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The Caine Mutiny

The Caine Mutiny

by Herman Wouk
Publication Date: 10/07/2019

The Caine Mutiny is a sea yarn. It has been made into a Mad Magazine spoof, several plays, and a Simpsons spoof. It is a full, colorful novel of two main strands. One is the story of Willie Keith; the other is the strange triangle on the old destroyer - minesweeper Caine which results in the almost incredible fact of a mutiny United States Navy Ship in World War II. Willie Keith, through whose eyes the reader sees the Caine Mutiny, starts out as a careless, good humored Princeton boy and ends as the grim and battered captain of The Caine. The story of his growing up is dramatized in his long love affair with May Wynn, who scrapes a living as a singer in the lower reaches of the broadway night-club world. The triangle on the Caine consists of Captain Queeg, a half-comic, half-tragic petty tyrant; his chief executive officer, Lieutenant Maryk, an excellent naval officer but beyond his depth in the tense and frightening situation that develops on the mine-sweeper; and the third in command, Lieutenant Keefer, an embittered, witty intellectual who sparks the the revolt. Paralleling, the experience of a confident young man entering the military life, the novel starts in a humorous and romantic vein. When Willie Keith comes aboard the battle scared tramp called The Caine the tone begins to deepen and the lens to broaden . Tremendous scenes follow - the mounting tension on board as the ship prepares to go into the Kwajalein invasion; the wild panorama of the typhoon off the Philippines in December 1944, at the height of which the mutiny takes place; and the court martial of Maryk which follows, and which turns on the testimony of Willie Keith. Presenting the reader a surface of swift, vigorous entertainment, The Caine Mutiny also contains a searching, indirect comment on the basic problems of discipline and command in the civilian swelled armed forces of a free country. But this is left to the reader to complete in his own mind, after he has enjoyed the comedy, the long thrilling drama and the moving love story which are the main elements of the structure.

Publication Date:
Ishi Press International
Country of origin:
United States

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