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Don't Go Near the Water Paperback – March 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Bluejacket Books
  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591140935
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591140931
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,274,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"William Brinkley's humor is larcenous and full of truth."

About the Author

The late William Brinkley, the author of several books, served in the Navy during World War II and later worked as a reporter for The Washington Post and editor and writer for Life magazine.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Michaels on November 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Well, I did read this book repeatedly in the late 50's and early 60's, so I cannot in good conscience rate it lower than 4 stars. It is a moderately entertaining, and by now quaintly old-fashioned, story of some admen pressed into U. S. Navy Public Relations service in the Pacific. While everyone else fought the Axis, they fought the Air Force for their fair share of public recognition. The funniest bit is where the PR guys launch a "Typical Young Navy Man" campaign and select their candidate sight unseen, merely because his name contains two famous naval historical figures--Farragut and (John Paul) Jones. When he comes ashore for briefing, he proves slovenly, foul-mouthed, and all but intractable. The movie version memorably bleeped out his every use of the f-word with a ship's horn that sounded every bit as foul as what it was masking!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Castelli on January 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Think of this book as a "Catch-22" for the Navy at the tail end of World War II. In fact, near the end of the book some of the officers have an interesting discussion regarding the bomb and its effect on the war, and the world, but let me warn you, the outcome might not be what one might expect. This book has all the colorful characters and oddball situations - my favorite being the daily delivery of the photo opportunity pictures to visiting politicians. There are some deeper tones here, and the humanity is never forgotten. I recommend this book to anyone who wants, and can appreciate, the snapshot of history from the inside, albeit at times with tongue planted firmly in cheek but never forgetting there is a bigger purpose.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on March 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
Although I like world war two-era naval fiction and navy movies, I admit I had never heard of "Don't Go Near the Water" when I came across this in hardback at a used-book sale. Imagine my surprise to discover, via Wikipedia, that not only had this been made into a very successful film starring Glenn Ford and Keenan Wynn, but that the book itself "was the best-selling work of fiction of 1956 throughout the United States." Huh.

The Wikipedia description is more than thorough. "Don't Go Near the Water" is an episodic tale of Navy public-relations officers on a southwestern Pacific island in the later years of the war. The setting is a little reminiscent of Michener's Tales of the South Pacific, but while the sit-comedic stories are relatively entertaining, they didn't hold my interest continually and I found myself skimming a lot. Once the premise and the characters were set up, the lack of a unifying storyline began to tell for me. Still, it was an interesting find. I'll keep an eye on TCM (or heck, Amazon Instant Video) to see if the film shows up someday.

[Edited January 2014 to add: I did keep an eye on TCM, and the film did show up. I did my best to sit through it, but like the book I found the movie very conducive to fast-forwarding through. I never regard my tastes as representative of anyone else's, but all I can say is that some tastes must have really changed in a half-century. Surprising, no?]
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SteveM on June 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting if you like military, especially Navy stories. It is rather funny and somewhat historically enlightening. 18th word, 19th word, 20th word. Phew, that was tough.
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