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Many years ago, the great British philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin urged Herman Wouk to write his autobiography. Wouk responded, "Why me? I'm nobody." Berlin answered, "No, no. You've traveled. You've known many people. You have interesting ideas. It would do a lot of good."
Now, in the same year he has celebrated his 100th birthday, Herman Wouk finally reflects on the life experiences that inspired his most beloved novels. Among those experiences are his days writing for comedian Fred Allen's radio show, one of the most popular shows in the history of the medium; enlisting in the US Navy during World War II; falling in love with Betty Sarah Brown, the woman who would become his wife (and literary agent) for 66 years; writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Caine Mutiny as well as a big hit Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial; and the surprising inspirations and people behind such masterpieces as The Winds of War, War and Remembrance, Marjorie Morningstar, and Youngblood Hawke.
Written with the wisdom of a man who has lived through two centuries and the wit of someone who began his career as a professional comedy writer, the first part of Wouk's memoir ("Sailor") refers to his Navy experience and writing career, the second ("Fiddler") to what he's learned from living a life of faith. Ultimately, Sailor and Fiddler is an unprecedented reflection from a vantage point few people have lived to experience.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By GH on 01-21-16
A pleasant bow to all of us
This autobiography is a rarity. Herman Wouk is a 100 yeas old! He wrote his autobiography from a standpoint of why he wrote. No self-aggrandizing, simple, and clear truth. A one of my all time favorite authors, I learned a lot about him in this short work. For example, I didn't know his wife was his manager. Without exaggeration, his books and mini-series Winds of War and War and Remembrance should be on everyone's bucket list whether you like history or not. They are a tour def force in writing.
Although this book is quite lite in facts, you get a real feel for the nature of his development. He don't shine much light on his personal affairs except to make sure you know how much he loved his wife, his faith and his opportunity to write for us and tell a story.
Wouk narrates the prologue and epilogue and leave the bulk of it to Arthur Morey. I teared up at the end when he declares that he has no more commitments, no more books to write, no more public stories to tell, his next chapter it to join he beloved deceased wife. Listen to this or not, but you must read what he call his main task in life: Winds of War and War and Remembrance.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Pamela Pride on 07-23-16
8 tower of a man
I do not recommend reading this book if you are unfamiliar with Soul's fictional Works, especially Winds of War and War and Remembrance. it would be difficult to appreciate this man's life without first understanding his immense contribution 2 literature and the historical novel genre. once you have read one or more of his sweeping novels, you will Delight in learning about the source of his characters and his writing process.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful