Jim's Reviews > The Caine Mutiny

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
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's review
Dec 29, 2010

it was amazing
Read in September, 2004

This was recommended on The Motely Fool's Book Board, by someone commenting on a post I'd submitted on Nevil Shute. It had me ensnared after thirty pages and, when that happens, you know you're in for a decent journey in the same way that if you're not captured by sixty pages, you never will be. It was fun trying to guess who Wouk saw himself as: was it Willie, the book's central character; was it Keefer, the intellectual wrapped in writing his book, ultimately exposed as lacking the right stuff; or was it Greenwood, the Jewish ex-pilot hotshot lawyer? Or maybe a combination of the above. It was most certainly not Captain Queeg though, a man of no redeeming features, save that of a necessary evil perhaps exposed and needed in only extraordinary times. I felt that Queeg was set up, but for the story to work he probably needed to be.
The thing about great novels is that they examine and expose the truths and lies of human nature and I felt that Caine looked at some of these - the nature of cowardice, of friendship, of what it is to lust and love, the ties of family and the pressures of society, to name but a few. Okay, perhaps it's not Dostoevsky, but it was more than enough for me and my limited experience of life so far.

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