The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line

Book - 1998
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They are the men of C-for-Charlie company--"Mad" 1st Sgt. Eddie Welsh, Pvt. 1st Class Don Doll, Pvt. John Bell, Capt. James Stein, Cpl. Fife, and dozens more just like them--infantrymen who are about to land, grim and white-faced, on an atoll in the Pacific called Guadalcanal. This is their story, a shatteringly realistic walk into hell and back.
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In the days ahead, some will earn medals, others will do anything they can dream up to get evacuated before they land in a muddy grave. But they will all discover the thin red line that divides the sane from the mad--and the living from the dead--in this unforgettable portrait that captures for all time the total experience of men at war.
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Foreword by Francine Prose
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"Brutal, direct, and powerful . . . The men are real, the words are real, death is real, imminent and immediate."-- Los Angeles Times
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"A rare and splendid accomplishment . . . strong and ambitious, spacious, and as honest as any novel ever written."-- Newsweek
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"[A] major novel of combat in World War II . . . reminiscent of Stephen Crane in The Red Badge of Courage ."-- The Christian Science Monitor
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" The Thin Red Line moves so intensely and inexorably that it almost seems like the war it is describing."-- The New York Times Book Review
Publisher: New York : Dell Publishing, [1998], c1991.
ISBN: 9780385324083
0385324081
Branch Call Number: FIC Jones
Characteristics: xii, 510 p. : music. --

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lukasevansherman
Jan 28, 2014

Like most people, I saw Terrence Malick's excellent film version before reading the book. Malick uses the basic structure and setting, but adds his own lyrical/transcendental touch to it, as if a copy of Emerson were left on top of Jones's novel and they bled together. Based on Jones's own experiences in WW2, "The Thin Red Line" is a tough, gritty, powerful, and sometimes vulgar account of men fighting in Guadalcanal. Aside from the combat, he also deals with the tensions and relationships in the company. I feel this a much more successful of a WW2 novel than Mailer's overpraised "The Naked and the Dead." Jones's other major novel was "From Here to Eternity."

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