The Thin Red Line



[Reading] ➾ The Thin Red Line Author James Jones – E17streets4all.co.uk When compared to the fact that he might very well be dead by this time tomorrow, whether he was courageous or not today was pointless, empty When compared to the fact that he might be dead tomorrow, e When compared to the fact that he might very well be dead by this time tomorrow, whether he was courageous or not today was pointless, empty When compared to the fact that he might The Thin PDF or be dead tomorrow, everything was pointless Life was pointless Whether he looked at a tree or not was pointless It just didn t make any difference It was pointless to the tree, it was pointless to every man in his outfit, pointless to everybody in the whole world Who cared It was not pointless only to him and when he was dead, when he ceased to exist, it would be pointless to him too More important Not only would it bepointless, it would have beenpointless, all along Such is the ultimate significance of war in The Thin Red Line, James Jones s fictional account of the battle between American and Japanese troops on the island of Guadalcanal The narrative shifts effortlessly among multiple viewpoints within C for Charlie Company, from commanding officer Capt James Stein, his psychotic first sergeant Eddie Welsh, and the young privates they send into battle The descriptions of combat conditions and the mental states it induces are unflinchingly realistic, including the dialog in which a certain word Norman Mailer rendered as fugyears earlier in The Naked and the Dead appears properly spelled on numerous occasions This is than a classic of combat fiction it is one of the most significant explorations of male identity in American literature, establishing Jones as a novelist of the caliber of Herman Melville and Stephen Crane.The Thin Red Line

James Ramon Jones was an American author known for his explorations of World War II and its aftermathHis wartime experiences inspired some of his most famous works He witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl The Thin PDF or Harbor, which led to his first published novel, From Here to Eternity The Thin Red Line reflected his combat experiences on Guadalcanal His last novel, Whistle, was based on his hospital stay in Memphis, Tennessee, recovering from his wounds Excerpted from Wikipedia.

The Thin Red Line ePUB ↠ The Thin  PDF or
    The Thin Red Line ePUB ↠ The Thin PDF or pointless to him too More important Not only would it bepointless, it would have beenpointless, all along Such is the ultimate significance of war in The Thin Red Line, James Jones s fictional account of the battle between American and Japanese troops on the island of Guadalcanal The narrative shifts effortlessly among multiple viewpoints within C for Charlie Company, from commanding officer Capt James Stein, his psychotic first sergeant Eddie Welsh, and the young privates they send into battle The descriptions of combat conditions and the mental states it induces are unflinchingly realistic, including the dialog in which a certain word Norman Mailer rendered as fugyears earlier in The Naked and the Dead appears properly spelled on numerous occasions This is than a classic of combat fiction it is one of the most significant explorations of male identity in American literature, establishing Jones as a novelist of the caliber of Herman Melville and Stephen Crane."/>
  • Paperback
  • 475 pages
  • The Thin Red Line
  • James Jones
  • English
  • 12 August 2017
  • 0340717521

10 thoughts on “The Thin Red Line

  1. says:

