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The Winds of War [Paperback]

Herman Wouk
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: £10.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Feb 2002
Reissued to coincide with a television mini-series, this is the first part of an epic about two American families whose lives are interwoven in a common cause which forms a saga of love and ambition set against the background of World War II. The second part is called "War and Remembrance".
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (5 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316952664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316952668
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.3 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
COMMANDER Victor Henry rode a taxicab home from the Navy Building on Constitution Avenue, in a gusty gray March rainstorm that matched his mood. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the TV series, read the book... 16 Sep 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Herman Wouk seems to have fallen out of favour lately, but earlier in his writing career, he produced some stunning novels. As in his Pulitzer Prize winning "Caine Mutiny", Wouk works best when he takes small characters and sweeps them up into massive situations. The Henrys, an all-American naval family, and the Jastrows, Jewish intellectuals, find themselves caught up in the spectre of Hitler's relentless advance across Europe, and the apathy of the American nation to act. "The Winds of War" breaks off with the attack on Pearl Harbour, with "War and Remembrance" concluding the horrifying story of WWII, taking in the concentration camps, war in the Pacific and the nuclear attacks on Japan.
An incredible, heart rending achievement that could never have been adequately recreated on the small screen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historically Accurate and Highly Engrossing 17 May 2010
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
coming in at over 1000 pages and tracing the history of WWII from the early thirties to the bombing of Pearl Harbour, this is truly an epic book in every sense of the word. A friend recommended it as a first class introduction to understanding the historical complexities of WWII in a digestible manner and I could not agree more. Wouk has done his homework and the events he covers are accurately reported. His cast of characters, dispersed over the globe, give him the opportunity to cover the war on all fronts without too much strain or stress on the narrative and despite its length I was gripped. The characters are well drawn and their loves and hates and the hands that fate deals them allows you as the reader to connect on a human, intimate level with the vast events that Wouk describes. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this two book experience is a 'must read' 24 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Winds of War
This book along with the sequel (War and Remembrance)is a 'must read' experience for anyone who likes to get caught up in a book and is interested in this period of world history. Herman Wouk is an expert at intertwining factual events with the fictional characters who move through the story... he never puts a foot wrong with historical or technical accuracy and displays one of the most conscientious approaches to his work that I have ever had the priviledge to read. Rather than even attempt to precis the tale I will just say do read War and Remembrance after this one as so much more is offered... both novels apparently took 16 years to write and the result is a masterpiece
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WW2 epic which informs 9 Sep 2004
By A Customer
Ploughed through this because fascinated by and have read lots about WW2; and because Anthony Burgess rated it one of the best novels to have appeared since the war.
I found the writing slightly pedestrian and one or two of the plotlines (the Jewish Prof. who just won't get a move on and quit Europe...) a bit slow and predictable. Yet overall I liked the human drama described by Wouk, and loved his light touch when it comes to informing you of so much history. Pen portraits of Stalin and Roosevelt were a particular delight... I felt I was in the presidential train with FDR as the old rogue plotted away...
Any serious student of WW2 must surely dip into this and read at least the fictional German General's review of WW2 which intersperses the chapters. You learn a helluva a lot you won't from standard history books.
It says something about the calibre of this book that I have had no option other than to now pick up its 1000 page sequel, War and Remembrance, which I am enjoying.
I guess I'll have then read all the "big" WW2 novels.
How does this rate?
Not in the same league as the 3 that are hailed as classics(Naked and the Dead, Slaughterhouse 5, Catch 22), better than Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy, definitely deserving to be better known and appreciated than it seems to be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 10 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having recently seen the mini series, I had to read the book! Fantastic. The writing is so easy to read, the historical facts, the 'story' incorporating all the major events, including leading up to WW2, and especially interesting as written from the American perspective, the author, Herman Wouk, uses the main character as an 'objective' observer, and ensures each character portrays differing points of view, and even uses characters to 'teach' other characters. The reader thus learns, too. Absolutely brilliant, and should be used in schools around the world to encourage and initiate discussion, with succeeding generations. The issues remain absolutely relevant today. Written with remarkable integrity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Epic 5 Jan 2013
By Kat
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
On first glance, The Winds of War is an overwhelming book. At 885 pages / 365,879 words and taking place between March 1939 and December 1941, it's both dense in size and in scope. As a comparison, George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is 835 pages / 292,727 words. And yet, I read it in three days.

Essentially a tale of one familys involvment in the leadup to the US entering WWII, The Winds of War is also a close look at the historical events in Europe, the US and in part, the Pacific that culiminated in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Henrys are a Navy family - Victor 'Pug' Henry is naval attache to Berlin and his wife Rhoda travels with him to Berlin. His grown children, sons Warren and Byron and daughter Madeline, are off making their own way in the world, and Pug finds himself drawn into the war in Europe when he sends a report predicting the Nazi-Soviet non-agression pact which comes to the attention of President Roosevelt.

Although The Winds of War is a dense, intense book, I found myself quickly addicted to the story. The characters were realistic and the writing very true to the era - not in a way that dates the story, but in a way that made me feel as if I was really there.

This book also helped me to understand more of the politicial, as well as historical aspects of the early part of WWII, particularly in Europe. There are sections of the book which contain reports from a German officer, which is translated and examined by Pug Henry, but I confess I didn't find them relevant to the story, and quite dry reading so I did skip them (after attempting to read the first section).

Part history, part family saga, I truly enjoyed The Winds of War. Despite the fact that I now have an aching wrist from holding this monster for three days, I'm already 300 pages into the next book, War and Remembrance. So if you're feeling brave, and love good historical fiction, The Winds of War is well worth the investment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The copy I received was in excellent condition and the packaging was...
Re-reading or listening to a book I read when it first came out. The copy I received was in excellent condition and the packaging was great. Will use this compmnay again.
Published 1 day ago by Bhillstead
2.0 out of 5 stars not like the audio version ( the Movie)
well, it's a LOT of CD's.


But, after hearing the verbatim reading of the German translation made by the Pug Henry... Read more
Published 11 months ago by SAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisited
I'd forgotten how good this book is. Previously read in the 1970's and couldn't get thru it fast enough this time! Am now reading again the sequel War & Remembrance.
Published 22 months ago by Hildergaad
4.0 out of 5 stars Long but good
Wow, this was a big one. It was a well-written book but a bit one-sided. As though we had nothing to do with the war. Still liked it.
Published on 14 Jan 2012 by Magarite
5.0 out of 5 stars Love to find old books no longer in print
I am always searching for books that are out of print. Always find them at Amazon. I always search there first.
Published on 12 Jan 2012 by Eira Miller
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I actually thought I had been through the second world war by the time I finished this very one dimensional and very dull book so glad the americans fought from 1939 on to 1945 of... Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2011 by Indred Cold
2.0 out of 5 stars The Winds Of War
I must have been reading a different book to the other reviewers. I cannot doubt Wouk's passion for writing this, but it's a shame that the prose is so dull, so plodding. Read more
Published on 13 Dec 2010 by Rich
1.0 out of 5 stars very bad order- returned to supplier, awaiting refund
Published on 11 April 2009 by Mrs. Patricia Martin
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