabulary to explain ideas, create characters and develop stories. Herman Wouk falls into the former category. His use of the English language is beautiful in a way that is lost in so many newer novels. His work has a similar style to other greats like Somerset Maugham, Pat Conroy, and James Michener. Particularly in Winds Of War he demonstrates his ability to maintain intricate stories with a diverse set of characters from all over the world into a cohesive plot-line. And he does it with relish. With an expansive vocabulary he can entertain the reader with words and ideas that other authors could never imagine writing. Although Winds Of War may contain more factual information that expected, it certainly adds to the authenticity of the story weaved through the timeless characters. Wouk is an exhaustive researcher and the quality of the detailed information rivals any textbook on WWII.I was never interested in WWII until I found this old book sitting on a shelf in our library. Now that I understand the magnitude of the effect the world war had on so many lives from so many countries and for so long, I appreciate this period in history. There may not be another book in print better at engaging a reader into subtle interest in such a seemingly mundane topic.The many rewards Wouk received during his lifetime as an author were much deserved. I hope this novel can help more people who are disinterested in the history of WWII appreciate the time-period.


Tolstoyan

by John Coffey
(5/5)

There's a scene where Henry is taken to Tolstoy's grave and one wonders if this is a conceit by Wouk; but the comparison is not far fetched and maybe this novel is superior to War and Peace- it's certainly more readable.


Forget The Review Ratings

by John E. Nevola "Author of The Last Jump"
(5/5)

"The Winds of War" is a bona fide 5 STAR book if there ever was one! It is the Gold Standard of historical fiction of World War II.Some folks decided to trash the book based on an apparently highly flawed Kindle version or some badly mangled used books. These were not literary criticisms and the people probably should have sought an alternative method to register their valid complaints. Diluting the considered comments and thoughtful ratings of (people judging) the substance of the book is not fair to the author or to prospective readers.This book takes the reader on a sweeping historical journey from events leading up America's involvement in the war. Our protagonist, US Naval Captain Victor "Pug" Henry, has a large adult extended family which is spread out across the globe and this allows Wouk to deal with pre-war Nazi Germany, the blitzkrieg of Poland, the Battle of Britain, Italy, Stalin in Russia and finally Pearl Harbor.The characters and storyline are so good it leaves you aching for more. And he delivers "more" with the sequel, "War and Remembrance".For wonderful thought-provoking entertainment and a history lesson all rolled into one, these 2 books are the best you can get!John E. NevolaAuthor of The Last Jump - A Novel of World War II


a Pugnacious story..

by Kerry O. Burns
(5/5)

the absolute best WWII story I've ever read. It is imposible to read this book without picturing Pug as Robert Mitchum. He is the perfect epitome of this character. If you've never seen the TV mini-series or if you've had then read the book. Unforgettable characters in a moment of history that changes the world.


Best WWII novel there is~Very accurate

by kindred spirit
(5/5)

I feel like I stepped into the 1940's and I was right ther with Pug and Rhoda. This is the most detailed and accurate novel on WWII that I have read.The charachers are so alive. This Navy family are scattered all over Europe and the US in WWII. You go from desk jobs to the trenches in Russia. Briney the youngest son marries a Jewish woman who is living in Siena, Italy so you can guess where that leads.You read the horrors of Hitlers Final Solution. All the military planning and battles and the tender moments between husbands and wives.The Kindle edition did have many typo's in it. I did report it and was assured that it is being corrected.This is a great read and it is so much easier to read on the Kindle as it is a BIG heavy book.I highly recommend it to anyone who loves WWII drama.


World War II Classic

by K. Stevenson "ancient_mariner"
(5/5)

This is a 5-star book that should read by anybody with an interest in WW II. The comments and complaints regarding sexism and poor female characters... well the book was published in 1971. Compare it to some of the other fiction being published at the time... Ian Fleming, John MacDonald, Robert Heinlein. Wouk comes of pretty well in comparison to those authors, I think, especially as his subject is war. Despite this, Wouk still constructs some fascinating female characters... and not all of them are brilliant, easy to sympathize with, or even very smart. But then again, neither are the men.It's a long story, a bit melodramatic at times, will infuriate you, and bring tears to your eyes. Which was what Wouk set out to accomplish.