    A true masterpiece and one of my favorite novels Although it has all the realistic, gritty detailing that any novel recounting World War 2 Guadalcanal should have, it is so muchThe reader will indeed learn which gun is which and which rank is which They will understand what needs to happen to take a hill They will know what a crowded ship full of men will smell like They will come to understand the practical intricacies of making war But, as anyone who viewed the recent version of th A true masterpiece and one of my favorite novels Although it has all the realistic, gritty detailing that any novel recounting World War 2 Guadalcanal should have, it is so muchThe reader will indeed learn which gun is which and which rank is which They will understand what needs to happen to take a hill They will know what a crowded ship full of men will smell like They will come to understand the practical intricacies of making war But, as anyone who viewed the recent version of the film will know, the story is not one based on narrative but one based on a specific philosophy we are all, as humans, forever destined to never truly understand one another, we are forever destined to never truly achieve the kind of empathetic meeting of heart mind soul that we may yearn for a yearning we may not understand or even recognize War is, if it is anything, an insane metaphor for that lack of understanding, that true lack of connection, and to be a part of that metaphor is to be, in a way, as insane.This is a novel of many voices, each individualized and each specifically unique and amusingly detailed And yet there is a similarity to the themes that emerge from the thoughts of each of the characters, whether they are trying to understand their brothers, their girls back home, their commanders, their enemy, their next target, or the war itself the feeling of distance It is a melancholy and confusing feeling Each one blunders through his life in his own way, barely grasping what is happening around him, barely grasping what is happening inside himself as well The novel is epic in its depiction of war, but it is intimate in its depiction of the levels of mystery within each of us and between us as well.It is surprisingly funny at times James Jones has a mordant voice and he knows the ridiculousness of men, how amusing our little concerns and irritations and idiosyncrasies can be when depicted at times gently butoften pointedly He also knows that throwing dozens upon dozens of characters in the narrative will confuse and annoy the lazy reader but how else to illustrate the confusion of wartime The coming and going of bodies, of places, of times that all blur together Jones himself was a WW2 veteran, and so the details are impressively laid out but what is evenimpressive is the poetic, sorrowful mourning that is suffused throughout the novel, one that builds and builds and builds It is hard to imagine the number of his fellows he saw slain, and how it impacted him But beyond that, to see the melancholy within the man, not just the soldier, not just the circumstance He is the rare author I would love to have known, and yet the idea of his experience and his sadness is so intimidating, it makes me feel like less of a grown man when thinking of the person who could write all of this down What have I done in my life in comparison It is interesting to compare the film with the novel The theme of the distance between humans is there, as is the idea of many narrative voices recounting many different things but all ending in despair over our lack of ability to truly understand ourselves, the world, each other But Malick widens the melancholy even further by including his usual theme of man s distance from nature as well It works beautifully Two character differences stand out Pvt Witt and Cpl Fife In the film, Pvt Witt is played by James Caviezel as a beatific savior of men, spiritually connected to nature and prone to daring displays of bravery In the novel, Witt is a spiteful hick, also prone to daring displays of bravery, but also an unrepentant racist towards all non whites, and is filled to the brim with petty contempt towards all forms of authority I like both portraits, but the novel s Witt seems so muchhuman, so muchreal You don t have to be a saint or even particularly likeable to be brave, to save lives, to accomplish daring deeds, to be loveable He is a hero, ignorant redneck and all, precisely because he is not particularly heroic in thought only in deed He comes through, again and again.In the film, Cpl Fife is reduced to a couple cameos by Adrien Brody, standing distraught by a soldier s corpse or looking terrified during a river crossing In the novel, he is so mucha dissection of the falseness of the concept of cowardice during war He is full of fear, he calls himself a coward, each path he chooses is one that has self protection at its core and yet his depiction is entirely sympathetic and rational what sane man isn t a coward when it comes to the insanity of war Who wants it, who wants to be in it It is not something to run to, it is something to run from Fife is the secret hero of The Thin Red Line, the rational man not understanding the irrational world around him, and rejecting any attempt to bend him to that irrational world s rules I can see how that character would not translate successfully to audiences yearning for heroes, and so Fife in his entirety barely makes it to the screen.The book s great success may not just be in its depiction of the distance between humans, but in the illustration of war as the ultimate insanity As we all know, World War 2 was the Good War, the one in which we all should be proud, the one with truly golden heroes and truly evil villains, the one we all are glad was fought and would have fought in if we could We had the right reasons after all at least that is my own perspective But a good war is still war, and war entails the deaths of the young, the destruction of lives and of love, of cities and of countryside, of innocence, of tradition, of everything So why do we love it so

  2. says:

    Really enjoyed this book The voice was great and the descriptions really put me in the time and place Highly recommend.

