Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review - The Caine Mutiny

Welcome to my second mini-series for the month of August! (Click HERE to see all posts in last week's 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 mini-series.)

This post is the first in a series of six daily posts where I'll be sharing book reviews. I regularly share reviews of the books I read, however so far this year I've mainly only been sharing reviews of the Pulitzer prize winners and the free books (I receive in exchange for an honest review) that I've completed. This week I'm catching up with reviews so I'll have a review for each book I've read. Check out my Books Read page to see a list of the books I've read, and click on any book title to check out my review.

This year one of my goals is to read the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction and review them here on my blog. To start off this book review series, I'm sharing my thoughts on the 1952 winner, The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk.


At 560 pages, this was definitely the longest novel I've read this year, however it only took me a few days to complete it. This is a very well written novel, an engaging read from start to finish, so it was difficult to put down. This story takes place during World War II, but it's not just another war novel. The characters are well developed and the military protocol and jargon are easy to understand.

While the story begins and ends with Willie Keith, a US Navy officer whose first assignment is on the old destroyer-minesweeper USS Caine, it's Captain Queeg who takes center stage as the narrative progresses. Queeg's eccentricities lead to some great action - the life jacket incident and the measuring of the sand to represent strawberries were two of my favorites. The actual mutiny (when Lieutenant Maryk relieves Queeq of duty and takes command of the Caine) would seem to be the culminating incident, but the court martial is the event that truly brings out Queeg's peculiarities.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and handed it off to Robbie to read as soon as I finished it. We then watched the movie based on the book (which Robbie first watched in a History of the Cinema class several years ago).

The movie was excellent with Humphrey Bogart portraying Captain Queeg. However, the movie portrayed Queeg in a much more sympathetic manner than the book. Based on some of the commentaries, this was probably due to the fact that the Navy's cooperation was needed to film the movie and having the Captain appear more disturbed (in a suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome kind of way) rather than somewhat insane would not damage the reputation of the Navy.

I highly recommend this book and the movie - read the book first, of course! This is a book that I would definitely read again! Have any of you read this book or seen the movie? Please share your thoughts in the comments. If you haven't read this book, what are you waiting for?

Be sure to check back tomorrow for my reviews of the Christian fiction books I've read since the first of the year.  (Click here to see all my book reviews.)


  1. I haven't read the book or seen the film. However your review has certainly intrigued me and I shall put it on my wish list.

  2. Loved the movie. Never read the book.


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