Rowling has an amazing ability to distill people's characters in a few crafty sentences. Everyone is flawed and she is unapologetic and quite blunt about it. The most mundane person in your neighborhood gains a kind of power from her intense interest in them and interpretation of them and we the readers see the people around us in sharper detail. We might not be entirely sympathetic to them but I for one feel like minding my p's and q's in case she is observing me.
Herman Wouk is one of the most graceful insightful writers I enjoy reading. Picking up this book written so many years ago, I thought it would be outdated and possibly corny. Instead it was a compelling historical journey into the mentality of World II with delicious detail and suspense. I'm going to reread/listen Winds of War and War and Remembrance soon.
The everyday lingo and crisp descriptions of the submarine's smell and textures. The sympathetic and tolerant creation of imperfect characters is unique to Wouk.
I wish Humphrey Bogart were alive to do the remake.
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