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James Jones (1) (1921–1977)

Author of From Here to Eternity

For other authors named James Jones, see the disambiguation page.

31+ Works 4,797 Members 87 Reviews 6 Favorited

About the Author

James Jones was born in Robinson, Illinois on November 6, 1921. He was unable to afford college, so he enlisted in the Army in 1939. His experiences during World War II inspired his best-known works: From Here to Eternity, which won the National Book Award in 1952, The Thin Red Line, and Whistle. show more His other works include The Pistol, Go to the Widow-Maker, The Ice-Cream Headache and Other Stories, and The Merry Month of May. Many of his books were adapted into movies including From Here to Eternity, Some Came Running, and The Thin Red Line. He died of congestive heart failure on May 9, 1977. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photo credit: Gjon Mili//Time Life Pictures, via Getty Images


Works by James Jones

From Here to Eternity (1951) 2,085 copies, 34 reviews
The Thin Red Line (1962) 1,358 copies, 21 reviews
Whistle (1978) 437 copies, 6 reviews
WW II (1955) 181 copies, 1 review
The Merry Month of May (1971) 137 copies, 4 reviews
From Here to Eternity [1953 film] (1953) — Author — 135 copies, 5 reviews
Some Came Running (1957) 92 copies, 1 review
The Pistol (1958) 85 copies, 1 review
A Touch of Danger (1973) 73 copies, 1 review
The Ice-Cream Headache: and Other Stories (1971) 34 copies, 1 review
To the End of the War: Unpublished Fiction (2011) 27 copies, 11 reviews
Viet Journal (1974) 15 copies

Associated Works

Writers at Work 03 (1967) — Interviewee — 146 copies
Great Esquire Fiction (1983) — Contributor — 71 copies, 2 reviews
The War: Stories of Life and Death from World War II (1999) — Contributor — 31 copies
The Girls from Esquire (1952) — Contributor — 18 copies
New World Writing: Second Mentor Selection (1952) — Contributor — 12 copies
New World Writing #13: Stories, Poetry, Essays, Drama (1958) — Contributor — 4 copies


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Common Knowledge



A war novel that I remember liking, though I can't recall anything about it now.
mykl-s | 33 other reviews | Aug 13, 2023 |
This is on my to-read list for a while, because I have long been a fan of the Terrence Malick film and wanted to see how the novel compared.

The film is a typical Malickian meditation on man's desecration of nature (and himself). Witt is the moral voice of the film, asking a series of questions that are basically Zen koans: what is this war in the heart of man? What is this war in nature? It came out the same year as Saving Private Ryan, a more jingoistic film that went on to win Best Picture while TTRL was relegated to the dustheap.

The blurbs compare TTRL to All Quiet on the Western Front and Red Badge of Courage. All three consider the meaning of courage in the face of the absurdity of war. Jones presents courage as an act: everyone in C-for-Charlie Company is terrified of their first attack up the Elephant's Head, but the social pressure to not seem like a coward in front of peers is too strong to cause men to turn in free in the face of likely, and pointless, death.

It is this social pressure that is the fulcrum on which the war turns. I think Jones is playing with an existentialist metaphor: there are a few soldiers who seem to accept death, and volunteer for the most dangerous missions. They are the few making a moral choice outside of the battle numbness and the fog of war. A clerk named Fife is presented as a coward who eventually must conquer his fear, only to be evacuated for a bum ankle at the end of the novel. He also makes a moral choice to flee the theater of war, leaving the comrades who pushed him to face death in battle. He resists the social pressure to stay with the group.

This is a profound novel that gives real insight into the culture of an Army company during WWII.
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jonbrammer | 20 other reviews | Jul 1, 2023 |
Brutal, sad, and human.
zeh | 33 other reviews | Jun 3, 2023 |
Ett amerikanskt skyttekompani anländer till andra världskrigets krigsskådeplats i Stilla Havet. Uppdraget är att besegra och fördriva japanerna från ön Guadalcanal.På nära håll får vi följa de blodiga striderna, ett krig som inte är en hjältarnas kamp utan ett grymt och motbjudande hantverk. Ur manskapet lösgör sig undan för undan en rad individer; kompanichefen Stein som inte står ut med att offra sina män, sergeant Welsh, en vältränad krigsmaskin, Mazzi och Tills, länkade till varandra i djupt hat men också i ett slags krigarens obrottsliga lojalitet… (more)
CalleFriden | 20 other reviews | Feb 18, 2023 |



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