DON'T STOP THE CARNIVAL by Herman Wouk

DON'T STOP THE CARNIVAL

A Novel
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Herman Wouk is beachcombing and this is his first comedy. (He was a gag writer some years ago.) The title is from a calypso song; the scene is a pleasantly suntanned Caribbean island; and the story is one big planter's punch, only not so heady, about a hotel venture-fiasco as undertaken by New Yorker Norman Paperman who buys the Gull Reef Club for five thousand dollars. From then on Norman has lots of troubles: ants; an earthquake; plumbing; local help; and his own penchant for Iris although he really loves his wife Henny and is a fond father to a very nubile Hazel. The novel (actually it's a vaudeville routine) ends with a swinging (viz. brawling) cookout and some further disorderly conduct-- an outbreak of VD, a shooting, and Iris' death. Although there are occasional serious moments, namely Wouk polemicizing about the Jews, still his dialogue is very automated and his sense of humor puzzling: people sign letters "Glub Glub" or then there's a real twister like "Jesus, Norman, you taste like a pretzel. Go take your shower." ... But then, as someone says to Henny--- "Well? Has the island magic got you, too. Or do you have good sense?" We have some sense, and we recognize the hard (cash) truth of the matter-- even though reviewers jump, readers grab, and this one, in addition to the Wouk name, has the Book-of-the-Month Club accolade. And just as Youngblood Hawke is being blazoned on every billboard "A woman could feel him across a room" we recognize the vibrations here. They clink.
Pub Date: March 5th, 1965
ISBN: 0316955124
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1965




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