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537 pages, Paperback
First published March 19, 1951
THE CAINE MUTINY begins with character development of Willie Keith, his affluent family and worries over the possible consequences of having an immigrant girlfriend as he goes from being a spoiled, immature Princeton grad and amateur pianist to life in the U.S. Navy during WWII.
This brilliant classic work follows Willie aboard ship where we see how the men live, eat and occasionally sleep while performing their duties in an environment filled with daily (and nightly) chaos and disruption under the command of a nauseating, deceitful, paranoid and cowardly "crazy lunatic" Captain.
A truly captivating story with many 'I can't believe this!' moments and a dramatic highly effective ending I thought fit the bill.
(It is interesting to note that Wouk's own personal experiences aboard a destroyer-minesweeper in the pacific during WWII influenced parts of this novel.)
Update: February 16, 2017 - Watched the movie with Bogey playing the part of crazy Captain Queeg, and found it to be very similar to the book except for Willie Keith's girlfriend May who has a much more complicated personality in the novel making for a much more interesting ending. For me, overall, the written word was better than the visual expressing more feeling and a bit more detail.