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The Lawgiver: A Novel Hardcover – November 13, 2012
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*Starred Review* Wouk has been trying to come up with a way to write a novel about Moses ever since he wrote The Caine Mutiny, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1952. At age 97, the venerated author of panoramic best-sellers finally takes on the challenge of portraying the biblical lawgiver. But with a twist: this witty and wise epistolary novel is about a writer named Herman Wouk, who is having a devil of a time starting his novel about Moses. Herman’s struggle with this confounding project is interrupted by “the red-hot moviemaker of the hour,” who pesters him to write a screenplay instead. Through a barrage of e-mails, faxes, letters, and text messages, Herman, guided by his skeptical wife, Betty Sarah, agrees only to consult. So it is up to a bold young director, Margo Solovei, to write the anti–Cecil B. DeMille Moses screenplay. Margo has turned her back on her Orthodox upbringing and the mensch of a lawyer who stubbornly loves her, but she soon finds herself reconsidering her Jewish heritage and being single. Brisk, funny, and incisive, Wouk’s romantic comedy of art versus love slyly updates the story of the beloved star of his indelible novel Marjorie Morningstar (1955), while nimbly (at last!) retelling the story of Moses. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This smart, playful novel, along with Wouk’s remarkably sustained literary exuberance, will garner major media attention and avid reader interest. --Donna Seaman
“A lighthearted and delightful tour de force.” (The Washington Times)
"The Lawgiver is an unadulterated delight, a compelling, old-fashioned story in sleek new-fashioned clothes. How fortunate it is for readers that Mr. Wouk, who published The Caine Mutiny when I was but four years old, has not lost an iota of his storytelling genius. The Lawgiver is fast, funny, romantic, and moving." (Stephen King)
"An engaging comedy/love story about present-day Hollywood." (USA Today)
"Mr. Wouk’s satirical (and accurate) depiction of Hollywood’s bizarre ins and outs is merciless." (The New York Times)
“Wouk makes commanding use of the epistolary form, and what emerges is an entertaining addition to his literary canon. It's clever without being too cutesy, revealing a writer who - at 96 - shows little sign of slowing down.” (Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY))
“[I] n some essential way, this book about a movie about a book is also about the very act of writing books. Wouk reminds us of the eternal value of storytelling while he shows 30- and 50- and 80-year-old whippersnappers how it’s done.” (Washington Post)
"“Read this one. You’ll smile all the way through.” (Hudson Valley News (NY))
“Readers will undoubtedly marvel at the ability of a ninety-seven year old author to produce a book with such an unusual format. Regardless of their opinion about the book’s design, anything written by Herman Wouk is worth reading and The Lawgiver is no exception.” (The Jerusalem Post)
“Honest, highly readable, entertaining." (Moment magazine)
“…The Lawgiver is a combination of sweet romantic comedy and sly Hollywood satire, and it is as much fun to read as it seems to have been to write….Wouk excels in channeling distinctive voices." (The Columbus Dispatch (OH))
Top customer reviews
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This book was an eye-opener, and hard to put down. It really
It was facinating to read the communications between the different people, and I'm sure Mr. Wouk had a lot of fun getting in digs at certain people in Hollywood, though I don't know how to put the real names to the descriptions.
My only disappointment was reading how Perry Pines was going to marry his soon to be ex-neighbour's 16 yr. old daughter (I wanted him - he sounds like a magnificent, manly hunk, but he's straight, as well as imaginary; no-one's perfect).
To Mr. Wouk on the loss of your dear wife, z"l: HaMakom Yenachem Otcha Im Sha'ar Avlei Zion veYerushalayim, vesheLo Teida Da'ava Od.
I don't think there is anyone from 15-105 who would not enjoy this book.
1) He offers an original take on the Life and Times of the biblical Moses, without being irreverent.
2) He explains the major ways in which DeMille mucked up his attempt at 1).
3) Delightfully, he skewers and roasts Hollywood, displaying it in all its pretentiousness, shallowness, greed, fear and hubris.
4) He keeps the laughs coming at a good clip.
5) He gives his readers unparalleled access to his own private life, by making himself and his wife characters in the novel, and, most amazingly,....
6) He does all this at the ripe old age of 97!!
If you like Herman Wouk's style, you will love this book. May he live to be 120, in honor and happiness.
Just prepare to follow threads of the famous author,, a creative but young movie director, fragile money person, experienced movie director with many doubts... hang on for a delightful ride.
Most recent customer reviews
Three stars does not mean I disliked Herman Wouk’s The Lawgiver, it means it was OK. Maybe a little better than, just not much.Read more