War and Remembrance

Night bombing is symbolic dust jacket cover for  Herman Wouk's"War and Remembrance."
Night time bombings are memorable part of WWII.

Herman Wouk called War and Remembrance a historical romance, a description that barely touches what’s packed into its 3.5 pounds and 1,039 pages.

Wouk picks up the story of an American naval family—Commander Victor “Pug” Henry, his wife, and their three adult children—whom he introduced seven years earlier in The Winds of War.

This novel follows them from the attack on Pearl Harbor through the end of World War II. Wouk uses their stories to transport readers into the wake of war around the globe.

Pug wins promotions, but spends most of his time trying to unsnarl problems abroad at the behest of Roosevelt.

Pug and Rhoda’s eldest son is killed in action, leaving behind a wife and son.

While son Byron serves on submarines in the Pacific, his Jewish wife and their infant son become trapped in Poland.

Rhoda takes a lover, considers divorce.

Pug falls in love; the war continually pulls Pug and Pamela in different directions.

Wouk says frankly his purpose is to show that war must end. He’s too talented a writer to need to preach: His stories preach for him.

To understand War and Remembrance you need not have read Winds but you’ll appreciate both more if you read them as a set.

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
Little, Brown, ©1978. 1042 p.
1978 bestseller #2. My grade: A+

©2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni

WW2 Spoof Don’t Go Near the Water Still Funny

William Brinkley’s Don’t Go Near the Water has a trivial plot, absurd situations, ludicrous characters, and a general air of frivolity.

It’s also good-natured and rollickingly, timelessly funny. It will remind you of M*A*S*H* but without the bitterness, booze, and profanity of the later novel.
old Encyclopedia Britannica set

Don’t Go Near the Water by William Brinkley

Random House, 1956. 1956 bestseller #1. My grade: B.

Ensign Max Siegal has been transferred from a destroyer to the Fleet’s Public Relations section where he helps win World War II by assuming responsibility for promoting the Pacific island of Tulura to visiting congressmen.

Max is the ultimate comic hero. He’s brighter than his supposed superiors, witty, perceptive, and above all, human.

Max falls for Melora Alba, who teaches the local one-room school.

Max gets time with Melora by doing janitorial chores while she grades papers and by researching students’ questions at the Fleet library.

Finally Max wins Melora with a gift: The Encyclopedia Britannica.

The PR staff try to make themselves look good while doing as little as possible.

When they succeed, it’s usually because Max is pulling strings behind the scenes.

Max can needle a congressman without being caught or solve a crisis using only his knowledge of human nature.

In the ultimate act of compassion, Max teaches the inept “Marblehead” Nash to use a sextant.

© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni