'The Caine Mutiny' has always been a favourite WWII yarn of mine. Along with Wouk's other two period pieces, 'The Winds of War' and 'War and Remembrance', he has preserved a slice of human time, a soap bubble for those of us who weren't 'there' to experience it for ourselves.
Not only recording the historical elements, the true strength of the tale to me is that it gives me a glimpse into the social structure and interactions of the era, even down to the speech patterns and colloquialisms that make the experience so much richer.
And it wouldn't have been nearly as effective without Kevin Pariseau's extraordinarily skilled performance. Pariseau can convey everything from strong emotion to subtle nuance of character, even -- or especially -- those of the distaff side, something that many male readers seem to somewhat struggle with.
Pariseau's ability to change character through nuance is top drawer, too -- I never had a moment's doubt about who was speaking. He is in complete command of the material.
Pariseau has made me savour all over again Wouk's brilliant writing with his masterful performance. It is much like listening to a previously unknown singer perform a familiar song, and make it a fresh. new, and newly loved again. Bravo!
I will definitely be listening to this one again. Wonderful to hear the saga.
Hard to pick a part.
Herman Wouk was a writing machine. He cranked out literally thousands of pages, most of them about World War II. He was hugely successful. He wrote in a style which is stiff, earnest, and "plain-spoken." He did have many skills as a writer, since millions of people will not buy the work of authors without them (will they?). Most of the people who will buy this book will do so because of the wonderful movie made from the book, featuring one of Humphrey Bogart's most astounding performances. The issues raised are quite real: what happens when a perfectly decent crew of junior officers goes into war in a Navy destroyer that is captained by a paranoid wild man, a sniveling coward, a horrendously vindictive little boy in a big man's job? This problem is the main plot point, surrounded by minor plots behind it, particularly the romantic life of Willie Keith, a young man from an upper-middle-class if not wealthy family, who falls in love with a nightclub singer, a girl whose Italian, fruit-peddling, no-English-speaking parents represent the absolute opposite of the woman whom Willie's mother dreams of him marrying. There is some meat here.
Kevin Pariseau has read quite a number of these WWII potboilers (War and Remembrance is another Wouk book read by him). He is a good choice, but only because his stiffness and rigidity perfectly matches Wouk's writing style. Despite all this negative stuff, I have to admit that I listened to (almost) the whole book without getting bored. I've never been much of a war-book-guy, and I truly have had enough of WWII, but there is just so much in print and on the movie screen on this topic that these works are hard to avoid. Pariseau does have some narrative skills, like the author, and the combination makes for perhaps a more entertaining experience than I might have expected when I bought the book. Twenty hours is a very long time, and few audiobooks are truly worthy of that kind of commitment. But, by the end of the book you just really want to know how these young men will solve the problem of their severely disturbed captain. You also get a wonderful glimpse into the workings of the Navy, a world which is almost as ludicrous a kingdom as the army of Catch-22.
All things considered, though, I would skip the book and see the movie. You will just never forget Bogart's portrayal, with its brilliant mannerisms, his perfect speech qualities (as in how Queeg keeps saying, "K?"), the shifty eyes that never look directly at anyone, and so forth. Even an abridged version of this book, if there is one, would probably be too long. The material could have been covered quite adequately in a standard novel length. Excess, wretched excess...
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I read this book because my brother is in the JAG in the navy. I also remember it from the movie, and having seen that first, I could not get Humphrey Bogart out of my mind as the captain. So if you have not seen the movie, listen to this firs, then see the movie. The movie is true to the book, but it is the performances that will make it hard to imagine the characters for yourself.
This tale is not so straight forward as it would first appear. By the end you will start to question who was right or wrong. It is rather ambiguous whether Captain Queque deserved the treatment he received from the crew of the Caine.
The book is interesting from the standpoint that it takes men from all walks of life and puts them in a role they may or may not be able to handle. Add the stress of war, and some will fail and others will succeed.
Of the three books from this author during WW II, the Caine Mutiny, War and Remembrance, and the Winds of War, I would rate this the best of the three. Start here, and if you like it, then listen to the other 2. This is an easier place to start because there is only 1, you do not have to listen 40 hours of a sequel.
Herman Wouk plays me like a cheap fiddle in this book. He bends and shapes my emotions, flips and twists and snaps them back, anywhere he wants them. A brilliant author!
By the time the protagonist commits his alleged indiscretion, I would've done it ten times over, and would've stood in the dock afterwards ten times as guilty. I STILL think the end was grossly unfair, but ... ladies and gentlemen ... the law is the law. And Justice wears a blindfold.
I loved every minute of the Caine Mutiny, and I don't easily give 5 Stars. My thoughts and emotions are also not easily manipulated by any old con move, but Wouk is a true artist! :-)
Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
This book is new to me... never read or watched the movie previously. Would be a 5 star except I don't tolerate names of Deity being used as profanity very well and one character is liberal with its use. I found it readable, interesting, humorous, tender and insightful. It could be read and enjoyed superficially, but there is enough truth to ponder and learn, if desired. It is multiple stories woven together: the coming of age of Willie; the "want what you can't have, don't want what you can" relationship with Mae; small group psychology and leadership theory all played out in the culture of WWII. The book is long and the pace leisurely... but I didn't want to put it down and when I thought the book was over, there was a much better ending yet to come.
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
Great at all levels; just one of those books that should grace any audio library and get pullled out time and time again.
It's one of the best.
The details prove Wouk served in the Navy.
Saying so would probably be a spoiler.
Willie Keith because it would probably be expensive and he would probably pay.
A darn fine audio book. This was a great match of voice and cadence to the book's characters and time period.
I will be listening again soon
I loved everything about this story
I have not listened to Kevin Pariseau before, but he was great!!
I have seen the movie several times and was hesitant to listen to this book. However i went on a journey i never expected. I didn't want it to end!!!
Probably one of the top 5 audio-books I've heard.
The trial of the captain is a roller coaster of emotion.