Dave's Pulitzer Reviews 1950 - 1959
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The Way West by A.B. Guthrie
This is a story of a family moving west on the Oregon trail. It is a good story, but nothing outstanding. A nice contrast/companion read is Grapes of Wrath. Interestingly, this was the third book in a trilogy. It is rare for the last book in a series to win any awards.

The Town by Conrad Richter
Not actually a story about a town. It is mostly about a young boy in a large family in a frontier town. It is good, but middle of the pack for me.

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
I didn't read this again for the list. I have read it twice before. Also saw the classic movie with Humphery Bogart. Both great. This is undoubtedly Wouk's best work. If you are a fan of W.W.II naval historical fiction, this is for you. A great navel three pack is: this book, Mitchener's South Pacific and Alistair MacLean's H.M.S. Ulysses.

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemmingway
This is a novella for you impatient types. Another schools staple. I can't believe I had not read this one before, but I don't remember doing so. Frankly, this kind of book is Papa at his finest. Every writer should have to read William Howells, Umberto Eco, Barbara Kingsolver and then this book to understand the pure essence of descriptive literature. [Note to to English majors, that was not praise for the first three.]

A Fable by William Faulkner
Gad, I barely made it thru this book. It is a very allegorical story set in WWI France. I can see that it is very 'artsy' and would catch the eye of the literary crowd. But it is a hard book to read. I don't fool easily, but I am still puzzled about some of what went on in the story. I hope the next Faulkner on the list is more linear.

Andersonville by William McKinley Kantor
Another civil war novel about a little town in Georgia. I liked Gone with the Wind, but not this one. It plods in places.

A Death in the Family by James Agee
This book could have been better. The author died before it was completed. Editors collected the parts and notes and published the book. The writing is quite good and the story is engaging, but it suffers from a lack of overall flow and consistency.

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor
This is about a young boy and his father who go west to prospect for gold in 1850. It is told from the viewpoint of the boy. The best aspect of the book is the dialog of the drunk doctor father. A not-to-be-missed passage is the crossing of verbal swords with the Mormons in Salt Lake City. Hilarious.

  Dave's Pulitzer Reviews 1950 - 1959
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