The family saga makes the history of WW2 come alive!

by Kyle L. Rhynerson "Fortitudine Vincimus"
(5/5)

The “Winds of War” is the first in a two-book historical fiction series chronicling World War 2 as seen through the eyes of five members of the Henry family. As a word of warning, this is an long book, but a rewarding one if you can immerse yourself into the setting and characters of this volatile period when world war was not some abstract history lesson, but a frightening reality impacting millions of families around the world!Victor “Pug”, the father, is in his late 40’s, with dreams of commanding a battleship and eventually making admiral. Rhoda, the mother, is a few years younger, and caught up being the wife of career naval officer. Warren is in his 20’s with aspirations to fly planes in the Navy. Bryon is in his 20’s also with his head in the clouds, but it is more of journey as he drifts about trying to find his way in the world. Finally, there is Madeline, who is 19 at the beginning of the story, and she finds herself stuck in a college she doesn’t enjoy.Towards the end of the novel, we read the Henry’s are a “family of tumbleweeds” and the “winds of war have been blowing [them] all around the world.” This is a vivid description and helps set the stage for how one or more members of the Henry family always seemed to be in the thick of things to include the invasion of Poland, the bombing of London, the German offensive into Russia, and the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.What I really enjoyed about the novel is the way in which Henry Wouk wraps historic events into a compelling, romantic family drama. He did a masterful job of drawing you into the story and more importantly into the feelings and conflicts that arose during this time. The novel exposes you to events of WW2 and provides a glimpse of life as seen from German, Polish, British, Russian, Japanese, and American perspectives.Wouk’s attention to detail and historic accuracy really impressed me throughout the novel. I often found myself wondering, “did that really happen the way he wrote it?” Every time I looked up things such as the staged Polish attack on Germany, the importance of earning your “dolphins” in the Navy, the casualty counts for the United States, the Einsatzgruppen special action units that had no military purpose, etc., I found these things to be true. In the Kindle version of the book, there is a “Preface to the First Edition” where Wouk does mention “World Empire Lost” is a fiction, but it is based on historical German literature and perspectives.


Great History Lesson

by Michael A. Newman
(5/5)

This book along with it's companion, War and Remembrance, are so full of vivid history. I learned from these books more about WWII including what led up to it than any history class, documentary, or history book could ever provide.On top of all this history is a touching tale about a military family that suffers the highs and lows of personal events (romance, divorce, death, etc.) while rubbing elbows with all the great names of that time.The authors descriptions of some of the battle scenes (The German defeat of the French) are so real that I felt I had experienced them first hand. This should be required reading for any WWII history class.


An archetype.........

by nto62
(5/5)

I've read many WWII-related novels and works of non-fiction over the years. Therefore, I'm somewhat surprised it took me this long to arrive at Herman Wouk. Winds of War is a sweeping, magnificent epic that captured me in a way few novels do.Herman Wouk tells the story of a fictional USN family as the events leading up to America's entry into war cast them hither and yon. London, Berlin, Moscow, Pearl Harbor, New York City, Rome, Manila, and Washington DC all figure prominently as do the leaders of each Axis and Allied country.Having read much about WWII, I especially enjoyed Wouk's flawless chronology and the detail with which it was adorned. Indeed, one could absorb a better understanding of the WWII event timeline from Winds of War than from many non-fictional accounts.I do most of my reading at night before sleep. Winds of War had me looking forward to bedtime on my commute home from work. I loved this book. I loved it's character formation, it's pace, it's geographical range, and it's towering level of suspense. Every ingredient required for a memorable epic is present in an impeccable weave.Winds of War rates 5 stars and more.


Historical fiction at its very best

by Owen Hughes
(5/5)

This is the first of two books recounting the story of an American family during the period just prior to and then throughout the Second World War. If we could take the real history away from it altogether, a compelling fictional drama would still remain. To mix this invented family saga in with that of the war, means that we have a novel of another order altogether.In this first novel, we are taken inside Hitler's Berlin and allowed to see the inner workings of the regime, as experienced by Victor `Pug' Henry, a senior American naval attaché and the story's main hero. Slowly we are introduced to his family and we follow them as they become dispersed in different corners of the planet in preparation for the coming conflict. At the same time, we are given the necessary background to the American political arena of the period, as Pug becomes drawn into the unique role as the President's unnamed (and therefore secret) military aide. He is subsequently sent to all the major scenes of political influence in the Allied Command, a device which not only works well for the plot, but gives the reader a very wide reach, beyond what one feels is the normal grip of propaganda. It's another reason I like the book: it is about a war in which the truth was continuously bent during and afterwards by all and sundry (albeit for different reasons). It is good do be able to feel such confidence in the integrity of Wouk the author, as he reports to us through the eyes of Pug Henry.In addition to the ordinary (some would say, far from ordinary) events occurring in the lives of his characters, Wouk sets the stage for the second book's main story, which is that of the Jewish ghetto known as Theresienstadt.This is a major work of fiction and, I would argue, a major work of history as well. Our understanding of a period in which so much false information was produced, can only be enhanced by a work in which, right from the beginning, we are not asked to believe that everything stated is true. We are then left to see for ourselves what sort of world this was half a century ago, and the clarity and openness of the text leaves us in no doubt.


A Masterpiece

by T. C. Pile "audiobookaholic"
(5/5)

This sprawling epic follows a group of fictional characters - a family - through a painstakingly researched recreation of the events leading up to the Second World War, in Winds of War, the first volume, and up through the end of the war in the second volume, War and Remembrance. The historical sequence, the actions of world leaders, and the events of the war are detailed and factual, but the main characters and their places in those events are fictional. It's a brilliant device to bring the history we think we know to life, and grounds momentous events in the humanity of individuals trying to cope with the total upheaval of a worldwide conflict and the unimaginable horror of events like the rise of Hitler, the Pearl Harbor attack, the Atomic Bomb, and the Holocaust.The Audible production is truly a masterful interpretation of a masterwork, primarily due to the monumental work of Kevin Pariseau. He handles a huge cast of characters, with a mélange of accents - Russian, British, German, Yiddish, Italian, French, several American dialects, and more - with convincing ease, but it was the singing as multiple characters that put the icing on it for me. When Udom sang to the crowd at Theresienstadt before being sent off on the train to Auschwitz, it tore my heart out.I read these books to gain a deeper grasp of my father's generation, of the sacrifices they made, and of the events that shaped their world view. I came away with so much more than that. My faith in humanity was restored.The Winds of War


Great pre WW2 US Navy family novel, friends, lovers and enemies. Real people too and exciting history

by Thomas Erickson
(5/5)

The Pulitzer winning author (The Caine Mutiny) Herman Wouk wrote the great 885 page The Winds of War( other... War and Remembrance).Wouk used rich character development and the reader easily develops deep empathy with the main characters in this novel. Also famous/infamous people like Hitler, Stalin, President Roosevelt, Admirals King, Halsey and Yamato and more plus great history add to this novel. Wouk mixes fictional characters, real people and events very well.We see the central character Commander Victor Henry being assigned Naval attache duties in Berlin, Moscow and England to gather intelligence info for President Roosevelt. His wife supports him but eventually has an affair. His oldest son becomes a naval aviator stationed on the Enterprise. His youngest son becomes a Submariner officer and his daughter becomes a radio talk show helper.Eventually captain "Pug" Henry gets his dream assignment as Captain of the battleship California only to see it sunk in Pearl Harbor by the Japanese before he can take command.Briny his submariner/Ensign son gets a commendation and his gold Dolphins and saves torpedoes and supplies from the wreckage at Pearl. Plus Briny marries a Jew who has their baby son. The baby, wife and her famous author Uncle are trapped in Europe by Hitler's Gestapo, threatened and can't get out. His son Warren the naval aviator serves on the Enterprise and is shot down and injured at Pearl Harbor.I won't continue and ruin this great action packed and interesting true history novel for you. Also some insight into the mind of one of Hitler's top Generals. Lots of prewar intelligence gathering by captain "Pug" Henry and a colorful painting of WW2 military/country leaders.Anyone interested in a great story with great characters plus true interesting preWW2 history will love this book. 5 stars plus and proudly added to our family library.I just started reading Wouk's second part book War and Remembrance with many of The Winds of War characters. I'll review.