  3. says:

    I saw the 1998 movie version of this book in theaters when it came out I remember that I was completely mesmerized and transported by it It was a movie about war unlike any I d ever seen before it was mostly quiet and internal Walking out of the theater, I found out I was pretty much alone in my enjoyment of it people all around me said it was slow, boring, pointless I mention this because I think the movie version prepared me for the book, which is probably just as divisive.The story fl I saw the 1998 movie version of this book in theaters when it came out I remember that I was completely mesmerized and transported by it It was a movie about war unlike any I d ever seen before it was mostly quiet and internal Walking out of the theater, I found out I was pretty much alone in my enjoyment of it people all around me said it was slow, boring, pointless I mention this because I think the movie version prepared me for the book, which is probably just as divisive.The story floats among a wide cast of characters as they arrive on Guadalcanal A special note at the beginning of the book points out that the terrain and battles contained in the book are fictitious, but that Jones placed the imaginary battles on Guadalcanal because of the emotion the island evoked You meet Pfc Doll, Cpl Fife, Sgt Welsh just about everyone has a simple, one syllable name which is also a word Band, Queen, Tall, Bell, Dale, Witt, Field, Cash, Beck At the beginning, they re green recruits who miss the relative comforts of army life in a non combat zone and one where it s not constantly raining , apprehensive about what lies ahead Shortly, as they re thrust into the thick of fighting, they become battle tested veterans How they react to their experiences is varied, and we are privy to each man s thoughts, reactions and self assessments The inability to ever really know what s going on in someone else s head is a theme visited frequently You often see things fromthan one point of view what caused someone to act like they did, or what they were trying to convey, and how it was viewed by someone else.I think that you have to just surrender yourself to the experience of the book Jones terrain may be fictional, but he is absolutely certain about how it looks and feels He transports you to the humid, muddy island, its jungles and rocky hills The progress made toward the next target is often slow, then suddenly shots are fired and you re thrown into confusion People act heroically for the wrong reasons, cowardly for the right ones, and the reverse of both of those as well The soldiers are frustratingly human, and occasionally disturbingly inhuman If you re looking for Band of Brothers, this isn t the war experience you want to read about The men of C for Charlie company aren t members of Tom Brokaw s Greatest Generation, they re just scared young men wondering how they can keep their fear from showing They fight because there s no way to get out of it The book explores the idea that a war is fought by an army, but the army is made up of individuals who are each fighting their own war They all have go through the same things, and yet no one experiences them the same way Through a number of different characters, Jones repeats the idea that manypeople were going to live through this war than got killed in it, and you realize its value as a mantra when you re in a life and death situation that often seems to be a lottery.Recommended for fans of Catch 22 and or The Things They Carried, anyone looking for an antidote to the romanticizing of war, people who know better than to get too attached to characters in a war zone.Quote It was easy to see, when you looked at it from one point of view, that all prisoners were not locked up behind bars in a stone quadrangle Your government could just as easily imprison you on, say, a jungled island in the South Seas until you had done to its satisfaction what your government had sent you there to do

  4. says:

    I really love James Jones s books As a former military man, he brings the story of war in such vivid color that you don t get from any thousand blockbusters Think Saving Private Ryan Then toss that into a bin Completely not like that There s melancholy, there s sadness, there s mad happiness in what s essentially total despair and chaos.Don t expect a happy ending, only a bitter sweet one Don t expect miracles, because there won t be any, only a bunch of human stories coming together loose I really love James Jones s books As a former military man, he brings the story of war in such vivid color that you don t get from any thousand blockbusters Think Saving Private Ryan Then toss that into a bin Completely not like that There s melancholy, there s sadness, there s mad happiness in what s essentially total despair and chaos.Don t expect a happy ending, only a bitter sweet one Don t expect miracles, because there won t be any, only a bunch of human stories coming together loosely, only because they happened to be there at the same time, and sought meaning to their participation in madness, to try to justify the pain, the loss, and the lack of logic Don t expect heroes or extraordinary people, because they are all just ordinary folks who got pulled into war.One of them wrote a book.We don t know who JJ was, but I surely know who his favorite is If you re read From Here to Eternity, you will see some common characters come and go Part reality, part memory, part artistic embellishment, but they must have existed somewhere sometime, and they found themselves in another war story, because you can t have a war story without them.I think this book is ever so slightly less powerful than FHTE, but it s still damn good I can t tell you , as it will spoil the story A bunch of green soldiers, thrown into the Pacific hell on the island of Guadalcanal It can t be pretty.JJ has his unique style that touches the heart Like Joseph Heller, like Leon Uris, this man writes his life, so you can t not be affected by what he s telling And you know that in some way, some form, somewhere, it happened Brutal, meaningless, inspiring, heroic, terrific.No limericks, as they aren t befitting the genre.Roger, over and out.Igor

