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riley

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The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion
Melvin Lerner

The Winds of War

The Winds of War - Herman Wouk Where do I begin? Wouk expects us to believe that there was a single family that was involved the majority of the happenings of 1939-1941, and that the head of this family managed to meet every major war leader save Mussolini (and that his daughter-in-law sees him in person just to make things complete). This family is supposed to be average but they're pretty much superheros. Warren can see the future, evidently. Pug can do anything he's assigned: even though he's a gunnery expert he's also apparently a diplomat and an analyst. What someone like Tom Clancy improves upon this stuff (that's right, I'm praising Tom Clancy, an author I outgrew as a 21-year-old) is by having multiple characters in multiple areas who AREN'T related to each other. The conceit of the family is beyond ridiculous and makes the whole thing hard to take. But it's far from the only problem. Another is the interminable length: it's over a thousand pages and it feels as though at least a couple hundred have been cut (he jumps months at a time). So basically an earlier draft might have been 1500 pages or more. Sheesh. Then there's his attempt at being moderately artistic, by having this fake German history book. It's somewhat believable, only the author changes his tone. But then he's suddenly a character (but only briefly). And then he's gone again. And Victor Henry is one of the worst editor/translators ever: his notes are pathetic rah-rah Allies stuff that a publisher would have never allowed were it real. Then Wouk has characters disappear for hundreds of pages and come back again when he needs them. And I could go on and on but I'm already rambling. A huge waste of time.