Temporarily Out of Stock Online
Delilah is a sea story unlike any ever written, although in reading it one is reminded of Ahab’s single-minded quest for the great white whale, of Joseph Conrad and his men of the sea, of the struggles of epic myth and the real battles that have become mythic within the imaginations of men.
The novel is in all ways extraordinary. The story, which occurs on the eve of the first World War, is that of a U.S. Navy destroyer on detached duty in the South Seas and of the men who serve in her. In the tiny world of a destroyer in a vast universe of the sea, the officers and men of Delilah carry out their orders heroically, according to the code of the fighting man, to patrol their assigned area, to inspect remote islands, to show the flag, to carry out diplomatic missions, and to prepare for the impending war.
From the beginning, the men aboard Delilah face severe trials. A voracious eater of coal, she must be fed constantly. A typhoon provides a test that all but the hardiest must fail.
When the novel was first published in 1941, Sinclair Lewis noted that it was “more real than reality.” The New York Times called it an “extraordinarily lovely novel of a fighting ship”; and Clifton Fadiman referred to it in the New Yorker as a “mature work of imagination on a subject ordinarily left to writers of adventure yarns.”
About the Author
Marcus Goodrich now lives in Richmond, Virginia. He served in the U.S. Navy both as an enlisted man and a commissioned officer during World War I. He was graduated from Columbia in 1923, and was a journalist and a screenwriter.
James A. Michener is perhaps best known for his Tales of the South Pacific and Hawaii.