  5. says:

    The heroic stand of the of the 93rd Highlanders against the Russian cavalry in the Crimean War in 1854 was referred to as the thin red line At a time when the standard infantry formation was a square when defending against charging cavalry, the Highlanders in their bright red jackets spread out in a thin red line so the enemy could not bypass them.This story starts out in WWII with troops waiting their turn to board landing craft to go ashore.After reading 30 some pages of a 500 page book in The heroic stand of the of the 93rd Highlanders against the Russian cavalry in the Crimean War in 1854 was referred to as the thin red line At a time when the standard infantry formation was a square when defending against charging cavalry, the Highlanders in their bright red jackets spread out in a thin red line so the enemy could not bypass them.This story starts out in WWII with troops waiting their turn to board landing craft to go ashore.After reading 30 some pages of a 500 page book in which not much was happening, I decided this wasthe likes of the old TV show Payton Place than the WWII classic by a guy who was there Guadalcanal Diary, and being as life was too short, I moved on to something else

  6. says:

    I had the same reaction to this as I did to From Here to Eternity, which is to say that the beginning was so irritating that it almost made me put it down, but I ended up glad that I didn t I haven t read too many other books that were written around this time, but the prose style in this seems lackluster Yeah, there are some poetic bits, but there are also bits that seem really lazy In the first handful of pages, for example, Jones uses the words unpleasant and supercilious to describe D I had the same reaction to this as I did to From Here to Eternity, which is to say that the beginning was so irritating that it almost made me put it down, but I ended up glad that I didn t I haven t read too many other books that were written around this time, but the prose style in this seems lackluster Yeah, there are some poetic bits, but there are also bits that seem really lazy In the first handful of pages, for example, Jones uses the words unpleasant and supercilious to describe Doll at least four times each I normally wouldn t advocate using a thesaurus to help you write, because if you re having trouble thinking of synonyms, you ve probably got bigger problems But Jones definitely could have made use of one From Here To Eternity s full of similar things what I remember most of all was the construction he ____ed ____ly over and over again, page after page But both books characters grow on you via sheer force of repetition The Thin Red Line is much shorter, but it s still over 500 pages, and though there are tons of characters, almost all of them get enough page space to make a lasting impression.And Jones clearly has a good sense of what motivates or demoralizes soldiers, and communicates it well In particular, I found the interactions between enlisted men and officers pretty fascinating At one point, several men of varying ranks go off on a special mission, and succeed Afterward there s a lot of backslapping and promises of medals Unfortunately, they don t seem to come through, which seems to be a pretty forceful statement about the army s regarding men as tools and nothingBut then, eventually, they do get their medals unexpectedly So what does that mean I m not sure about that one, exactly I am, however, sure about this novel s classic status It s worth a read, and it seems like it s better than the 1998 Terrence Malick film, which is itself supposedly pretty good, although I haven t seen it

  7. says:

    I found The Thin Red Line by James Jones a disappointment The literary technique was pass , the characters unappealing, and the prolonged episodes of navel gazing and angst ridden obsessing over myriad slights real and imagined rather tedious Jones s long windedness turned a 300 page story into a volume of 500 pages I understand the book s appeal in the climate of 1961, but it has not withstood the test of time It rated a weak Three Stars from me.

