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The Thin Red Line (1962)
Basis for the well reviewed new movie,
this second book in James Jones' WWII trilogy tells the story of C-for-Charlie
company & their participation in the battle of Guadalcanal. It really
I find this grunt's eye view of war to be pretty obtuse & unsatisfying.
I'm sure a soldiers life is difficult, it must have been especially so
for those fighting in the South Pacific (see William Manchester's war memoir
Darkness). However, one has to ask, so what? Is it really important
that a grunt understand why he's fighting for Hill #517? Is it important
whether he's bored & fungus ridden & sexually deprived? I think
not. Wars are fought for national purposes, not to entertain the troops.
Perhaps we shouldn't have had men fighting in the Pacific, but when we
decided, as a nation, to fight the Japanese, their presence in that theater
became inevitable. It seems petty &
Ultimately, the book offers an interesting picture of the daily life of soldiers, but it is devoid of the larger themes that made From Here to Eternity a great book.
-James Jones Literary Society
-The Thin Red Line: Official Movie Site
-ESSAY: JONES'S NOVELS: FROM HERE TO POSTERITY? (ERICA ABEE, NY Times Book Review)
-REVIEW: of INTO ETERNITY: The Life of James Jones, American Writer. By Frank MacShane (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
-REVIEW: of INTO ETERNITY: The Life of James Jones, American Writer. By Frank MacShane (Robert Phillips, NY Times Book Review)
If you liked The Thin Red Line, try:
Cozzens, James Gould