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The Passing of a Literary Giant; Herman Wouk Dies

Herman Wouk at age 98







A Centenarian Novelist Dies

Today, Herman Wouk, the Pulitzer-prize winning novelist died at an amazing age of 103. The New York City writer, had been rather quiet for the last decade after releasing, The Lawgiver, just a few years after turning 90. Still, over his lifetime, the American writer had published numerous novels, including the Caine Mutiny, which earned him a Pulitzer prize in 1952.

After Pearl Harbor, Wouk volunteered for the Navy and so spent the formidable part of the war, island hopping through the Pacific theater, on board several American warships. After the war, Wouk would emerge as one of the more gifted novelists to write about their war experience.

Jimmy Buffett and Herman Wouk





An Unusual Alliance

I probably never wouldn’t of paid much attention to Mr. Wouk, if hadn’t been for the activities of Jimmy Buffett. In his successful biographical, sailor’s tale, A Pirate Looks at Forty, Jimmy provides a list of ten books, which one should take along, if they were ever stranded on a deserted island. One of these recommendations was Don’t Stop the Carnival, a rip-roaring Caribbean story that Wouk penned back in the sixties.

Fortunately, the story doesn’t stop with good reading advice, for Buffett came up with the brilliant idea of making a Broadway musical about the fictitious subtropical isle. To make a long story short, the two bards put their heads together and came up a successful musical, based on the novel. Since then, Buffett has gone own to put his own story onto the Broadway stage (Escape to Margaritaville), while Herman most likely slipped back into the content retirement of a successful novelist.

Life in the Pacific Theater could be highly risky


Wouk’s Legacy

With Wouk’s passing, the American people have lost their last quite literary voice from the “Big One” (World War II). Wouk was not alone in this account, for not only did the Second War World, produce a sustained era of prosperity, but it also left in its wake, a slew of creative literary artists. Where would we be today without the original voices of James Michener, Norman Mailer, James Jones, Steven Linakis, Kurt Vonnegut, J. G.Ballard and Pierre Boulie. So in your spare time, you might want to turn off the TV and pick up a good book a two about our most recent world war. War may be hell, but it sure is a catalyst for a lot of good stories.

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