Danielle's Reviews > The Caine Mutiny

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
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's review
Jan 15, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, classics-recommended-reading, danielle-recommends, my-favorites

I put off reviewing this book for way too long because I wanted to do it justice. Now it's been months since I finished it, and so my review will be lacking accordingly. But, I can say without reservation that I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it immenseley, and it met the three criteria for a 5-star book: It entertained me, it made me think, and it made me feel.
I decided to read this book because it was lodged somewhere in my mind as one of those "books you should read." Also, there is a classic film based on the book. I'll admit that I didn't know going into it whether it was fiction or non-fiction (the answer is fiction, convincingly portrayed as non-fiction). At first blush, it doesn't seem like my kind of book. It actually seems like that rare creature: literature a man would enjoy. It's all about war and the Navy and girls. And yet, it is gripping from the very beginning. The writing is simple, yet clear and extremely engaging. I didn't want to put it down.
But what really took it from a four-star to a five-star book was the ending. All along I'd been sympathizing with the main characters, and hating, just HATING the crazy Captain Queeg, and the entire military system that allowed such an obviously unfit man to hold the fate of hundreds of lives in his hands. I cheered when Maryk relieved Queeg of duty, especially for the respectful, mature way in which he did it. And then, I had all my assumptions turned upside down, and I saw how prejudiced I had been. I claim to value rational and logical thinking above all, and yet I let my emotions run away with me. The conclusion of this book was just astounding, and I felt like I had almost experienced the events of the mutiny and the trial first-hand, so deeply did the lesson sink in. This is one I'd love to read again, and discuss with others. There is a lot of food for thought within this well-written adventure.
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