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The World War II Trilogy: From Here to Eternity, The Thin Red Line, and Whistle [Kindle Edition]

James Jones
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Three classic novels by James Jones, about the lives and struggles of American soldiers facing World War II
In the epic From Here to Eternity, also a classic television series, Robert E. Lee Prewitt is Uncle Sam’s finest bugler at the Pearl Harbor army base. A career soldier with no patience for army politics, Prewitt becomes incensed when a commander’s favorite wins the title of First Bugler. His indignation results in a transfer to an infantry unit whose commander is less interested in preparing for war than he is in boxing. But when Prewitt refuses to join the company team, the commander and his sergeant decide to make the bugler’s life hell.
In The Thin Red Line, also an Oscar-nominated movie directed by Terrence Malick, the soldiers of C-for-Charlie Company are poised to charge Guadalcanal, igniting a six-month battle for two thousand square miles of jungle and sand. But these men are not cast from the heroic mold. The unit’s captain is too intelligent and sensitive for the job, his first sergeant is half mad, and the enlisted men begin the campaign gripped by cowardice. Jones’s moving portrayal of the Pacific combat experience stands among the great literature of World War II.
In Whistle, at the end of a long journey across the Pacific, a ship catches sight of California. On board are hundreds of injured soldiers, survivors of the American infantry’s battle to wrest the South Seas from the Japanese Empire. As the men on deck cheer their imminent return to their families, wives, and favorite girls, four stay below, unable to join in the celebration. These men are broken by war and haunted by what they learned there of the savagery of mankind. As they convalesce in a hospital in Memphis, the pain of that knowledge will torment them far worse than any wound.

Editorial Reviews


“Jones was a powerful naturalistic chronicler of certain essential realities of warfare and of the responses of men at war.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Few men write as effectively about the American army as James Jones.” —Newsweek

“The only one of my contemporaries who I felt had more talent than myself was James Jones. And he has also been the only writer of any time for whom I felt any love.” —Norman Mailer

About the Author

James Jones (1921–1977) was one of the most accomplished American authors of the World War II generation. He served in the U.S. Army from 1939 to 1944, and was present at the attack on Pearl Harbor as well as the battle for Guadalcanal, where he was decorated with a purple heart and bronze star. Jones’s experiences informed his epic novels From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line, both adapted for the screen. His other works include Some Came Running, The Pistol, Go to the Widow-Maker, The Ice-Cream Headache and Other Stories, The Merry Month of May, A Touch of Danger, Whistle, and To the End of the War—a book of previously unpublished fiction.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4357 KB
  • Print Length: 2018 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (September 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0090WS0OM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,002 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skip Whistle, but the other two are stunning January 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Two of the stories in the "Trilogy" are the unabridged "From Here to Eternity" (about soldiers in Hawaii in the months leading up to Pearl Harbor) and "The Thin Red Line" (about soldiers in Guadalcanal facing their first combat). Both are excellent stories, and each merits five stars. Since they're both famous, I won't say more about them here.

"Whistle" is another matter entirely. Jones died before he could finish it, so the last 10% or so is just an outline of the story. Even the other 90% of it is unpolished. Bits of text get repeated. A character speaks like a hayseed in one chapter but like a scholar in another. I seriously doubt the author wanted anyone looking at this; it's a one-star story, and I only say that about books (usually self-published) that I think shouldn't have been published at all.

Chronologically, Whistle happens *after* "The Thin Red Line" so I'm not sure why they placed it in the middle of this collection. If one is to read it at all, it should certainly be read last.

Arguably it makes more sense to buy "From Here to Eternity" and "The Thin Red Line" separately, assuming the pricing works out. Just be sure to get the unabridged ones; the original editors apparently cut a lot of "controversial" material from the original editions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best World War Two Trifecta March 18, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
A great kindle bundle at a great price.

From Here To Eternity will shock some folks who have only seen the film. It is amazing that James Jones, especially in the stifling post war era, wrote such a candid, brutal and sexually vivid portrait of the peace time Army. The Pearl Harbor scenes, Jones was actually at Peral during the attack, are priceless. Peace time Pearl is not for Puritans.

The Thin Red Line is the best novel about the brutal combat in the Pacific during World War Two. Again Jones was there and was haunted by its brutality, savagery and utter inhumanity for the rest of his life. It is not a John Wayne view no glory lives here..only chaos, violence, fear, anger, pain, hate and death.

Jones died while writing Whistle but segments of it offer glimpses of his greatness. It is a look at recovering veterans, particularly PTSD inflicted World War Two ones, seldom offered in a flag waving era.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the heavy weight books October 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Seems to be all there and includes his occasional odd spelling notions just as he wrote it. At least so far it seems to be all there. A lot more convenient than the weighty paper volumes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed insight into military life September 14, 2014
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This book shows life in the US military, warts and all. The trilogy begins prior to WWII and continues through Perl Harbor to depict the horrible events of the US war in the Pacific and the troop deployments in Europe.

This no pro-war novel. Every chapter asks the question, what was it all about? Rank and file soldiers are sent as cannon fodder into hopeless situations for, as one character puts it "property".

In this time of perpetual warfare this is an essential read for anyone thinking there was a glory time for the US military.
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This was a reread of mine. The books capture the essence of war in all its gore, fear, loyalty, and motivations that those engaged in combat experience is captured horrendously in Jones' books. Is already a classic in American literature and rereading it reminded me why. If you haven't read it, you should. Why? Because everything he captured in his books about war is still ongoing in the combat that our troops are experiencing on a daily basis today.
David E. Meadows
Capt-ret U.S. Navy
Author of the Sixth Fleet series
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