27 May, 2015

The Caine Mutiny

BY Herman Wouk
Book Information1Thus/1/2/US/FL/1928/?  •  247x165x50  •  1,680  •  Pulitzer's52

So today's Herman Wouk's 100th birthday (Happy Birthday, Sir!), and this is his work that I'm reading now. It is the Franklin Library signed limited edition of The Caine Mutiny, originally published in 1951 by Doubleday and a Pulitzer winner. I hope to purchase a copy of the first edition some time this year.

Mr Wouk belongs to a long lineage of authors who had served in the second world war, and had successfully translated some of their stories into award winning novels, including James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific, James Cozzens' Guard of Honor, and, more poignantly, John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces.

The Caine Mutiny is a Bildungsroman that chronicles the coming-of-age  of Willie Keith through his career in the Navy, tracking his tribulations on board the USS Caine as a naval officer during the second world war. The story also highlights the social prejudice then through the relationship between Willie, a well-to-do Princetonian, and May, an Italian immigrant who did not go to college and whose parents ran a fruit store. At the end of the book, Willie, realized that he genuinely loved May, decided to ask for her hand, only to find out that she was already with someone else.

Mr.  Wouk is scheduled to publish his memoir, Sailor and Fiddle, later in 2015.


The book is bounded in genuine leather, and gilt in 22k gold. Very luxurious.

Signed by Herman Wouk himself.


A message from Herman Wouk accompanying the book that is worth a read.

The full title page.


Selected illustration




This book is 38 years old, but the corners are still sharp and the edges gilt. And there is no foxing internally. A very good investment if you want to keep the book for a long time.

Nothing escapes the gravity. Here, you can see the distinct "U" shape at the top because the spine at the top is loose due to the weight of the leaves.

You can see the loose (detached) spine at the top clearly here. This is a common problem for books a few decade old, and a simple way to prevent further deterioration is to either store the book flat or upside down. The former is preferred because the latter will, over time, cause the bottom spine to detach too.



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