Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life-and mutiny-on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
©1952 Herman Wouk (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Many hours in spring and summer spent sitting on a slow lawn mower is why I listen to stories.
At the core of this story lies the protagonist's passage to manhood that results from his experience of a year on board a rust-bucket mine-sweeper commanded by a crazy captain. The story is quite long and parts of it could have been left out. A vivid picture of life in the US Navy during WWII is painted, and of life at sea in a more general sense. The "mutiny" of the title takes a long time to occur in the story, and is followed by almost as much story in the second half of the book. If you like all things Navy and the action set in WWII, you'll like this (incidentally, there is practically no "action" as far as combat is concerned, making it all the more engaging and realistic).
Yes because I am not sure I would have chosen it to read myself.
Captain Queeg because he was so horribly unpleasant.
Yes, very much. I will look out for other books that he has narrated.
The part that stood out particularly for me was at the time of the actual 'mutiny'.
A thought provoking story. Was Captain Queeg really mad or just a bad leader? I'd listen again knowing the outcome to see if I change my opinion.
"Even Better than the Movie"
Prior to this audiobook, I had seen the movie and read Wouk's Winds of War. So I had high expectations. I was not disappointed, and was even surprised by how much I enjoyed of the book. The story is engaging, entertaining, profound and even (a little) twisty. The character development is excellent and rarely seen in recent fiction. The narration is very good.
A few words of expectations management: First, this is less of a war book than Winds of War, and much less than other novels. The backdrop is the WWII Pacific Theater, and there are some fighting scenes. But this is not a war action book, or even a WWII history. Second, this is an epic story. Unlike the movie, the plot unfolds over 24 hours of audiobook and sometimes requires patience. But patience will be rewarded with a fantastic read (well .... listen).
I have had this audiobook in my library for several months. I found Wouk's two other masterpieces (Winds of War & War and Remembrance) superb and was a little worried this book would not live up to my expectations.
Well, I needn't have worried. I found this book to be similarly enthralling and a really exceptional listening experience. I can't imagine a better combo than Herman Wouk and Kevin Pariseau. Pariseau really understands Wouk's characters and narrates them expertly.
Wouk's characters are well-developed as usual. Their motivations and behaviors I found totally believable. I really cared what happened to them and often felt I was right there with them in the moment. This story is by no means predictable, and more than once I found myself surprised at the turns it took. Now that I have finished the book, I often find myself thinking back to the ending in particular, wanting to know more, reluctant to say goodby to Willie and his comrades.
The Caine Mutiny is much more than just a war story. This book is not only for men who can't stop reminiscing about the war. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an engrossing and rewarding listening experience.
"Superb Historical Fiction"
There are very few authors on this planet that can tell a masterful and engaging story while simultaneously teaching world history. Herman Wouk is one of these rare few. His stories are powerful, interconnected, and beautifully written; the listener not only feels a part of the narrative but also gains a certain affection for the characters.
The Caine Mutiny is not Wouk's finest work. I'll reserve that honor for some of his later works. That being said, the Mutiny is a fantastic story of love, hate, jealousy, and all of the complexities of thought an emotion experienced by a young sailor during World War II.
Any story from Herman Wouk will entertain and enlighten, and Tha Caine mutiny delivers on both accounts.
"Not Wouk's Best, But Still VERY Good!"
First off, this is NO "Winds of War" or "War and Rememberance", which Wouk is known for. It may seem unfair to compare this book to those two MASTERPIECES, but such is the territory when you write the "War and Peace" of a generation. If you haven't read those two, I recommend you do before you read Caine. It will truly give you a feel for just how genius Wouk was.
I found Caine to be more fluffy and kid-friendly than I had expected. There isn't a lot of action, and you may fid yourself dozing off at times. Where this book excels is in character development. I mean, after all, you know just from the title what's going to happen by the end. Therefore, rich characters are a must, and this book has them! I haven't seen the broadway show, but I can imagine it's very similar to listening to the book. The characters are almost cartoon-like (in a good way), and there aren't many different settings. Again, I know it's unfair to compare this to "Winds of War", but that book had unbelievable settings, all over the world. Caine pretty much keeps things localized on a ship.
Overall, this is a very good story, but not great. There isn't enough tension, and the action is so sparse as to be nonexistent. It's predictable and unbelievable at times. It's a great character piece, written by a master writer, which alone is worth the credit.
The narrator is fantastic, bringing all the characters to life.
"The finest of the finest"
Most probably the best narration I have ever had the chance to experience. Of one of the greatest novels ever written.
"I LOVE Herman Wouk."
I just do. I love the way he describes people and events. I love the way he can bring history to life. I love the understanding he brings to the events surrounding WWII. And Kevin Pariseau is a perfect narrator for his style of writing and the characters he invents.
This is one of those books that I should have read years ago, but didn't The title is part of our vernacular (like Catch 22) yet I never really understood where it came from or what it meant. This is such a satisfying listen. The writing is SO flawless. With Wouk I always feel like I'm being treated to the work of one of our greatest writers.
"You will be surprised"
Yes, but this one disappointed me. Toward the end, as somone else noted, his ability to differentiate characters was lost and that hurt in some sections as it is all dialogue and being able to distinguish who is talking helps.
I loved his narration of Winds of War and War&Remembrance, so was surprised at this performance.
Ok,confession...I love the movie. I downloaded the radio dramatization and hated it. Because of Kevin Pariseau's prior Wouk performances, I tried this one.
As someone pointed out:
1. This isn't Wouk's best work.
2. Pariseau is quite a few levels down from his prior narrations.
3. Get past the annoying May/Maria storyline, and this is actually very well done. Really do feel a part of the ship and provides greater appreciation for both Caine Mutiny and Mr. Robert's movies. At first I was surprised that Wouk continued beyond the court martial, and while a bit preachy, it did provide better closure than the movie.
If you enjoyed Herman Wouk"s "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance", you will love this audible book. The same great storytelling and the same great narrator make this one you will add to your all time favorites.
"A challenge to one perceptions and a great listen."
This whole story is a set up to challenge ones perceptions. Things are not always as they seem and Mr. Wouk is a master at weaving a marvelous story that brings one along enjoying the ride and then picks apart our assumptions one by one. There are facts and there is reality, and the two don't always line the way we think they do. If you have listened to "Winds of war" or "War and Remembrance" The narrator with be a welcome and familiar presence. Kevin Pariseau does a fine job and the narration adds to the quality of the writing. I recommend this book to anybody who loves history and a great story.
"A Slice of WWII"
I liked the movie, but Humphrey Bogart's representation of the Captain is more sympathetic than the original (the book).
Anyone who has ever had a very, very bad boss can empathize with the suffering of the progtagonist in "The Caine Mutiny". However, what is really good about this book is that it gives one small slice of what the American part of the WWII experience might have been like. No one in "The Caine Mutiny" is an exceptional individual, and the Caine doesn't do anything spectactular for the war effort. The Caine and it's crew are just one more cog in the machine that won the war, and this is a story about a young man who grows up (sort of) in the backdrop of 'doing his bit' in a largely unappreciated job.
The humor in this book is not overdone, but gives the reader a break from some of the drudgery that the main characters have to work through. That said, the actual 'mutiny' is, in of itself, almost a sidebar for the plot of the story.
What you get with "The Caine Mutiny" is something that is extremely well-written along with a first-rate narration.
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