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Sailor and Fiddler
Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author
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About The Book
In this remarkable memoir “full of adventure, wit, color, and detail” (Jewish Journal), Herman Wouk finally reflects on the life experiences that inspired his most enduring novels. With a tone that is “generous and warm” (The Boston Globe), he tells of 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 sixty-three years; writing his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Caine Mutiny; as well as a big hit Broadway play and an equally big Broadway flop; 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 “trailblazing centenarian charmer” (Buffalo News) and the wit of someone who began his career as professional comedy writer, Sailor and Fiddler is an unprecedented reflection on writing and faith—“a lovely coda to the career of a man who made American literature a kinder, smarter, better place” (NPR).
About The Reader
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (January 5, 2016)
- Runtime: 3 hours and 20 minutes
- ISBN13: 9781508214816
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Raves and Reviews
"Deliciously brisk, pithy, and witty.... A self-described “cheerful centenarian,” Wouk is jaunty and wise in this sparkling memoir of a well-lived life of literature, fame, and love."
“Sailor and Fiddler attests not only to the interesting life Wouk has led, but also to the remarkable fact that he has reached the age of 100 with his storytelling skills fully intact. At 139 pages, his memoir may be brief, but it is full of adventure, wit, color and detail, and populated with savants, celebrities and historical world figures ranging from Kurt Weill and Charles Laughton to David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin.”
– Jewish Journal
“Fans of Wouk’s prose will appreciate both the thought process that went into building the structure of his novels, especially the World War II epics The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, as well as the depiction of the arduous work he undertook to fulfill his desire to ‘bring the tragedy of the Holocaust to life’ at a time when it was at the margins of the world’s consciousness.”
– Tablet Magazine
“It's a fitting final work for an author with a long and remarkable career… a lovely coda to the career of a man who made American literature a kinder, smarter, better place.”
“Isn't it time we acknowledged, however belatedly, that Herman Wouk is not just a best-selling novelist but is in fact a major American author whose body of work will live as long as that of any American novelist of the last century?”
– Chicago Tribune
“Reading the latest, and perhaps last, book by 100-year-old Herman Wouk feels a bit like having a conversation with him.”
– New York Post
“Wouk's tone is generous and warm, crediting always his happy marriage to an extraordinary woman, offering sympathy and his ‘grandfatherly blessing’ to young writers aspiring to literary greatness.”
– Boston Globe
“The little book’s prose is strong and clear, and Wouk comes across as still a fairly lively fellow…”
– Washington Post
“Here’s a pleasure between covers that you wouldn’t expect: a slender, hugely companionable book of tiny autobiographical sketches by one of the inventors of the modern-style middlebrow blockbuster best-seller. Herman Wouk, then, now becomes a trailblazing centenarian charmer along with the author of The Caine Mutiny, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Marjorie Morningstar, Youngblood Hawke, The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. And here’s this slender and completely unexpectedly beguiling book of barely 142 pages, all separated into tiny thoughts and vignettes that are peppery and often lovable. Herewith the life of a ‘professional writer,’ who’s now 100. Bless him.”
– Buffalo News
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