Noah Rosenthal's Reviews > Don't Stop the Carnival

Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk
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's review
May 05, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2000-2005-post-college
Read in January, 2000

I read this book either right before or right after I got out of college. I dare say that this is actually a great time to read a book about a midlife crisis dealt with through wanderlust. At the time, I felt an interesting confluence of wanderlust and responsibility, and that's precisely what DStC is about.

DStC is a clever book, with good dialogue, great dialect and a cute story and cute characters. I haven't read War and Remembrance, but everybody I know who has says it's long-winded and boring. DStC, though long, is neither long-winded or boring. DStC, on the other hand, moves at a steady pace and there are enough surprises in the story to keep it interesting.

On the Jimmy Buffet note: I did not like Jimmy Buffet UNTIL I read this book. I thought his songs were cheesy and sort of self-serving. This book did nothing to change my mind on that point, but it made me appreciate the cheese and self-serving-ness. If DStC doesn't give you a romantic notion of escaping from responsibility and setting up an new life in paradise, and at the same time an anti-romantic notion of all the pitfalls involved, I'm not sure anything (short of doing it yourself) will. That romantic/anti-romantic dichotomy is exactly what makes Jimmy Buffet enjoyable and much of what makes DStC a great book.

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