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Youngblood Hawke

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  888 ratings  ·  50 reviews
In this huge novel of nearly 600 pages (from the author of The Caine Mutiny, Marjorie Morningstar, War and Remembrance, etc)about an aspiring young author's assault on the citadel of New York publishing, Wouk's hero Youngblood Hawke launches his career with an oversized manuscript that becomes an instant success. Toasted by critics and swept along on a tide of popularity, ...more
Paperback, 783 pages
Published May 15th 1992 by Back Bay Books (first published 1962)
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Community Reviews

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Snezan
Apr 16, 2008 Snezan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the hero worshippers
from the moment i picked up this book, it utterly destroyed my will to live. My very soul became subsumed by a crumbling, mildewy dime-story copy printed in the early 60s. Breaths came in gasps, food lost all meaning, time seemed to fall away in kaleidoscopic ellipses, blocks of hours would pass without context.

I have no explanation why the novel grabbed me so strongly, except to say that 10 pages in I was Youngblood Hawke and i read each word as if it were my future sent back in time to warn m
...more
Gail
A perennial favorite, "Youngblood" is just a great book, presenting a perfect picture of the New York literary world of the late forties and early fifties, with a main character who seems like a very real person. I've re-read this many times; the last time I looked through it, I thought, "Well, I'll just browse and skip a bit", and wound up rereading the entire novel in two days. I just couldn't put it down. Although Wouk is an advocated of "old-fashioned" values like fidelity and honesty, he's ...more
Rae
The story of an aspiring novelist who, after his first book is accepted, encounters various challenges such as legal entanglements, love affairs, unfulfilled romances, and an obsession with money. It's the kind of book a reader gets lost in.
David Jordan
Yes, it's pop fiction, but ol' Youngblood was an inspiration to me when I read about him as a young wannabe writer. Wouk reworks the life of Thomas Wolfe (Hawke is from Kentucky instead of North Carolina) to paint an intriguing picture of literary life in New York City in the first half of the 20th Century. Wolfe lived fast, loved hard and died young, so his fictionalized life includes lots of jazzy material about booze, sex, love, greed, literary ambition and death.
Jayne Charles
I love Herman Wouk's books, and this is one of the best. It is the totally gripping saga of a young novelist, his books and his various relationships with women and money, a fascinating read though the stretches that describe law relating to mining land can get a bit tedious in places. I have read it so many times I've had to buy a new copy as the old one was falling to bits! A cautionary tale for anyone who thinks the life of a novelist is all plain sailing
Daniel
Dec 29, 2007 Daniel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All...tremendous story
This book is like "Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten." It is life, love, loss, success, failure, corruption, infidelity, scandall, disaster, redemption...all in a big, bustling, lovely tome of a novel.

It is lucious and impossible to put down. An epic story. A must read.
David Burke
A book about the new kid on the block writer whose work becomes the hot item in New York and later Hollywood. Didn't think I was going to like it but it grabbed me and dragged me along for 600 pages and I hardly noticed. Easy to read and interesting all the way.
Dragon Reborn
AKA Breaking Books. The great Herman Wouk's epic, (view spoiler), drama of a young writer sucked into a destructive and glamorous world of fame, fortune, and love.

Sounds like a blurb by a rather inexperienced, enthusiastic writer of such, doesn't it?

That's because I LOVED this book. Not only because its protagonist is a young writer who actually made it to published success ( I am a young, aspiring writer) but because Wouk's skill at the craft and character and w
...more
~mad
Just browsing Amazon and GoodReads - have read this one.
Don't remember when but do remember I was very impressed with it.
Deserves to be read again!
Lisa
One of my very favorite books. I don't think prose gets any better than this. Viva NY.
Book Club Mom
If you don’t know already that Youngblood Hawke is Number One on my Top Ten List, now you do! Before my review, I’m going to give you ten reasons why this book sits on top of my pile:

Its main character, Youngblood Hawke, is someone you instantly like, despite his flaws and weaknesses. I love his good nature.

The rest of the many characters are weak and strong in different ways and very realistic. A couple of them you will love to hate. Others are good and honorable, but their weaknesses often s
...more
Moppet
I just finished reading, for the second time, this doorstopper by a Pulitzer-winning bestselling novelist, about a bestselling novelist who writes doorstoppers and wins the Pulitzer. Herman Wouk could certainly draw on experience for his account of the rollercoaster career of Arthur Youngblood Hawke (who goes by Youngblood Hawke professionally). Hawke is on a personal quest to unite artistic integrity with the American Dream: his goal is to have a million dollars in the bank so that he will be f ...more
Philip
Jan 28, 2012 Philip added it
Shelves: unfinished
I read YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE in 1972 - I'd first noticed it in the library in the mid-1960s, attracted by the orange dust-jacket of the hardcover edition and the size of the book. I had a lot more time to read in 1972, apparently, because it's one among many rather lengthy books I read that year - however, I've only managed 56 pages since beginning it earlier this week.

