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From Here to Eternity Paperback – Oct 13 1998
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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.
“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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
In the military social conditioning, those who enlist are taught to live for the military. They are taught to disown their limitations, feelings, needs and wants, for the good of military missions. This includes taking what comes your way, as being part of developing your right of passage.
The main protagonist in this story, Private Robert E. Lee, "Prew" Prewitt, finds himself constantly in trouble, amongst his peers, and with the girls that he chooses. But he won't allow the reality to be something to drive him to think of the here and now.
He is so removed from the here and now that he is willing to put up with anything, this includes being brutally beaten up, and being in the stockade. He has that conditioned military mind set of, "Oh. I can handle it. Bring it on."
What impresses me most about this novel is from page one, through the last page, there is so much to absorb, think about, process, and consider from so many angles.
Reading this novel offers readers a glimpse into the human condition, and a chance at making some pretty powerful decisions about living in the here and now.
When he witnesses another person being beaten to death, Prew becomes consumed with revenge. His commitment of revenge becomes self-fulfilling. Which leads him further down the path of destruction.
And what I most admired about this novel is
Most recent customer reviews
Wonderful to revisit one of my favorite movies of all time. I never knew it was in print with KindlePublished on Oct. 4 2013 by Donald Vandervoort
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. Read more
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is an American classic and one of the very best novels about army life before World War II. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2003 by Patrick Doherty
A truly great book, rich in insight and irony, which juxtaposes the personal against the backdrop of history. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2003 by Killer Pooh
A very interesting portrayal of two different types of male hero. Both men are uncompromising in their philosophical approaches to life and love. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2003
This book was amazing. I have to state, for the record, that I read James Jonse's "trilogy" out of order and completly inside out, reading The Thin Red Line, after seeing the... Read morePublished on April 25 2003
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 morePublished on Aug. 14 2002 by David A. Bede
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