Herman Wouk has died at 103

The author Herman Wouk has died at 103. Probably best known for “The Caine Mutiny”

His WWII epic “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance” was hugely influential on me when I was a young adult.


I’m afraid his obituary will be 800 pages.

I learned of him through Jimmy Buffett and their collaboration on a play of his novel Don’t Stop the Carnival. I haven’t read any of his other works, but I really enjoyed that one. I’ve also read the now ironically titled Stephen King short story Herman Wouk Is Still Alive.

I love the works of Herman Wouk, especially Don’t Stop the Carnival, Youngblood Hawke, *Marjorie Morningstar *and of course The Caine Mutiny.


Herman Wouk was still alive?
RIP. A long life, well lived.

Wow, 103, and just short of 104!

RIP, Mr. Wouk. We’ll always be grateful for the gifts you gave us.

Wow. Right after architect I.M. Pei at 102. So much for “only the good die young.”

Thanks for The Caine Mutiny, Hermie. Sorry about the strawberries.

muses I suppose it speaks to how life spans are longer than they used to be that there are actually famous - or at least well-known - centenarians around these days. I.M. Pei and Wouk just recently died. Olivia de Havilland, Kirk Douglas and Vera Lynn are still alive. Any others?

A bit of a weird one. Having had occasion for a very stray thought about his very, very late novel A Hole in Texas cross my mind in the last day or so, I had then just wondered “Is Herman Wouk still alive?” or had his death passed me by? Thus freshly at the back of my to-do Google list for me to check until …

I looked him up the last time we watched The Caine Mutiny a month or so ago, and was surprised he was still alive. I have to watch The Caine Mutiny every time it comes on.

Ten more days, and he’d have reached 104.

RIP. I read both Winds of War and War and Remembrance in the summer of 8th grade heading into high school. I’ve read them again numerous times and I’ve seen the miniseries of both several times. Great works of literature, in my opinion. They inspired me to travel to Europe as well as taught me more about European history than any high school class.

My introduction to Wouk was a bit of a rocky one. Our school film society showed, during the “winter” half of the year, eight classic or classic-ish films (attendance was compulsory). As a mentally fairly young eleven- and twelve-year-old, several such went thoroughly over my head – point-missing to the highest degree. One example was The Caine Mutiny, which greatly disappointed me by seeming to feature little in the way of exciting naval action, and to consist mostly of deadly-boring sequences of guys “argufying” in courtrooms.

For decades after, in my mind “Herman Wouk” equated totally with “utter boredom” – I totally avoided anything involving him. Finally – I forget whether via the novel Don’t Stop The Carnival, or the Winds of War/War and Remembrance books (whether led on to by the films, or not, again I forget) – I became converted; to the extent of at last trying “Caine” (book) and, no longer being a young kid, finding it enthralling. Have not seen the film in adulthood – for a long while, have basically not “done” films. I’ve read a number of Wouk’s other novels: IMO in his long life, he produced much excellent stuff.

Ironically, just this past week I was reading Stephen King’s short story Herman Wouk is Still Alive in his collection Bazaar of Bad Dreams. It was originally published in The Atlantic back in 2011. Someone showed it to Wouk, and he invited King over.

I have to admit that, of all his fiction, the onlt thing I’ve read is his offbeat science fiction novel The Lomokome Papers.

City Boy is great fun - I read an excerpt when I was in school, and finally read the whole thing a few years ago (after someone on the SDMB helped me identify it).

I enjoyed Winds of War, but War and Remembrance was a loooong slog to get through. By the time I got to the end, I was just hanging in there to find out what happened to Natalie.

By utter chance, I read Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie and Herman Wouk’s Marjorie Morning Star consecutively - it is an experience I highly recommend (even better if you can get a few friends to do it with you). You can do comparisons and contrasts on so many levels; the books are fantastically complementary.