  8. says:

    War is hell I first came across James Jones novel with the Terrence Malick film released in 1998 In that year there were two amazing popular war films released, the other was Spielberg s Saving Private Ryan I liked them both However the Terrence Malick film was thephilosophical and held a deeper meaning than that of Spielberg, but both are different films, different theaters of war and different messages It has taken me twenty years since then to finally read James Jones novel Th War is hell I first came across James Jones novel with the Terrence Malick film released in 1998 In that year there were two amazing popular war films released, the other was Spielberg s Saving Private Ryan I liked them both However the Terrence Malick film was thephilosophical and held a deeper meaning than that of Spielberg, but both are different films, different theaters of war and different messages It has taken me twenty years since then to finally read James Jones novel The book comes in at just over 500 pages long, with chapters amounting to sometimes near 100 pages with no break inbetween So sometimes it became a grind, but not an unpleasant one because I found that I became attached towards certain characters, of which there are so many that it does become confusing to work out and remember casualties, being transferred elsewhere and so on There is a roster at the beginning which helps understanding who is who in C for Charlie Company, that the book is concerned with Guadalcanal August 1942 The start of the fightback against the Japanese in the South Pacific, centering on The Solomon Islands, the first invasion of a Japanese held location after their initial success in late 1941 As stated, the book focus is centered around a specific Company C for Charlie who are reinforcements for the Marines who assaulted the island earlier on Green troops with no combat experience essentially I will try and compare the book with what I remember of the movie, because a lot is different, but some sections totally is as written in the novel They are both different, and yet deal with thephilosophical aspects of warfare basically the futility of it all The main part of the book and film deal with the attempt to take Hill 210 , a well dug in emplacement by the Japanese The relationship of the characters is the most prominent aspect rather than any military excercise here, leading to conflicts with the company commander Stein and the Battalion commander Colonel Tall , Stein being hesitant about sacrificing his company against the assault which eventually after 4 days of combat with no water, high attrition rates and so on, they eventually take That part of the novel was well detailed in Malicks film However, I believe the Terrence Malick film is probably the better medium to use rather than the long winded book, but the book has the most merit in essentially describing the relationships between the men, the dissension within their ranks, thefleshed out character portrayals, the caste system within the early American military things like that are, and cannot be translated onto film, unless you want Oliver Stone to make a 4 hour epic journey Terrence Malick covers theessential nature of the book into an over 2 hour visual portrayal incredibly well War is hell It is an anti war book, the loss of life, the inter linked characters and their idiosyncrasies, their conflicts, combat numbness you basically become immune to the shellings, the wounded, the deaths whilst being on the line after a certain period of time, etc are quite realistically portrayed I do not know who wrote the script of the movie, but the two most interesting characters are Witt and Fife in the book In the film, after the capture of Hill210, then they are exaggerated completely and the ending is totally different than the novel Most people would say in most instances the book is usually better than the film version which I agree with, but with the Terrence Malick film of The Thin Red Line, I think in this instance, because the novel is quite long winded, and with artistic license, then the film basically does do what the book attempts to portray, maybe in a muchemotional way Good book, 5 stars, will read again in another twenty years

  9. says:

    See my review on From here To Eternity I thought that this would be a let down after that wonderful book but had no issues at all Fine book indeed Now to try and force my self to read the final book of the trio.

