Wednesday, August 17, 2022

From Here to Eternity, by James Jones

 "Quite a gay book," I told my friend who suggested I read it. Why did I say such a thing? Well, it surprised me the author's description of (SPOILERS) soldiers going out at night and "picking up queers." There wasn't any kind of explicit sex like you'd read in a Stephen Fry novel, but plenty of suggestion. Yet still, how far did the soldiers go? Just use "the queers" for drinks? Or more? Unsure.

But this was but a small part of this book. It mostly dealt with a unit assigned to Hawaii during the months prior to December 7th. The reader could feel that day approaching while reading this book. 

Two main characters here: Milton Warden and Robert E. Lee Prewitt. Sad stories, both. Long and drawn out. I can't imagine what part of the book is featured in the famous beach-and-waves-coming-in scene from the movie. 

I read this book on Audible...all 36 hours of it. Holy crap it was long. But well worth the read. Soldier-life during WWII. Were there really that many whorehouses everywhere? Reminded me of stories about the French Foreign Legion. Was there so much adultery in those units?

Interestingly, the author notes at the end of the book that everything in the novel is fiction except for the scene about the murder-beating in the military prison. Scary. That particular part of the novel was difficult to read; glad I didn't know about the truth behind it before reading it. SPOILERS done. 

Took a while, but worth it. 

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