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From Here to Eternity [Paperback]

JAMES JONES
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 30 1987
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

THE COMPLETE UNCENSORED EDITION • THE WORLD WAR II MASTERPIECE AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE READ • WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

 
Diamond Head, Hawaii, 1941. Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt is a champion welterweight and a fine bugler. But when he refuses to join the company’s boxing team, he gets “the treatment” that may break him or kill him. First Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden knows how to soldier better than almost anyone, yet he’s risking his career to have an affair with his commanding officer’s wife. Both Warden and Prewitt are bound by a common bond: The Army is their heart and blood—and, possibly, their death.
 
This new edition features an Afterword by George Hendrick, a James Jones scholar, who discusses the novel’s origin and eventual censorship at the hands of its first publisher. Now the original language has at last been restored to the most important American novel to come out of World War II. From Here to Eternity re-creates the authentic soldier experience and captures, like nothing else, the honor and savagery of man.
 
Foreword by William Styron        
 
“A work of genius.”Saturday Review
 
“Extraordinary and utterly irresistible . . . a compelling and compassionate story.”Los Angeles Times
 
“A blockbuster of a book . . . raw and brutal and angry.”The New York Times
 
“Ferocious . . . the most realistic and forceful novel I’ve read about life in the army.”The New Yorker
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A work of genius.”Saturday Review
 
“Extraordinary and utterly irresistible . . . a compelling and compassionate story.”Los Angeles Times
 
“A blockbuster of a book . . . raw and brutal and angry.”The New York Times
 
“Ferocious . . . the most realistic and forceful novel I’ve read about life in the army.”The New Yorker --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars from here to Eternity Oct. 4 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wonderful to revisit one of my favorite movies of all time. I never knew it was in print with Kindle
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite war novel Nov. 18 2007
Format:Paperback
The novel starts off a little slow but turns into a magnificent story that is hard to put down.

The character development in this novel is excellent. You become so attached to the characters you wish the book would never end. Unfortunatelly, it does!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom is an inner Country. July 18 2004
Format:Paperback
"From here to Eternity" is a many-layered story. There are explicit and implicit levels to read it; in all of them this book is outstanding.
It describes with crude language the life in the Army in times of peace. In this case is the USA's Army just before Pearl Harbor, but the examples shown are universal and may apply to any Army in any country. At this level the class structure of Officers, Noncoms and Privates is shown with penetrating sight. The power relations, the subtle struggle amongst them, loyalties, abuses, solidarity, weakness. All these traits are depicted vividly thru the different characters that come across this epic novel.
At another level is the story of a young man. A Soldier. He is the epitome of soldiership. He knows what is due to the Service and what is due to himself. He sticks to these principles without regard of the cost. Robert Lee Prewitt is a natural fighter; he has enjoyed boxing until an accident on the ring changed him. He will box no more. Destiny puts him in a Company, where the commanding officer is trying to form a crack team in order to win the championship and enhance his career.
Prewitt is subject to increasing pressure to join the team. He won't bend. He will pay the price. He will remain Free in his hearth until the end.
But this is not all. Romance has its place too. Although unconventionally. Prewitt is in love with a prostitute. Sgt. Warden with his boss' wife. Still love is pure and real and touching.
Jones' opus requires the reader to get involved with the story. To cry and laugh with it. To get in touch with the deepest human emotions.
A major experience to be sure!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An authentic look at the pre-WW2 US Army. April 24 2004
Format:Paperback
What can one say about one of the most famous novels of all time dealing with the US Army? This novel is a very authentic look at what a life and career in the pre-WW2 US Army was like. The Army was riven with politics and waiting for a great war to begin. Jones tells an interesting tale of soldiers and officers in the US Army at Pearl Harbor and what their lives were like.
Put simply, the novel tells the story of a company of soldiers at Scofield Barracks, Hawaii shortly before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The Army is sleepy, not primed for war. The officers advance by politicking and one of the ways to politick in the peacetime Army was to have one's company do well in the divisional sports competition. The protagonist is a talented boxer who does not want to box. This turns into a test of wills between him and his company commander, who wants another boxing star in his company. There is much more to the story; this is a long and complex novel. The basic theme is that the Army in those days was a small, sleepy institution that would have to be (and was) transformed radically in order to take on the Axis. The novel is an interesting look at the Army as it was in those days.
Jones' writing is excellent and his characterizations are strong. The reader will come to care deeply about the various protagonists. This is a great story. My only criticism is that the book does not feature an uplifting or happy ending, and really, this is something of a dark and unhappy story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of the Greatest Books of our Age Feb. 12 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I first read "From here to Eternity" as a project for my high school senior English class on the reccomendation of a friends. While the sheer size of the volume was intimidating, I was not daunted and I am very glad I was not. It took me a entire month to read the book, but it was one of the best months of my life. "From here to Eternity" captures an immeasurably large spectrum of what it is to be human. Contrary to what I've read about it here and there it is not a love story, nor is it a war story, rather, it is a human story, one of the most dramatic and overpowering tales of human being I have ever read. One should not be intimidated by the size of the book, nor by it's first few chapters, becuase if one gives it time it will entrall beyond belief.
One would be hard-pressed to find a better twentieth century novel, perhaps a better novel ever. I reccomend this book to everyone I know that I think has the intellect and philosophical inclination to appreciate it.
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Format:Paperback
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is an American classic and one of the very best novels about army life before World War II. It is obvious that the author knows his subject and one of the strengths of the book is his ability to describe army life so realistically. The story is also greatly enhanced by some of the most believable and interesting characters you will ever meet in fiction.
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Format:Paperback
A truly great book, rich in insight and irony, which juxtaposes the personal against the backdrop of history. Jones took his time to develop so many aspects of character, place, hope, and longing, almost all of which were dashed among the tidal forces of World War 2. This is a book to savor, to read over months, and in the end, to know that it has made your life better in the reading. If character is destiny, then this book speaks volumes about the character and destiny, not just of those in the U.S., but of all mankind--particularly any who have wanted the indefinable.
A masterpiece for the ages.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just a War Novel
A very interesting portrayal of two different types of male hero. Both men are uncompromising in their philosophical approaches to life and love. Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars From Here to Eternity
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Published on April 25 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad publishing
I'm writing this review to warn people away from the new paperback edition of this book -- 1998 edition from the Delta divison of Dell Publishing. Read more
Published on March 25 2003
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This book captures the mindset of how many enlisted military men think. Whether a war is about to happen, or we are at peace time, enlisted men enter the military, based upon the... Read more
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4.0 out of 5 stars A slow burn
If you've heard of this book, chances are you've seen - or at least heard of - the classic movie. Rest assured, no matter how many times you've seen the movie, there's a lot more... Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2002 by David A. Bede
5.0 out of 5 stars an epic study of masculinity
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Published on July 23 2002 by asphlex
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