  10. says:

    If I saw this in a bookshop, the likelihood is I d walk straight past it without a second glance I have little to no prior experience with war writing I m not sure whether to count The Book Thief something like this isn t the kind of thing I d normally read, but I m so glad I did I won t go into too much detail about the plot no spoilers , but the basic premise of the novel is that it follows a group of US troops, C for Charlie Company , and depicts their experiences during the Guadalc If I saw this in a bookshop, the likelihood is I d walk straight past it without a second glance I have little to no prior experience with war writing I m not sure whether to count The Book Thief something like this isn t the kind of thing I d normally read, but I m so glad I did I won t go into too much detail about the plot no spoilers , but the basic premise of the novel is that it follows a group of US troops, C for Charlie Company , and depicts their experiences during the Guadalcanal campaign in World War Two The book goes to some pretty dark places at times it can be very violent and unsettling, and there s a lot of profanity and sexual references If this doesn t bother you, then I would definitely recommend it Things I liked How realistic everything was. Jones evidently knew what he was writing about he makes a military campaign that might otherwise have been boring translate perfectly onto the page The narrative is constantly moving, even in the quieter moments when the action finishes with one character, a seamless transition in the omniscient POV takes us to another member of the company, and the story continues This allows Jones to show us all aspects of military life Although the combat scenes were well done, I personally preferred seeing what the troops got up to in their free time Some of the moments when they were roaring drunk genuinely made me smile The characters are so well drawn you can easily believe they are were real people I wasn t really expecting to get attached to the characters, since I was reading it purely for a school assignment and wasn t sure how much it would engage me, but there was one particular moment view spoiler just before Chapter 7 hide spoiler where I was reluctant to carry on, fearing they d all wind up dead Some characters even have their own little habits such as Stein s constant resettling of his glasses , which contributes to their realism and makes them stand out in what would otherwise have been a faceless mass of generic soldier archetypes I also felt real sympathy towards the Japanese troops, especially the prisoners Some of the actions taken against them seemed excessively violent humiliating, but they made sense in the novel s context And while I understood the notion of combat numbness , it honestly terrified me a little The dialogue It s laden with profanity of every description, but what do you expect from a load of fraught men in constant danger and fear for their own lives and the lives of those around them And it just made some of the confrontations eveneffective in my opinion The setting Although it s based on a real place and a real campaign, the environment the story itself takes place in is completely fictional Some of the landscapes I found a tad difficult to imagine, but it was a brilliant display of Jones knowledge and his experiences during the actual Guadalcanal campaign.Things I didn t like The constant what seemed like overuse of description for certain characters view spoiler I got sick of longnosed, mean, and meanlooking Johnny Creo after about two repetitions hide spoiler I understand that it was probably intended for emphasis as a reminder as the book has such a large cast, but it bugged me Some of the characters seemed a bit two dimensional, if I m being picky e.g Bell was sex obsessed, Dale was crafty and ambitious, Fife was impetuous and cowardly It didn t detract from my enjoyment of the story as a whole, but it got on my nerves a little sometimes It might just be me, but some of the constant near constant sex references made me a bit uncomfortable.OtherFavourite character Mad Welsh Just when I thought I had him figured out, he d go and do something that seemed completely out of character view spoiler I was not expecting what happened with Tella in Ch4 and Fife in Ch6 hide spoiler He was unpredictable, and a total bastard at times, but he was an interesting bastard The only quibble I have again, if I m being picky was that his motivations for acting like he did, that I can remember, were never explained it s all chalked up to him being plain f cking crazy And what was the deal with his constant sly smile Least favourite character I m not sure about this one There wasn t really one character who annoyed me particularly, but I didn t really like Tall, Band view spoiler when he was made Company Commander hide spoiler , and although I understood why he did it, Witt s indecisiveness bugged me.Favourite moment There wasn t one that really stood out for me, but if I had to choose, I d say the ending when all the surviving characters seemed pretty safe And I loved those closing lines view spoiler I really sympathised with Fife during the incident with Welsh and Weld in Ch6, too hide spoiler Least favourite moment Just before the attack on Boola Boola I was convinced everyone was doomed.OverallIt s harsh It s blunt It s brutal And it s f cking brilliant It really is a masterpiece of war writing 5 5 stars Marked down for a reread sometime in the future.

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