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From Here to Eternity by James Jones

From Here to Eternity (1951)

by James Jones

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: World War II Trilogy (1)

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1,506267,115 (4.01)109



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» See also 109 mentions

English (25)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This novel was a real eye-opener for me. I had not yet watched the iconic movie with Burt Lancaster, Debra Kerr and Frank Sinatra when I read the book, so I felt compelled to view the movie after I finished it. There are many differences between the book and the movie. Firstly, this is a big book. There is no way that all of it would have fit into a two-hour movie. Secondly, the US Army insisted on extensive edits before it would allow its personnel, land and equipment to be used in the movie. All the cursing, prostitution, homosexuality and suicide was excised for the film. Most of the violent discipline was also deleted. Thirdly, some characters were hugely revised. Last but not least, the language in the song, "Reenlistment Blues, " was cleaned up.It was helpful for me to be able to see actors portraying the characters I had read about. It was even better to be able to hear the melody to "Reenlistment Blues."After finishing the book, I saw on a trivia site that more than 85% of American army recruits had homosexual experiences in WW II. I asked my father about this. I do not recommend that anyone else try asking that. ( )
  Patricia_Winters | Jan 10, 2018 |
The book is more realistic and detailed but the movie is more entertaining. ( )
  Brava10 | Nov 25, 2017 |
In Hawaii in 1941, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second-in-command are falling in love. (IMDb) ( )
  DrLed | Nov 4, 2017 |
A very good novel indeed. I am surprised that so few Library Thingers possess a copy. The story of a soldier who wants to do a simple hitch in the army. He falls afoul of military politics, and the various levels of it lead to his tragic death. There are numerous well realized characters and a genuine feel for time and place. Time for a revival of this work.
I read it at least twice. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 7, 2017 |
I read this book about 40 years ago and I have remembered it as an excellent profound book, a book that I would recommend. There are some images that have stuck in my mind all these years, especially the images of surviving in the stockade in solitarily confinement.

So I thought it would be fun to re-read this. But I find I’m having great difficulty. James Jones has a lot to say about the concept of ‘being a man’ and ‘never giving an inch.’ The protagonist, Prewitt, is an army private stationed in Hawaii just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Prewitt has a strong sense of integrity; he is not going to let the army push him around.

My first read was engrossing because I kept wondering how Prewitt was going to survive this battle with the army. But I now know that Prewitt is going to be destroyed, and reading the story again is a painful watch of a slow-motion train wreck. I read as step-by-step Prewitt and his hard-head attitude digs himself deeper and deeper into his own self destruction.

Forty years ago when I read this novel, I rooted for Prewitt, thinking, “Yes! Don’t let them push you around! Stick it to the Man!” Now forty years later, this hard-headed battle against the system seems like a useless battle. Forty years later, the concept of ‘integrity’ has lost its charm. I want to yell at Prewitt, “Live, Survive!”

I’m thinking the secret to life is knowing which battles to fight and which ones to run away from. Perhaps instead of having integrity, it is better to join the underground resistance. Perhaps its better employing hit-and-run tactics instead of confronting The Man head on.

I’m 350 pages into this 850 page book and I think it is time to stop reading. The book no longer calls out to me to continue. Reading this has become a painful chore so I’m going to stop. ( )
  ramon4 | Dec 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Reminded me a bit of Celine, unmitigated pressure, a cross between hell and purgatory set against the backdrop of paradise in the Hawaiian Islands.

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kliphuis, J.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schrag, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
The sphinx must solve her own riddle. If the whole of history is in one man, it is all to be explained from individual experience. Emmerson.
I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
The deaths ye died I watched beside,
And the lives ye led were mine.
--Rudyard Kipling
Gentlemen-rankers out on a spree,
Damned from here to Eternity,
God ha'mercy on such as we,
Ba! Yah! Bah!
--Rudyard Kipling
To the United States Army
First words
When he finished packing, he walked out on to the third-floor porch of the barracks brushing the dust from his hands, a very neat and deceptively slim young man in the summer khakis that were still early morning fresh.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385333641, Paperback)

This is a long, satisfying, commanding novel of the soldiers who were poised on the brink of real manhood when World War II flung them unceremoniously into that abyss. Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt is the nonconformist hero who refuses to box at Schofield Barracks and is slowly destroyed by his own rebelliousness. Around him, others are fighing their own small battles--and losing. It's worth noting that Jones' 1951 audience was shocked by his frank language and the sexual preoccupations of his characters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This is a long, satisfying, commanding novel of the soldiers who were poised on the brink of real manhood when World War II flung them unceremoniously into that abyss. Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt is the nonconformist hero who refuses to box at Schofield Barracks and is slowly destroyed by his own rebelliousness. Around him, others are fighting their own small battles--and losing.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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