In the South Pacific with Some Great Sailors and a Jerk of a Captain

ATWIB 2013I knocked off the Marshall Islands and Hawaii with a great Pulitzer winner this week. Hated to see this one end. I love when books make me search Google–this time it was to look at images of the ships my Naval Officer ex-boyfriend was on. After reading this book I felt like I had a much better sense of what his life might have been like when he was aboard. Here’s what I said on Goodreads:

The Caine MutinyThe Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Caine Mutiny begins with an excerpt from naval regulations. We learn that under certain rare circumstances, a second-in-command can relieve a superior of command. Of course a mistake in judgement as to whether such circumstances are present would mean that instead, the officer had instigated a mutiny. It is upon this distinction that much of the drama of the novel is based. But this novel is also about a wealthy, spoiled, immature, but basically good young man coming of age aboard an old and bedraggled warship. It is also about love and about loyalty and leadership. It is about patriotism, and arrogance, and cowardice. There is a rather amazing soliloquy by a Jewish lawyer and badly injured fighter-pilot delivered primarily to a pompous, self-involved author/officer. There are long tedious days aboard ship, under good leadership and bad. There are battles with the Japanese and the weather.

I loved this one, and it made me much, much more curious about my ex-boyfriend’s naval career. At one point I was google-searching images of his ships in order to be able to better imagine his life aboard in the 1980s and 1990s. It was a different navy then, no longer a boys club, and yet in many ways, he tells me, it was also the same. Here’s to a wonderful novel, a movie I need to track down and watch, and an author I’d been neglecting since reading Marjorie Morningstar in high school. I will definitely be tracking down his later war novels now. My 4 stars is a 4 1/2 and may yet morph into a 5 on this one.

Progress report:

Around the World (goal: 52 total including at least 6 in each of 6 different regions) 26
Asia/Mideast: 6 (Israel, China, Afghanistan, Japan, Iran, Pakistan)
Africa: 2 (Madagascar, Libya)
Europe: 6 (England/UK, Ireland, Monaco, Poland, Spain, Italy)
Caribbean/Central America/North America: 5 (US, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica)
Oceania: 2 (Fiji, Marshall Islands)
South America: 1 (Brazil)
Extra: 4 (Scotland, Greece, Holland, India)

Around the US (goal: 50 states, DC, and PR): 19 (AZ, CA, CO, GA, HI, IA, IN, KS, LA, MA, MI, MN, MS, NM, NJ, NY, PA, RI, WV)

1001 Books (goal 52): 21

A to Z challenge (must be completed in order–26 author last names A to Z then 26 titles A to Z–strategy is all!): 23
Authors: Auster, Beinart, Chandler, Donovan, Eugenides, Faulkner, Grau, Hosseini, Ishiguro, Joyce, King, Lewis, Murakami, Nasar, Ondaatje, Preston and Childs, Quinn, Rushdie, Scott, Trevor, Updike, Vonnegut, Wouk
Books:

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About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
This entry was posted in Around the US 2013, Around the World 2013, Books, Pulitzer Prize and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to In the South Pacific with Some Great Sailors and a Jerk of a Captain

  1. vanbraman says:

    I really liked The Caine Mutiny. Looks like you will finish up the Alphabet challenge soon.

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