The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line

Book - 1998
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Random House, Inc.
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.
 
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.
 
Foreword by Francine Prose
 
“Brutal, direct, and powerful . . . The men are real, the words are real, death is real, imminent and immediate.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“A rare and splendid accomplishment . . . strong and ambitious, spacious, and as honest as any novel ever written.”—
Newsweek
 
“[A] major novel of combat in World War II . . . reminiscent of Stephen Crane in
The Red Badge of Courage.”—The Christian Science Monitor
 
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

Baker & Taylor
C-for-Charlie, an Army rifle company, struggles against death, depression, and cowardice during the invasion of Guadalcanal

Baker
& Taylor

A powerful and realistic novel details the men of C-for-Charlie company, before, during, and after the Allied effort at Guadalcanal and is the basis for the Academy Award-nominated film by Terrence Malick. Reprint.

Publisher: New York : Delta Trade Paperbacks, 1998, c1991
ISBN: 9780385324083
0385324081
Branch Call Number: FICTION JONES
Characteristics: 510 p. ; 21 cm

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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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