I'm not sure how aware I was back then that this was essentially a roman á clêf about Thomas Wolfe, and that characters such as Fried
...more
Thomas Walsh
This is a big book. But, the author uses the space wisely. The characters are developed slowly (that's good, for me.) His style of writing is descriptive, yet journalistically objective. The writer in the plot was supposed to be Thomas Wolfe. But, we see thr entire publishing process through the eyes of the young writer, and that makes the novel a thrilling piece of catharsis.

It would be trivial to say: they just don't write them like this anymmore: sometimes, cliches are appropriate. It's disa
...more
Beverly
A novel about an aspiring young author's assault on the citadel of New York publishing, Hawke launches his career with an oversized manuscript that becomes an instant success. A great classic!
Kaethe
What I learned from reading this book is that sometimes another person's favorite book is something you will love, but more often, it isn't.
Gcasa
I can't forget this book. it is always with me.
David
I can't believe I'm finally done with this thing. There was some good story, good characters, and good emotion here, but it was so buried in all the rest if the stuff. There was a lot of repetition and it felt like it was trying too hard to be a big book. I would have personally liked it more cut down significantly.
Steven
This is the story of a young man who feasted on himself, of a man whose arrogance and ambition drove him through the heady world of 1950s publishing and into disaster. You want to kick him a thousand times as Youngblood Hawke squirms and squirrels his way to the top, barely mindful of the human wreckage he leaves behind him. But it is one terrific story that hauls you along like being tied to a rocket.
Clay
I read this after college - at a time when when I could read anytime, anywhere, and for as long as I wnted to. It was a great book as were the others Wouk authored - War and Remeberance and Winds of War. I could identify with Hawke who seemingly got further and further in over his head. I could see myself in his shoes - not that I ever did naything noteworthy, but I could indentify!
Tim
A long, but interesting read as time capsule of mid-20th Century writing and their take on sophistication. I assume the insight into publishing at that time to be true and you get a good dose of the glamour of being a famous writer. The soap opera tone is dated, but admittedly fun.
Kate
Jan 01, 2013 Kate marked it as to-read
Shelves: gave-up-on
I think it's finally time to move this one. I got half way through it before starting grad school, which immediately killed my ability to read anything for fun. It has sat on my "currently reading" shelf since then, a big fat lie. I'd love to re-read/finish at some point
Kayefex
I read an original edition of this book when I was about 15 years old and bored. I've read it at least once a year since. I wore out the first edition and a paperback. And I still quote it:

Nothing but inside of a brunette cow at midnight black.
Jones
Aug 30, 2008 Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All Readers
Recommended to Jones by: My mother and father
Excellent story that is told with amazing energy by Herman Wouk. I'm biased as my dad's side of the family is from Kentucky and my wife loves Manhattan, but this is a tremendous story told in an excellent way.
Amy
"All one's life goes into any decision, small or big."

"There was something decidedly bleak about her habit of driving every nail to the board."

"She had a streak of unforgiving clarity that bordered on the cruel..."
Ken
I liked this book a lot. Wouk spins the tale of an author who hits it big with his first couple of books, then we follow his destruction over the course of the book. A long read, but a good one.
Esther
I read this book so many years ago - it must have been soon after it was published, and I have re-read it any number of times, I loved it so much. I recommend it and must re-read it again soon.
Karen Klink
I was surprised how much the book held my attention--my first book by Herman Wouk and now I must read another. Nothing to add that hasn't been said by other reviewers.
Robert Grant
Another wonderful book by Herman Wouk. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Not typically the type of novel I would read but I was surprised to find that I liked it.
E
This is one of my all time favorite books. I actually felt like the characters in this book were real people that I knew. I was sad when the book was over.
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Herman Wouk is a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning Jewish American author with a number of notable novels to his credit, including The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance.

Herman Wouk was born in New York City into a Jewish family that had emigrated from Russia. After a childhood and adolescence in the Bronx and a high school diploma from Townsend Harris High School, he earned
...more
More about Herman Wouk...
The Winds of War (The Henry Family, #1) War and Remembrance (The Henry Family, #2) The Caine Mutiny Marjorie Morningstar Don't Stop the Carnival

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