The Thin Red Line (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141393247: The Thin Red Line (Penguin Modern Classics)
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'Moves so intensely and inexorably that it almost seems like the war it is describing' The New York Times Book Review

'Is it really worth it to die, to be dead, just to prove to everybody that you're not a coward?'

On Guadalcanal in the south Pacific, the soldiers of C Company are about to enter the war. The men know they face their baptism of fire. But none know if they will be one of 'the lucky ones' to make it safely off the island. From Captain Stein, who feels like a father to his troops, and 'Mad' Sergeant Welsh, condemning all nations while swigging gin from his canteen, to Private Bell, who just wants to get home to his wife, they will discover the line that divides sanity from madness, and life from death.

A scathing critique of heroism, The Thin Red Line is among the greatest masterpieces of war writing.

'The men are real, the words are real, death is real, imminent and immediate' Los Angeles Times

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"When compared to the fact that he might very well be dead by this time tomorrow, whether he was courageous or not today was pointless, empty. When compared to the fact that he might be dead tomorrow, everything was pointless. Life was pointless. Whether he looked at a tree or not was pointless. It just didn't make any difference. It was pointless to the tree, it was pointless to every man in his outfit, pointless to everybody in the whole world. Who cared? It was not pointless only to him; and when he was dead, when he ceased to exist, it would be pointless to him too. More important: Not only would it be pointless, it would have been pointless, all along."
Such is the ultimate significance of war in The Thin Red Line (1962), James Jones's fictional account of the battle between American and Japanese troops on the island of Guadalcanal. The narrative shifts effortlessly among multiple viewpoints within C-for-Charlie Company, from commanding officer Capt. James Stein, his psychotic first sergeant Eddie Welsh and the young privates they send into battle. The descriptions of combat conditions--and the mental states it induces--are unflinchingly realistic, including the dialogue (in which a certain word Norman Mailer rendered as "fug" 15 years earlier in The Naked and the Dead, appears properly spelled on numerous occasions). This is more than a classic of combat fiction; it is one of the most significant explorations of male identity in American literature, establishing Jones as a novelist of the calibre of Herman Melville and Stephen Crane.

Review:

'An indubitable masterpiece ... THE THIN RED LINE is among the very best novels written about World War II.' (Chicago Daily News )

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Moves so intensely and inexorably that it almost seems like the war it is describing The New York Times Book Review Is it really worth it to die, to be dead, just to prove to everybody that you re not a coward? On Guadalcanal in the south Pacific, the soldiers of C Company are about to enter the war. The men know they face their baptism of fire. But none know if they will be one of the lucky ones to make it safely off the island. From Captain Stein, who feels like a father to his troops, and Mad Sergeant Welsh, condemning all nations while swigging gin from his canteen, to Private Bell, who just wants to get home to his wife, they will discover the line that divides sanity from madness, and life from death.A scathing critique of heroism, The Thin Red Line is among the greatest masterpieces of war writing. The men are real, the words are real, death is real, imminent and immediate Los Angeles Times. Seller Inventory # APG9780141393247

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Moves so intensely and inexorably that it almost seems like the war it is describing The New York Times Book Review Is it really worth it to die, to be dead, just to prove to everybody that you re not a coward? On Guadalcanal in the south Pacific, the soldiers of C Company are about to enter the war. The men know they face their baptism of fire. But none know if they will be one of the lucky ones to make it safely off the island. From Captain Stein, who feels like a father to his troops, and Mad Sergeant Welsh, condemning all nations while swigging gin from his canteen, to Private Bell, who just wants to get home to his wife, they will discover the line that divides sanity from madness, and life from death.A scathing critique of heroism, The Thin Red Line is among the greatest masterpieces of war writing. The men are real, the words are real, death is real, imminent and immediate Los Angeles Times. Seller Inventory # APG9780141393247

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