CHARACTERS È The Caine Mutiny

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Orld War II In the intervening half century The Caine Mutiny has become a perennial favorite of readers young and old has sold millions of copies throughout the world and has achieved the status of a modern classi. Top Ten Reasons to Give The Caine Mutiny a Chance10 Wouk's clear compelling Pulitzer Prize winning prose9 The boredom of military service even in wartime has never been so interesting8 The USS Caine DMS feels like home no matter who's in command 7 The ineluctable build of ueeg's collapse6 Willie's slow and certain becoming5 Keefer's behaviour insuring that no side is right4 The best novelized military trial ever written3 The complexity of Wouk's characters even when they only appear in a small portion of the book2 The painfully true love affair of Willie and May1 Marbles strawberries and yellow stains

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The Caine MutinyThe novel that inspired the now classic film The Caine Mutiny and the hit Broadway play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic brilliantly entertaining novel of life and mutiny on a Navy wars. It is conceivable that most unusual and extraordinary circumstances may arise in which the relief from duty of a commanding officer by a subordinate becomes necessary either by placing him under arrest or on the sick list; but such action shall never be taken without the approval of the Navy Department or other appropriate higher authority except when reference to such higher authority is undoubtedly impracticable because of the delay involved or for other clearly obvious reason Herman Wouk The action of this book occurs on a World War Two minesweeper ship and the reason why the actions of the ship and crew seem so realistic is because Herman Wouk actually served on two different minesweepers during the war He wrote his first book Aurora Dawnand found out it was accepted while he was stationed at Okinawa Wouk superimposes that event on the character Tom Keefer the man who spends time writing than he does worrying about the rules and regs imposed by the captain USS Hamilton minesweeper which was the basis for the USS Caine The Caine Mutiny was Wouk's second book and hit the market like a bombshell It was reprinted 14 times in 1951 the initial year of publication and then 7 additional times in the following year The library copy that I read devotes a page showing the printings and how many books were printed each time As a collector I love information like that and wish that publishers would provide that information in books being currently published The book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize I have been interested of late in reading some of the post World War Two literature that the reading public couldn't seem to get enough of back in the 1950s I hope to eventually read Nicholas MonsarratJames Jones John Hersey and Irwin Shawto name a few If anyone has a post World War Two book that you feel I should definitely read please do not be shy Another interesting fact about Herman Wouk is that he is STILL ALIVE It didn't even cross my mind that he could still be making motion on this planet He is 97 years old I have not seen the movie inspired by the book but by all accounts it is really well done Humphrey Bogart dropped his asking price to secure the role of Captain ueeg It was a role he was familiar with as a loner unwilling to accept help from friends or suffer insults from enemies Bogart as Captain ueegThe story is told through the eyes of Willie Keith A manboy who joins the Navy simply so he won't get drafted by the Army His family is very wealthy and his life is really concerned about a series of parties than about a war being fought in the Pacific He plays piano and meets a girl named May Wynn a nightclub singer from the wrong side of the tracks She is breathtakingly beautiful with red hair snappy with dialogue and though his intention is to just have fun with her their relationship becomescomplicated The problem is that she is descended from not only poor Italian immigrants but also rather unattractive parents Keith despite his best efforts can not see a meshing between his upper crust family and the family from the wrong side of the tracks Actress Donna Lee Hickey who played May Wynn in the movieThe actress Donna Lee Hickey who played May Wynn in the movie actually kept the name after the movie and continued to perform under that moniker for the rest of her life Keith goes through many painful realizations about his relationship with May He breaks up with her He then begs for her to come back When he later in the story comes home to find her and is upset that she is with someone else May crystallizes it for him I don't have to listen to you get nasty Just remember my friend you kicked me to the gutter If somebody picked me up what do you care Of course don't we expect people to pine for us waiting on a meat hook for us for the rest of their lives Captain ueeg joins the ship and finds that the Captain preceding him has been rather lax with regulations He imposes stricter guidelines which at first is a relief to Keith but when he gets on the wrong side of ueeg his opinion of the man changes very uickly After a series of mishaps caused by the Captain's decision making and the inability of the Captain to accept any responsibility for his mistakes the crew turns against him As the Captain feels this shift his behavior becomes erratic and soon even the officers start to turn against him The novelist Tom Keefer sums up ueeg About a week after ueeg came aboard I realized he was a psychopath The shirttail obsession the little rolling balls the inability to look you in the eye the talking in secondhand phrases and slogans the ice cream mania the seclusion why the man's a Freudian delight He crawls with clues But that doesn't matter Some of my best friends are psychopaths It could be argued that I'm one The thing is ueeg is an extreme case bordering on the twilight zone between eccentricity and real psychosis And because he's a coward I think that being in a combat zone is beginning to drive him over the red line Where this book really shines is in probing the effects of extreme conditions on individuals and how they react under those conditions I'm still amazed how Wouk deftly turns us against Captain ueeg and then as the plot advances starts to shift our opinions back the other direction We see Willie Keith evolve from a love sick immature self centered jerk into a real man He owes the war Without the war I'm not sure that Willie Keith would have ever become a man worth occupying space on the planet After the trial the officers who were so critical of Captain ueeg are they themselves tested and in some cases they are weighed and found to be wanting Keith is tested and stands up to the pressure but still comes away with understanding of the mental fatigue that plagues anyone in authority When the Caine is hit by a Japanese kamikaze plane the reality of the war hits him suare between the eyes Kamikaze plane coming in Willie was used to the sight of dead people He had seen a few relatives laid out in plush lined boxes in the amber gloom of funeral chapels with an organ mourning sweetly through loudspeakers and a heavy smell of flowers filling the air No undertaker had intervened however to prettify the death of Horrible The water washed away for a few seconds and the lantern beam showed the sailor clearly pinned down and crushed by the battered engine of the Jap plane his face and his dungarees black with grease The sight reminded Willie of the mashed suirrels he had often seen lying on the roads of Manhasset on autumn mornings It was shocking to soak in all in an instant the fact that people are as soft and destructible as suirrels What really worked for me in this book was the change in perspective from the jocular style at the beginning of the novel to the wise eyes of the characters by the end of the novel It was as if we were allowed to see the maturing of the writer as he was writing the novel Highly recommended

Herman Wouk ↠ 0 CHARACTERS

CHARACTERS È The Caine Mutiny ¼ The novel that inspired the now classic film The Caine Mutiny and the hit Broadway play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic brilliantly entertaining novel of life and mutiny on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater was immediately embraced upon its original publication in 1951 as one of the firsHip in the Pacific theater was immediately embraced upon its original publication in 1951 as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human conseuences of W. What sets Herman Wouk apart from his successors is his understanding of both characterization and plotting He is great at both The Winds of War books appearing than 20 years from The Caine Mutiny are eually brilliant The man was a prodigyThe Caine Mutiny happens on an old rustbucket of a tow ship called the Caine Thoughout the book Wouk teases us making us hungry for the moment when the crew of the ship blows its collective gasket It was long in coming but when it did the courtroom scenes didn't disappointThe book revolves around Willie Kieth who is the only character whose private life is shown If he is the main character he is marginally so His friends are Steve Maryk and Tom Keefer and his antagonist is Commander ueeg I had a lot of fun reading this book The verisimilitude laces and binds the mechanism of life in the Navy during WW2 What an experience A fully deserved Pulitzer Prize