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).
"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why" Mark Twain
There are very few authors on this planet that can tell a masterful and engaging story while simultaneously teaching world history. Herman Wouk is one of these rare few. His stories are powerful, interconnected, and beautifully written; the listener not only feels a part of the narrative but also gains a certain affection for the characters.
The Caine Mutiny is not Wouk's finest work. I'll reserve that honor for some of his later works. That being said, the Mutiny is a fantastic story of love, hate, jealousy, and all of the complexities of thought an emotion experienced by a young sailor during World War II.
Any story from Herman Wouk will entertain and enlighten, and Tha Caine mutiny delivers on both accounts.
33 year-old pharmacist, organic chemist and musician.
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.
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.
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.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
I DIDN'T ASK FOR AN ALIBI
You may want to get this book PDQ. It is 26 and half hours of really good listening. I don't stay with a book this long if it is not good, and I enjoyed every minute of listening. The story was interesting in the beginning, but really picks up once the new captain steps aboard the ship.
SEX TAKES SUCH A SMALL PART OF THE DAY.
The beginning and the end is kind of a love story. A love story that is not that romantic. I still have mixed feeling about the couple and came away feeling that they were not going to live happily ever after. The main character is a rich Mommy's boy who thinks he is better then his curvaceous, sexy girlfriend. She is not from money and must hold a job. He gets irritated with her putting on make-up, her way of talking and her lack of education. He admits that he mostly lusts her. It is a complicated relationship and even though I don't like the main character, I believe Wouk has a lot of great insight on how some relationships work or don't work. I believe he accurately portrays the true feelings that Mommy's boy is going through. IT MAKES THE REST OF THE DAY WORTH LIVING.
YOU CAN'T ASSUME A GOD DAMN THING IN THE NAVY, NOT A GOD DAMN THING.
The meat of the story is life in the navy and working under a paranoid, incompetent captain. Most of us have probably been in that position at one time in our life. In the Navy, where the captain is a God and to question him could mean your career is a tense situation beyond understanding. When your life is put in jeopardy and the life of the crew and your second in charge, what do you do? It made for interesting reading and just like the love story, there are no Pollyanna answers. Wouk's writing puts you on that ship. You feel the frustration.
WHEN IN DANGER OR IN DOUBT, RUN IN CIRCLES, SCREAM AND SHOUT.
There are some twists in the story and some heroes turn out to be big cowards. It is also haunting how one incident in a person's life may end up defining them. How one incident may stay with you and haunt you for the rest of your life and how you really don't know how you will handle a situation until you face it. This is not an all's well that ends well, type book, as most classics are not. Wouk tells it as it is and that is not always pretty. Wouk will make you think.
As a whole the narrator is good. I did get confused sometimes between, Keefer, Keith and Merrick. The narrator does not do many voices and these three main characters who do a lot of enter acting have the same voice.
THAT'S ALL I GOT TO SAY ON THAT...AND AS I SAID...
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
I have had this audiobook in my library for several months. I found Wouk's two other masterpieces (Winds of War & War and Remembrance) superb and was a little worried this book would not live up to my expectations.
Well, I needn't have worried. I found this book to be similarly enthralling and a really exceptional listening experience. I can't imagine a better combo than Herman Wouk and Kevin Pariseau. Pariseau really understands Wouk's characters and narrates them expertly.
Wouk's characters are well-developed as usual. Their motivations and behaviors I found totally believable. I really cared what happened to them and often felt I was right there with them in the moment. This story is by no means predictable, and more than once I found myself surprised at the turns it took. Now that I have finished the book, I often find myself thinking back to the ending in particular, wanting to know more, reluctant to say goodby to Willie and his comrades.
The Caine Mutiny is much more than just a war story. This book is not only for men who can't stop reminiscing about the war. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an engrossing and rewarding listening experience.
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! :-)
"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).
"Atmospheric war time classic"
Yes because I am not sure I would have chosen it to read myself.
Captain Queeg because he was so horribly unpleasant.
Yes, very much. I will look out for other books that he has narrated.
The part that stood out particularly for me was at the time of the actual 'mutiny'.
A thought provoking story. Was Captain Queeg really mad or just a bad leader? I'd listen again knowing the outcome to see if I change my opinion.
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.
"Excellent even if very long"
While this is a long story, I never felt bored and there were always little stories within stories throughout. Just wished I knew what happened after the book ends! But that's why we have imagination!!!!!
Great story really well read didn't want it to finish. Shame There aren't a lot more Herman Wouk audio books
several plot lines skilfully woven together in a way which was believable yet in truth wholly unlikely. Characters drawn in a balanced way to show good and bad, strong and weak, traits in all; no glittering saints; no out and out Devils: even Queeg gets some sympathy. Superb research and period authenticity. Page turning suspense. Romance line important but not dominant.
possibly The Cruel Sea by Monsarrat. It features some of the same senior officer bullying and provides characterisation as well as plot. But Caine is better and on a bigger canvas.
Probably the yellow dye in the water event which earned Queeg the "Old Yellow-stain" soubriquet.
More laughter than tears for me. The character Keefer was regularly funny. So the scene where his brother is killed is especially poignant.
Kevin Pariseau is a skilful non-intrusive narrator. Sometimes I would have liked just a bit more voice differentials but that's really just a quibble
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