- Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (March 1, 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553274325
- ISBN-13: 978-0553274325
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (484 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Johnny Got His Gun Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1984
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From Publishers Weekly
This audio edition of Trumbo's classic 1939 novel of war's insanity begins as a bit of a slog because of the lengthy padding at its start. With two introductions, from Cindy Sheehan and Ron Kovic, that attempt to place the novel in the context of more recent armed conflicts in both Iraq and Vietnam, it is the better part of a disc before the book properly begins. Once it does, though, the slog ceases. Trumbo's novel is spine-tingling in its immediacy and horror, and William Dufris (while occasionally fumbling around in his bag of voices) mostly gives the words room to breathe. For this book, little more is necessary. A Citadel paperback.(Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Mr. Trumbo sets this story down almost without pause or punctuation and with a fury amounting to eloquence."—New York Times
"It is hard to imaging a more persuasive argument for staying out of war than this smooth, savage, brilliant tale."—Chicago Daily News
Top Customer Reviews
"Johnny" tells the story of Joe Bonham, an American soldier who is horrifically wounded and disabled in World War I. The book is told from Joe's perspective as he struggles to understand and cope with his situation. His mind wanders back and forth between his past, including his war experiences, and his immediate condition. Thus we get a non-chronological but full picture of his complete life so far.
Dalton's prose style in this book made a strong impact on me. At times he seems to be assaulting the reader without mercy as he shows us the horror of war and its terrible human cost. But the book also includes passages of hope, triumph, and heartbreaking beauty. Joe is an unforgettable character, and this truly disturbing book remains a profoundly relevant work of American fiction.
The book is still as powerful as it ever was. I do not see how anyone can read this and not be profoundly affected. A line in the synopsis on Amazon.com indicates the book was written about World War I. Actually, no specific war is ever mentioned - only the initial publishing date would infer that. Rather than 1939, it could have been written in 1959, 1969, or even 1869 - war is war and only the technology changes.
The copy I have has an addendum dated 1970 by the author. Read it - it enforces the notion of the waste of war.
If I were a high school English teacher, my seniors would HAVE to read this to graduate. Same if I were a college professor. But even more than that, this should be required reading for ANY politician at the national level.
Rereading this book at the age of 46 has not changed my opinion - absolutely no other piece of literature has had such a profound effect on my life.
Buy it, read it - then pass it on.