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.
Prior to this audiobook, I had seen the movie and read Wouk's Winds of War. So I had high expectations. I was not disappointed, and was even surprised by how much I enjoyed of the book. The story is engaging, entertaining, profound and even (a little) twisty. The character development is excellent and rarely seen in recent fiction. The narration is very good.
A few words of expectations management: First, this is less of a war book than Winds of War, and much less than other novels. The backdrop is the WWII Pacific Theater, and there are some fighting scenes. But this is not a war action book, or even a WWII history. Second, this is an epic story. Unlike the movie, the plot unfolds over 24 hours of audiobook and sometimes requires patience. But patience will be rewarded with a fantastic read (well .... listen).
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
First off, this is NO "Winds of War" or "War and Rememberance", which Wouk is known for. It may seem unfair to compare this book to those two MASTERPIECES, but such is the territory when you write the "War and Peace" of a generation. If you haven't read those two, I recommend you do before you read Caine. It will truly give you a feel for just how genius Wouk was.
I found Caine to be more fluffy and kid-friendly than I had expected. There isn't a lot of action, and you may fid yourself dozing off at times. Where this book excels is in character development. I mean, after all, you know just from the title what's going to happen by the end. Therefore, rich characters are a must, and this book has them! I haven't seen the broadway show, but I can imagine it's very similar to listening to the book. The characters are almost cartoon-like (in a good way), and there aren't many different settings. Again, I know it's unfair to compare this to "Winds of War", but that book had unbelievable settings, all over the world. Caine pretty much keeps things localized on a ship.
Overall, this is a very good story, but not great. There isn't enough tension, and the action is so sparse as to be nonexistent. It's predictable and unbelievable at times. It's a great character piece, written by a master writer, which alone is worth the credit.
The narrator is fantastic, bringing all the characters to life.
Yes, but this one disappointed me. Toward the end, as somone else noted, his ability to differentiate characters was lost and that hurt in some sections as it is all dialogue and being able to distinguish who is talking helps.
I loved his narration of Winds of War and War&Remembrance, so was surprised at this performance.
Ok,confession...I love the movie. I downloaded the radio dramatization and hated it. Because of Kevin Pariseau's prior Wouk performances, I tried this one.
As someone pointed out:
1. This isn't Wouk's best work.
2. Pariseau is quite a few levels down from his prior narrations.
3. Get past the annoying May/Maria storyline, and this is actually very well done. Really do feel a part of the ship and provides greater appreciation for both Caine Mutiny and Mr. Robert's movies. At first I was surprised that Wouk continued beyond the court martial, and while a bit preachy, it did provide better closure than the movie.
If you enjoyed Herman Wouk"s "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance", you will love this audible book. The same great storytelling and the same great narrator make this one you will add to your all time favorites.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I just do. I love the way he describes people and events. I love the way he can bring history to life. I love the understanding he brings to the events surrounding WWII. And Kevin Pariseau is a perfect narrator for his style of writing and the characters he invents.
This is one of those books that I should have read years ago, but didn't The title is part of our vernacular (like Catch 22) yet I never really understood where it came from or what it meant. This is such a satisfying listen. The writing is SO flawless. With Wouk I always feel like I'm being treated to the work of one of our greatest writers.
32-year old chemist and pharmacist from Québec, Canada. I've listened to over 100 audiobooks in 18 months : classic detective, sci-fi, 20th century history.
Most probably the best narration I have ever had the chance to experience. Of one of the greatest novels ever written.
Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
This whole story is a set up to challenge ones perceptions. Things are not always as they seem and Mr. Wouk is a master at weaving a marvelous story that brings one along enjoying the ride and then picks apart our assumptions one by one. There are facts and there is reality, and the two don't always line the way we think they do. If you have listened to "Winds of war" or "War and Remembrance" The narrator with be a welcome and familiar presence. Kevin Pariseau does a fine job and the narration adds to the quality of the writing. I recommend this book to anybody who loves history and a great story.
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.
'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.
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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