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The Caine Mutiny: A Novel Paperback – April 15, 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
The real story is the maturation of Willie Keith. At the beginning of the novel he is a spoiled, overprivileged lad living an aimless life. His time in the service, and the unusual predicament in which he finds himself, hardens him into a true fighting-man in a way that has happened to countless thousands of servicemen. Wouk tells this story exceedingly well, in a manner that most readers will be able to easily relate to. I found this novel to be an unusually good read primarily for this reason. Wouk's writing is first-rate, and it is easy to see why this novel appealed to readers of the early 1950s, many of them with fresh memories of World War Two. The flavor of that war lingers in the novel even today, and gives the twenty-first century reader a notion of what those times were like.
This is altogether a remarkably good novel, deserving of every one of its five stars.
I recently read quite a few online reviews, and they reflect a much more contemporary viewpoint -- the original context of the novel is lost in time. One reviewer thought the mood and point of the book were "Faschistic"; others concluded that the point was "it's okay to buck the system." I was reminded of a colleague on the faculty at West Point who was teaching a cadet elective in psychology of abnormal behavior who used a clip of Bogart's performance on the stand at the court-martial as an example of disordered paranoid ideation. Sometimes I wonder what book all these people read!
This is a novel of war, seen through the eyes of a nonprofessional officer of incisive intelligence, one both inside and outside the Navy system and possessed of ability to look beyond the moment. Many readers (or movie fans) somehow completely miss the story's central issue and the critical turn of plot. Captain Queeg was not crazy; he was overwhelmed by the burdens of command, but would probably have muddled through if his officers had managed to put aside petulant resentment and work to compensate for the captain's flaws. Instead, they put a combat vessel out of action during a critical period in the Pacific campaign.Read more ›
I was assigned it in high school English, and thought, "Oh great, another war book." I took it home, began my first 4 chapter assignment, and realized 3 hours later that I was halfway through it. I finished it the next day. That was ten years ago, and I have been rereading it at least twice a year ever since. I read it to my husband on a cross-country journey and the miles went by like nothing. It never fails to involve me, and I never fail to be moved by the ending.
A few reviewers have said that the book is hard to understand, or that there is too much military jargon, but there really isn't; there was nothing in there that a seventeen-year-old girl couldn't understand (at least, a seventeen-year-old who knows how to spell "squat".)
This book is powerful, funny, insightful, and moving. Don't pass it up.
It's about a care-free Willis Seward Keith, who enters World War II and the navy as a rich, immature boy, and develops his manhood and maturity through the backdrop of war, and the sufferance of an emotionally disturbed captain.
The boy that goes to war is not the responsible man who comes home. He has the confidence of a man who has learned to lead men, and developed self assurance through his accomplishments rather than his wealth. It is probably how each of us wish that we would develop to the challenges of manhood that define us.
As the book says, Ensign Keith is not the center of the mutiny, but he is to the mutiny the same as the single jewel bearing that opens or closes a vault door.
Herman Wouk is a story-teller of classic stature. His work will always be counted amongst the finest literary achievements.
This is one of the two most memorable books I have ever read. It has been 33 years since I read "The Caine Mutiny." I bought another after the pages of my original could no longer be kept between the covers. That's the best recommendation I can make.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anyone who saw the film with Humphrey Bogart as Capt. Queeg should read the book - eve after years, it's still a very compulsive read.Published 4 days ago by Wiliam G. Parker
Anyrhing Wouk writes is great! I first read The Caine Mutiny when I was a teenager, right after it was written, and I've reread it every few years since then. Read morePublished 12 days ago by wrtrblok
I recently read an article about Herman Wouk. He's 100 years old and still going strong. He's led a great writing life which all of us wanna be authors long to have. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Linda C. Wright
A powerful subject written about by an expert. Well done with lots of action a must read for anyone who's seen the move or is interested by historyPublished 22 days ago by Tim The Pilot
Just an outstanding book. Easy to read, hard to put down, lessons for everyone both civilian and military, all ages and all walks of life.
A book for everyone.
I'm a Herman Wolk fan, but Caine Mutiny was one of the first books of his I read, and just re-read it (for about the 4th time) on a recent cruise. Read morePublished 1 month ago by KingdomCAPT
Characters are more fully developed than in the outstanding movie. There are numerous differences in plot detail - none greater than the ending (the movie ending was much cleaner... Read morePublished 1 month ago by JerseyBob
It was everthing as advertised and the Pulitzer was well deserved.Published 1 month ago by John W. Drescher