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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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1,567277,166 (4)114



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English (26)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)

As usual, I liked the book more than the film. I think the only parts that grated were where relatively unsophisticated soldiers engaged in deep conversations about Art and Literature which felt a bit like the author talking to his imaginary friends. As noted above, the character of Maggio is much less well developed and the women get relatively less viewpoint time than in the film. But in general it's a lot more substantial, a lot more frank about sex and complex emotions; several particularly good subplots were cut from the script; the army of Jones' novel may not have any black soldiers, but it does have Jews and Indians, unlike the army in the film; the Hawaii of the novel has a lot more non-white people than the Hawaii of the film. And it's very well written, tensely close to the geography of 1941 Honolulu, to the point that one can follow Prewitt's track from Alma and Georgette's house to the fatal golf course quite readily on the mapping app of your choice. It's a darker story than the film (which is already dark enough); Warden and Karen's relationship is considerably more rocky on the page (there's a grim passage where they sneak away for a romantic break and discover that they can't actually stand each other's company for more than an hour or so) and Prewitt's final disintegration is recounted at length. I think it's a rather old-fashioned book, in that it's really all about the men, but it's pretty gripping all the same. ( )
  nwhyte | Jan 29, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (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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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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