Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
©1952 Herman Wouk (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I liked the movie, but Humphrey Bogart's representation of the Captain is more sympathetic than the original (the book).
Anyone who has ever had a very, very bad boss can empathize with the suffering of the progtagonist in "The Caine Mutiny". However, what is really good about this book is that it gives one small slice of what the American part of the WWII experience might have been like. No one in "The Caine Mutiny" is an exceptional individual, and the Caine doesn't do anything spectactular for the war effort. The Caine and it's crew are just one more cog in the machine that won the war, and this is a story about a young man who grows up (sort of) in the backdrop of 'doing his bit' in a largely unappreciated job.
The humor in this book is not overdone, but gives the reader a break from some of the drudgery that the main characters have to work through. That said, the actual 'mutiny' is, in of itself, almost a sidebar for the plot of the story.
What you get with "The Caine Mutiny" is something that is extremely well-written along with a first-rate narration.
Wouk is a writer that I just recently discovered. I listened to "Winds of War" and "War and Rememberance" and loved them. I would also rate this book highly but third in light of the other two. Even at third, this novel is far above average. As a character study, it is a bit dated by today's standards but it is quite apparent why this novel was made into a famous movie. I would highly recommend all three of the books especially for those who missed them the first time around as I did. This ia a classic that I was glad to discover.
This is a fascinating war story with several layers that are not initially apparent. The story starts off focussed on the main character and his entry into, and activities in, the US Navy during WWII. But with the introduction of new characters and changing circumstances, things get much more and interesting and complicated.
It struck me as primarily a tale of bad leadership and subordinates' reactions to it and how young men mature in tough circumstances and possibly gain resulting wisdom. It takes a stand on what the right approach to weak leadership ought be. I found the suggested answer pretty much impossible to argue with. I also found it disturbing when I recalled how I’ve handled such situations through the years.
It’s a long book, but rewarding and worth the time. It’s very well narrated and I highly recommend it.
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! :-)
Tangential, 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.
What happens when the wrong person finds him or herself in the wrong place at the worst possible time, and the ripple effect that works it's way through all those involved, namely a richly developed cast of characters who make you care about what happens to them. A great story presented in an equally great fashion.
Without a doubt when the big wave hits the "Caine " at the height of the typhoon .
The common sense Mutiny
One of the Second World War's Great works of fiction. Not to be missed.
'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.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
This is a captivating tale that gripped me immediately. I lost sleep the first night I started listening to it because I simply could not pull my self away.
I'm not afraid of a long book, but this book spends a lot of time on mundane things, while racing through moments of high drama and intrigue. I could have used more courtroom drama, and a lot less "romance", if that's what we're calling it.
My main gripe with the story is the protagonist's romantic relationship. Maybe at the time this courtship was an appealing story, but through modern eyes, all I see is a stuck-up elitist abusing a girl with no spine or self-respect.
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