I discovered Herman Wouk about 8 or 9 years ago while trawling through a Borders store in Sacramento, looking for, if I remember correctly, a nice, big, epic book that would keep me focused for a few days. I picked up The Winds of War and was enthralled from page 1. As soon as I had finished it I moved onto War and Remembrance, which has the most vivid WW2 scenes I have EVER read. One scene was so vivid it literally nearly made me throw up. I won't explain, because I will end up giving away half of the story - but it really is a MUST READ.
I bought The Hope, and The Glory, just before I went off to Israel in 2003 and read them both there. Yet again, amazing reads. Wouk has the ability to mix fact and fiction together so well, and on top of that his characters are so whole and personable, so REAL.
I forgot about Wouk for a while until I randomly came across Marjorie Morningstar a few weeks ago. I snapped it up and finished it yesterday. Yet again I was blown away. I wish it had ended differently... But that is another discussion I will save to have with someone who has read the book!
Anyway - I definitely recommend this author to everyone. I read ALOT, and his books are ones that have stuck in my mind for years afterwards.
Side-note for those who have read Marjorie Morningstar: Noel Airman reminds of me of too many people I have known and know... I suppose that is the point? Ahh.