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.
Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
I probably should admit that I tend to avoid recent Pulitzer-prize winning 'novels. For a while, at least. It's as if the Pulitzer committee finds books 'With an Important Message' that 'Should Make You Think' and is 'Designed to Make You Talk' and selects those, even though the story itself may be slim.
"The Caine Mutiny" won the Pulitzer in 1952. It may do all three of those things, but it isn't slim on the story - it's quite long and involved.
I had already read Wouk's "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance", and really liked how his characters were developed. Willie Keith, the main character in "The Caine Mutiny", is grows and changes throughout the novel. Personally, as a former member of the military, I felt myself wanting to slap Keith upside the head at the beginning of the novel, to try and knock some sense into him. By the end of the novel, I still wanted to do that - and I also wanted to shake him and ask him if he hadn't learned anything at all, and to tell him there was something he wanted that he did not deserve. Of course, just because I never liked the main character didn't mean I didn't want to read the book.
The supporting characters were quite interesting. Queeg, the commander who was the subject of the mutiny, was a fascinating study in the 'Peter principal' accompanied with a complete lack of personal responsibility.
Pariseau is a great performer, and perfect for Wouk's books.
Loved this. Love Kevin's narration except, DUDE, forecastle is pronounced folk'sle! Book is excellent, though.
NASCAR. Brutus. Good Beer. Books.
The only time I was enthused is one small portion of the trial itself. Unfortunately, that was about one hour of the third part of 3 eight hour parts.
The Caine Mutiny was an interesting read. I'm not big on military novels but this one kept me listening.
I loved this story; I wish I would have read it instead of listening. The narrator, a cross between Hugh Beaumont and Don Pardo was too present.
The performance by Pariseau was boring and phoned in. Whereas performers like Humphrey Bower and John Lee are wonderful at giving each character a distinctive voice Pariseau has such a limited range one would be hard to distinguish whether Keefer and May Winn was speaking if you didn't know the context.
This is definitely a case where the movie was better than the book, or at least the Audible version of the book.
While the basic story is good and Wouk is an established author the overall style is very dated in this day and age. Dickens still holds up a couple of centuries after the fact. Wouk will be forgotten in less time than that.
While I had some problems with Wouk's writing style in his "Wars" books, the stories were compelling enough to make them a worthwhile "read."
I'm not sure I'll even be able to finish this one, though. If Pariseau had narrated so poorly in either of the other books, I wouldn't be having this problem, because I would have never purchased it.
Wouk's writing style is right out of the 40s. I doubt he could make it as an author today. He provides way too much detail for me. I don't care what everyone is wearing. I just want to hear a good story. He also uses passive verbs too much.
I'm with "Richard" on this one, mediocre writing and a phoned in performance. Pass up the audio version. See the movie, which is good, or read the book. I think I'll forgo listening to any more of it and see if I can find the movie to watch instead.
"a great story about life in the WWII US Navy"
At the core of this story lies the protagonist's passage to manhood that results from his experience of a year on board a rust-bucket mine-sweeper commanded by a crazy captain. The story is quite long and parts of it could have been left out. A vivid picture of life in the US Navy during WWII is painted, and of life at sea in a more general sense. The "mutiny" of the title takes a long time to occur in the story, and is followed by almost as much story in the second half of the book. If you like all things Navy and the action set in WWII, you'll like this (incidentally, there is practically no "action" as far as combat is concerned, making it all the more engaging and realistic).
This was a good book. The good blend of WWII naval action, good characters, love, and courtroom suspense. It was also very even, no long dragging parts.
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