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From Here to Eternity Paperback – October 13, 1998

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Editorial Reviews Review

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

Product Details

  • Series: Delta World War II Library
  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (October 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385333641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385333641
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 143 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was in the U.S. Army for four years, '67-71. During those years, I did not read Jones, Mailer, or any other military-related novels. I was able to do so a couple of years later. From Here To Eternity struck me as no other novel had. Jones absolutely captured the depravity, decency, tenderness, and brutality of what it is to be a soldier. No one has ever done it better. I read the last page on a bus, and still feel the loss of it ending. I wish it had continued. As good as the other two books in the trilogy, Thin Red Line and Whistle, they do not approach the depth and truth of From Here to Eternity. One of the few great american novels.
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By T. Berner on July 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is almost a pity that the movie From Here to Eternity was one of the greatest movies ever made. This is because not only will fewer people read the book, but because it is so rich in character, mood and plot that you could make five movies without duplicating any scene. The only problem is that Sgt. Warden would be a key actor in each movie and there are no actors like Burt Lancaster in Hollywood today.

One reviewer criticized the book for its pacing: there are slow sections and faster moving chapters, but this is an accurate reflection of military life, where you will have boredom alternating with intense excitement. So Jones just reflects the world he depicts in his pacing.

There are only two crucial works of fiction about World War II which must be read: From Here to Eternity and James Gould Cozzens' Guard of Honor. The action is minimal in both (non-existent in Guard of Honor: it all takes place on a Florida airbase over the course of a weekend) but both capture the times like no other book. They complement each other, too, with Jones capturing the life of enlisted men and Cozzens doing the same for officers.

One word of warning, however. If you are of a mind to read Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead (not that I recommend it), read Mailer first. Once you've read Jones, you will not be able to wade through Mailers' sophomoric, tedious, preachy tome. At the end of 900 pages of From Here to Eternity, I was sorry to see the book end. After 50 pages of The Naked and the Dead, I feared that it never would.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A.J. on February 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
"From Here to Eternity" is an epic about life in the Army at Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii, in the months preceding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Jones portrays the Army as a system in which enlisted men are like pawns in a political chess game played by the officers. The everyday drudgery of Army life contrasts sharply with the promise of high adventure advertised by the recruiting posters. A common peacetime practice is rewarding soldiers for athletic prowess that has little to do with their military training, and boxing is a popular pastime.
Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt, having grown up dirt poor in eastern Kentucky and spent much of his adolescence as a vagrant, does not have many options in life and serves in the Infantry with the intention of being a career soldier. When the novel begins, he has just transferred into G Company where, much to the chagrin of his superior officers First Sergeant Milton Warden and company commander Captain Holmes, he is unwilling to join the boxing team despite the fact that he is a champion welterweight. His superiors try to break him by putting him through systematic psychological intimidation they call "The Treatment." Prew is wise to their motives, but accepts it with cynical indifference.
Meanwhile, Warden is having a clandestine affair with Holmes's wife Karen, whose promiscuity is a rebellion against her imposed domestic lifestyle as an Army wife. Prew also has a love interest, a prostitute named Lorene, who provides sanctuary when he gets into trouble.
The climactic incident of Prew's "treatment" occurs when he gets in a scuffle with a sergeant named Old Ike (who, oddly enough, talks like Yoda).
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65 of 76 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bede on August 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
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 to discover in the book, as is usually the case. Through the eyes of an all too human soldier on the eve of Pearl Harbor, Jones provides a stark glimpse at the relations between friends and foes in the most basic, fatalistic of surroundings: an Army base on the eve of a great war.
Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt is the epitome of tragic heroism, a great man who allows himself to be torn down bit by bit through his own flaws, all the while knowing it and thinking he can beat it in the end. The men he serves with and the harsh environment they create for him are vividly illustrated as well, in unsentimental descriptions of a time and place that are often romanticized by people who weren't there. War IS Hell, and so, Jones reminds us, are the conditions that set the stage for it. Amidst all the ugliness, Prew reflects a somewhat unwilling but noble spirit of persistence in the face of adversity and individuality against the ultimate culture of conformity. Even in the book's more slow-moving passages, the reader is aware that Prew's resilience will inevitably lead to a stormy climax, and when it comes, Jones manages to make it somewhat unexpected but satisfying all the same.
So why only four stars for such a brilliant novel? There are a couple of major flaws here. For one, the pace of the story is wildly uneven; it takes off very quickly just past the halfway point, but those first 400 pages tend to be slow or even stagnant.
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