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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: The Winds of War

The Winds of War
The Winds of War by Herman Wouk

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I DID IT!!! 885 PAGES OF TINY FONT LATER, I HAVE TRIUMPHED! (...there's another one.)
Okay, you're probably wondering why someone who's read all of GoT, all that's out of SA, is in the middle of WoT, and consistently uses acronyms that no one could possibly understand is so excited about this. Yeah, it's long, but I've read much longer, and without the celebration. So here's the thing: few books are as long as this one. And it's not about word count (although I'd like to see you beat 365,879)- Words of Radiance, LOTR (I read it as one book), and two GoT books are all longer, as are a bunch of WoT books. But those didn't feel long. Winds of War... it might be the longest book I've ever read, feeling-wise. It just felt incredibly long. It was good, don't get me wrong- but it took a long time to read, and it didn't even cover all of wW2- just up until America entered the war. The rest is (I think) for the sequel.
It was, as I said, a very good book. I had no second thoughts about a three star rating. The journeys of the Henry family were interesting, as were the "history lesson" bits, and the mix of family, politics, and military warfare was an interesting one. I sincerely hope that someday I will be as awesome as Victor Henry senior... I loved that he had grandkids! It was the cutest thing.. Pug, Rhoda, Warren, Janice, Byron, Natalie, Madeline... they each had their own story (except Janice, she was honestly a bit boring because she came in fairly late and it was never really about her the way it was about the others.) The descriptions of Jews both amused and fascinated me (the inaccuracies as I remember them: 1) eat the pork, you idiot, if it's actually life or death. 2) I find it odd that Byron could pronounce לך לך perfectly on bis first try; that sound is usually impossibe for non-Jews to make, but perhaps Berel was simply trying to make him feel good. 3) Louis would be Jewish, not half-Jewish; a child born of a Jewish mother is Jewish. You can't be half-Jewish. As religious Jews, shouldn't the boat people have known this and corrected it?). I loved Natelie's Polish family, they were perfect. I'm not sure why Natalie spoke Yiddish, though, if she rejected her Jewish heritage. Maybe it was like Hebrew is today?
Anyway, this is getting long and boring. Basically, it was a good book, but long. Read it, but be prepared for the amount of time you'll be spending on it.
Oh, and the writing was excellent. The kind of thing you don't see nowadays.

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