War and Remembrance is a legitimate 5 STAR book if there ever was one It is, along with The Winds of War, the Gold Standard of historical fiction for World War II.
Readers should seriously consider reading The Winds of War before reading this book for two reasons One, the first book in the dualology is a prequel and the understanding the story and the characters makes reading the second book that much enjoyable The second reason is to be sure you like how Herman Wouk writes and treats history Most people do but if you re one of those ultra picky readers, you may find his canvas too broad, his characters too perfect and his treatment of historical figures too narrow If that s the case, you need not waste your time reading the second book.
For me, however, Wouk is a master storyteller and these two books are fantastic They deal with a period of history that is my passion and I certainly tip my hat to Wouk for his thoughtful and thorough research For wonderful thought provoking entertainment and a history lesson all rolled into one, these two books are the best you can get John E NevolaAuthor of The Last Jump A Novel of World War II This review covers both books in this story of World War II, The Winds of War and War and Remembrance Together they follow the experience and growth of Victor Henry, a U.
S Navy Officer, his family, and the many people they meet American and otherwise in the great events of that global conflict As with all great novels, these books are not meant merely to entertain, but to teach and communicate something of the human condition Here, the auther attempts to reveal the depth of human goodness and evil to document the human ability to strive, to suffer, to hurt, and to love and to show the final virtue in individual goodness I sometimes feel like placid, comfortable lives tend to obscure humanity there is no need for greatness and no opportunity This is also dealt with in the story, for though the events of this story take place during a world war, a relatively small part of the book takes place during actual combat All in all, this is a masterful work, equally attractive to those who enjoy romance and those who enjoy battle In my mind it stands with War and Peace as one of the greatest novels of all time.
I read these back in the 80s at the same time a friend of mine did She loved them and sort of aimed me at them we both liked Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth and a few other authors I can t say I liked these as much as she did.
This duology concentrated heavily so heavily on the romances and love lives of the characters in these books that I was hardily sick of them by the time I finished The books basically became one long extended soap opera so far as I was concerned The actions of the characters were annoying, and by turns predictable or infuriating for example no details here to avoid a spoiler, but one of our female protagonists makes such incomprehensible decisions it came very close to winning the book a flight out the window it was however a library book so I couldn t fling it Slight Spoiler Below Line view spoiler The Jewish young lady manages to get trapped inside Nazi Germany and set up her emotional adultery as her American love serves on a submarine in the war.
If I want a soap opera I can watch TV Sonot great hide spoiler This book was my life for a good 2 months and I will never be the same I read this before Winds of War which is actually supposed to be first I would recommend reading them in order, but I do believe that War and Remembrance is slightly better It s the story of a family during WWII, and you grow to absolutely care about everyone, and really understand all the complexities and personality flaws of the characters Some are in America, some are in Europe, some feel strongly against Hitler, some aren t sure, some are fighting, some are waiting, some are suffering, some are stuck in Europe, some are in love, some are out of love, some are cheating, some are faithful till the end, some are hunted, some are hunting I could go on This mass market paperback I found in a used bookstore was like 1400 pages So be prepared for that The regular paperback is probably 900 100o pages So worth it.
domineering, bossy, and liberal While I don t have a problem with any of those things, it was a little monotonous at times However, still 4 stars.
Just arrived from Jamaica through BM.
A magnificent work of fiction written by Herman Wouk with plenty of historical facts.
Among the main historical facts, one should mention the battles of Singapore, Midway unforgettable tale , Leyte Gulf, the Tehran Conference, the sieges of Imphal and Leningrad.
Some hints of the Manhattan project has also been provided by the author.
I have never heard about The Paradise Ghetto before I have read this book as well as the Great Beautification.
It seems the author performed a great research work on the scenes in Oswiecim or Auschwitz.
A TV series War and Remembrance 1988 was made based on this book.
5 Winds of War5 War and RemembranceTBR The Caine MutinyTBR The HopeTBR The Glory These Two Classic Works Capture The Tide Of World Events Even As They Unfold The Compelling Tale Of A Single American Family Drawn Into The Very Center Of The War S MaelstromThe Multimillion Copy Bestsellers That Capture All The Drama, Romance, Heroism, And Tragedy Of The Second World War And That Constitute Wouk S Crowning Achievement Are Available For The First Time In Trade Paperback Occasionally I get a craving for something a little different, especially in audiobook format since I share them with my husband And his tolerance for romance is loooooow So I stepped outside of my usual comfort zone to give the Winds of War the preceding book to War and Remembrance a try, since it s considered to be THE quintessential WWII historical fiction novel I schlepped through W of W on my daily commutes, alternately bored to death or white knuckling my steering wheel, and when I got to the end, I wasn t honestly sure whether I wanted to listen to the sequel Impulsively, I went ahead with the purchase, as much because Audible credits make it a good bargain as from any desire to continue the story.
War and Remembrance didn t really improve on the experience of its predecessor I still enjoyed the sweeping nature of the narrative, the way characters were conveniently flung to the far corners of the world to give the listener an intimate view of mind bogglingly epic events I also felt like I got a good education in parts of WWII that were skimmed over or skipped entirely in history class, such as the Paradise Ghetto, the Tehran talks, and the battle of Leyte Gulf I even enjoyed the long winded digressions of the fictional German General Armin von Roon But I found the writing itself to be jarring at times, particularly the wavering between limited and omniscient third person viewpoints The inclusion of occasional flowery, essay like passages on the war direct from the author also bugged me I don t like my opinions spoon fed to me, I d rather have characters and plots speak for themselves It was also very, very clear that the author was writing in the 60s 70s, and some of Wouk s dour elegiacs weren t nearly as prescient as he likely thought they were The big downside for me, which will keep me from ultimately recommending this book and its prequel to anyone, is how difficult it is to root for any of these characters Terrible things happen to most of them, and almost all of them bring it all on themselves The women in particular tend to be vain, vapid, and stupid The men don t always cover themselves in glory either even Victor Henry, the paragon of virtue, tends to wallow in indecision at key moments I slogged through nearly 100 hours of narrative with the hope that at least some of these characters would redeem themselves by the end, but for the most part, I was disappointed Towards the end, it seemed like Wouk himself started feeling like it was a slog, too The narrative seemed to speed up, as if Wouk was eliding important character driven moments and skimming through the last year of the war in the hopes of just finishing the damned thing before being buried alive by it I guess I m glad I read it, but I kind of feel like I want 100 hours of my life back, too.
I can t resist this book Every time I pick it up in a library or at a book sale I end up standing there leafing through it for twenty minutes at a time The only problem is, the only sections I ever read are the excerpts from WORLD EMPIRE LOST by Armin Von Roon, the German general Pug Henry befriends before the war The strategic analysis and the vast battle descriptions are a lot real than anything that happens to the characters in the books Their lives seem to have no reality even to the author himself Lots of reviewers have mentioned that all the female characters in this book are weak, shallow, spoiled and stupid What s really disturbing is that there s almost no description of America, the home front, or even the every day experiences of ordinary enlisted men It s interesting in that these books are consciously patterned after WAR AND PEACE by Leo Tolstoy They focus on worldwide events and a lot of the characters are actual, historical, movers and shakers The difference is that Tolstoy could effortlessly conjure up the humanity of a scene a peasant girl watching General Kutuzov make plans on the night before the battle of Borodino whereas Herman Wouk has no interest in the human dimension of war He s like Von Roon than he realizes