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The Caine Mutiny: A Novel Paperback – April 15, 1992
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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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
The Caine Mutiny is one of the greatest books I have ever read - and I've read many. I have read this book so often I couldn't put a number to this reality. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Michael Douglas
Herman Wouk does a wonderful job of creating complex characters and putting them in stressful, morally hazardous situations. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Ben G
Wow, was I wrong. And i am so glad something in my old destroyer sailor's brain caused me to finally read the book. Read morePublished 9 days ago by bill trandum
As great as that movie was (and is, in my humble opinion), I believe the book was much better, and was in a way, much different. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Jon J. Cardwell
After reading Wouk's "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" I wanted another of his to read over vacation. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Susan Baker
Of course much more detailed than the movie version. The main character in the book being the young ensign and not the captain or exec.Published 15 days ago by Sammy from Miami
Excellent read! Highly entertaining, well written, and hasn't aged a bit!Published 1 month ago by Ben Hunter
This Pulitzer Prize winner has stood the test of time remarkably well. Although allegedly about a fictitious mutiny, its true purpose is to describe life in the Navy on a mine... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
How could you not give this story Five Stars? Everything about it keep you reading. The movie does not give justice to the book, as interesting and entertaining as the movie is. Read morePublished 1 month ago by r.doolittle