The World's Greatest Drama

by T. Leach "Jr."
(5/5)

The events leading to the Second World War are as fascinating as the events of the War itself, and infinitely more complex and consequential than any work of fiction. Wouk (and his researchers) have provided us with a marvelous gift in this book, which presents a cleverly developed fictitious tale set among ALL of the major events and players of this real life drama.I am writing this review in March of 2008. The US is experiencing multiple financial crises in the housing, credit, and energy markets. We are at war with seemingly unobtainable goals. We are witnessing a baffling and discouraging presidential contest. Terrorism seems to rule nearly every aspect of our lives (and even so, we are one of the safest nations on Earth - in other words, it is much worse in other places . . . .). All of that stated, March of 2008 looks like a cakewalk compared to nearly any place in the world in the late 1930's and early 1940's, when fascist (and socialist, and imperialist) politics, rapidly developing war technologies, the last vestiges of old world European colonialism, and the overwhelming power of racism (anti-Semitism, among others), combined to change the maps of nearly every major power and realign the world for the time not yet ended. This masterful work of fiction sheds a fascinating light on the rise of this war, while also providing a great story.About the fiction of this work, Wouk invented an interesting family whose characters, all taken together, are present for active roles in just about every major event of the coming war. As such, this is like a modern Shakespearian classic - we are treated to the very human actions and emotions of legends (good and bad) through the eyes of Pug Henry and his family. What a hell of a book. At some regrettable points, the book borders on sappy, and some (and I stress, only a few) scenes are just not believable (like Warren Henry being shot down over Pearl Harbor, and dropping in at his house to see the wife before snagging another plane and getting back in the fight). These missteps are few and forgivable. The characters are universally flawed, which is a refreshing departure from the typical pop fiction approach - sometimes I would find myself angry with some of these characters and their actions - what a great reaction to pull out of your reader!This is a recommended book for war and history buffs, but I think it can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates readable fiction - particularly fiction set in the mid-20th century. The ultimate compliment: when I finished this I did not hesitate to pick up Wouk's sequel, War and Remembrance. Awesome!


"Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance"

by Ursiform
(5/5)

I've noticed that there continues to be an interest in these books, but that there have also been some interesting comments about them on Amazon. So I'll add some thoughts of mine.These novels, which are really one, extended, story cover World War II from antecedents to conclusion from the American viewpoint. Wouk uses the device of having one set of characters--in this case Naval Officer "Pug" Henry and his family--continually turn up in key situations so as to allow the novel to cover the entire epoch while having a continuous, human-level plot. ("War and Peace", obviously an inspiration to Wouk, is probably the most famous example of this approach.) Without this device the writer is forced to chose between taking a microscopic view of the period, or ending up with a set of connected stories without a unifying, human-level plot, or interrupting the novel with historical asides. The downside of this device is that it relies on a series of improbable events and coincidences to get a key character into each historical situation important to the story. Readers then need to suspend disbelief on this point to enjoy the novel; those that can't are going to be disappointed.Comments on Amazon suggest that these books are anything from soap operas to the greatest historical novels ever written. Those who consider them soap operas can't suspend disbelief concerning the plot improbabilities. That is a fair reason to not enjoy novels like these, but doesn't really consign them to the level of soap opera. But neither are they among the greatest historical novels ever written. In fact, they aren't even the best novels about World War II that use this plot device; that honor goes to Vasily Grossman's "Life and Fate", which covers the war from the Soviet viewpoint, and is a great novel by a great writer and well worth reading.At the end of the day, Herman Wouk may be remembered as one of the finest American novelists of the twentieth century, in that his best books were outstanding, if conventional, novels. But he was not a great writer, although he was a very good one. That said, these are two books that deserve to endure and gain new generations of readers. They are well written, keep moving and encourage the reader to keep turning pages, and give a grand overview of the World War II era. If you love history you might prefer learning about the era from nonfiction books by historians and participants. If you are looking for deep characterizations and profound insight into the human experience you should probably read smaller-scale novels that look inward rather than cover the broad sweep of a world-wide conflict. But for a reader looking for a well constructed and well written story that also provides an overview of the conflict that consumed the world in the 1930s and 40s, and set the stage for the geopolitics of the half century to follow, these are wonderful books.


A longtime favorite

by V. Payne "seems all I do these days is read!"
(5/5)

Have read this book several times and never seem to tire of it. The characters are so very well drawn and the time/era has ever been fascinating to me. Wouk captures the sights, sounds and smells of those days perfectly. His interaction between 'his' characters and actual persons of the time is flawless. A terrific historical introduction to the times, how people felt, things that were done. It's a masterpiece in my estimation.


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