Herman Wouk, 1915-2019

Herman Wouk was a good writer. He could spin a compelling tale, and he could embroider some serious ideas onto that tale. His prose was clean, and his characters recognizable. But he wasn’t Proust. Or Tolstoy. Or Saul Bellow. He was just good, producing—with The Caine Mutiny (1951), for example—solid American middlebrow work much better than, say, Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955).