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From Here to Eternity Paperback – October 13, 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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.

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
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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 (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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1 Comment 42 of 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I've read only a few war novels in my day and most of them are about, well, war. Which is interesting and all, but there's only so many ways you can depict war as horrifying and dehumanizing, and the soldiers involved as both heroic and all too human, the command structure as haphazard and detached. So I wasn't looking terribly forward to the prospect of diving into yet another massive examination of soldier life, and yet, that's not really what this is about. Jones' novel isn't so much about WWII as about sitting on the cusp of WWII, taking place in the months just before Pearl Harbor. Everyone is training for a war that may or may not happen, more or less hanging out in Hawaii, killing time in between drills with drinking or prostitutes, living the Army life as best they can. The story pivots around two characters, enlisted fellow Prewitt and staff sergeant Warden, following their separate stories as well where they intersect, and how they interact with everyone around them. Prewitt's tale is the slightly more visceral of the two, he's an excellent boxer that refuses to go out for the team, even though his superiors would very much like him to. They'd like him to so much that they'll go to nearly any lengths to break him, in order to make him fall in line and fit in, with the entire company eventually trying to wear him down. It's a rather frightening depiction at times of the military's somewhat necessary need for comformity taken to a new level, stamping down on anyone who dares to deviate. Meanwhile, Warden is attempting to hold the company together, and pursuing an affair with the wife of his superior officer.Read more ›
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