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James Jones Books In Order

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Publication Order of The World War II Trilogy Books

From Here to Eternity (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Thin Red Line (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whistle (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Some Came Running (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pistol (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Go to the Widow-Maker (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Merry Month of May (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Touch of Danger (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
To the End of the War (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Ice-Cream Headache & Other Stories (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Viet Journal (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
WW II: A Chronicle of Soldiering (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Ten Modern American Short Stories(1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great World War II Stories(1989)Description / Buy at Amazon

James Jones
Author James Jones was born November 6, 1921 in Robinson, Illinois, where he would also grow up. He was the son of Ramon and Ada M. (nee Blessing) Jones.

In 1939, he enlisted in the United States Army at the age of seventeen and served in the 25th Infantry Division, 27th Infantry Regiment before and during World War II, first in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks on Oahu, and then in combat on Guadalcanal at the Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse, where he was wounded in his ankle. He came back to the US and was discharged in July of 1944. He also worked as a journalist covering the Vietnam War.

His wartime experiences inspired some of his most famous works. He witnessed firsthand the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which led to “From Here to Eternity”, while “The Thin Red Line” reflected his combat experiences on Guadalcanal. His final novel, called “Whistle”, was based off his hospital stay in Memphis, Tennessee, recovering from his wounds and surgery he had on an ankle he’d reinjured on the island.

James was the father of two kids, including Kaylie Jones, who is an author that is best known for “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries”, a thinly veiled memoir of the Jonses’ life in Paris in the sixties. The son, named Jamie Jones, was adopted in Paris.

He did not live long enough to finish “Whistle”, as he knew he was dying of congestive heart failure as he wrote it. But he left behind a copious amount of notes behind for Willie Morris to finish the last section after his death, and “Whistle” was published in 1978, one year later. This novel completed Jones’ war trilogy.

He died of congestive heart failure at the age of 55 on May 9, 1977 in Southampton, New York.

“From Here to Eternity” won the annual US National Book Award for Fiction and it was named one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library Board.

“From Here to Eternity” was adapted as a 1953 movie of the same name directed by Fred Zinnemann and starred Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster. It was adapted twice as a miniseries of the same name in 1979 and again as a series of the same in the year 1980. “The Thin Red Line” has been adapted twice for cinema, the first time as Andrew Marton’s “The Thin Red Line” in 1964, and then as Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line” in the year 1998. “Some Came Running” was adapted into a film with the same name in 1958.

“From Here to Eternity” is the first novel in the “From Here to Eternity” series and was released in 1951. Diamond Head, Hawaii in 1941. Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt is a fine bugler and a champion welterweight. However when he refuses to join the company’s boxing team, he receives “the treatment” which might either break him or kill him.

First Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden knows to soldier better than just about anybody, yet he is still risking his career in order to have an affair with the commanding officer’s wife. Both Prewitt and Warden are bound by a common bond that they share: the Army is their blood and heart. And quite possibly, their death.

In a brutal yet magnificent classic of a soldier’s life, author James Jones portrays the violence, courage, and passions of men and women that live by unspoken codes with unutterable despair. This is a masterpiece which captures like no other the savagery and honor of men in the most important American novel to come out from World War II.

“The Thin Red Line” is the second novel in the “From Here to Eternity” series and was released in 1962. These are the men of C-for-Charlie Company. Pvt. John Bell, “Mad” 1st/Sgt. Eddie Welsh, S/Sgt. Don Doll, Capt. James Stein, Cpl. Fife, and dozens more exactly like them. Infantrymen in “this man’s army” that are about to land all white faced and grim on an atoll in the Pacific called Guadalcanal. This is their story, a shatteringly realistic walk right into hell and back.

During the days ahead some will earn medals, while others do anything they can to get evacuated before landing into a muddy grave. However they’ll all find the thin red line which divided the sane from the mad, and the living from the dead, in this brutal and unforgettable portrait which captures for all time the total experience of men at war.

“The Pistol” is a stand alone novel and was released in 1959. While the bombs start falling on Pearl Harbor, Richard Mask, a nineteen year old PFC, is wearing his pistol (a .45 caliber automatic which makes him feel connected to the army of the Wild West and to Custer’s Cavalry.

During the chaos of his first days and weeks of the war, while he and his company move from the Schofield Barracks to the beaches of Oahu, then up to a remote mountain pass, there is a struggle over the pistol which dominates the action of this novella. This action provides the savagery and pathos of the story.

“Go to the Widow Maker” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 1967. A playwright on vacation in Jamaica gets dangerously obsessed with deep sea diving.

Ron Grant is one of the absolute finest playwrights of his entire generation, second to Tennessee Williams in terms of pure genius. However success does not at all mean he feels like a man. While on vacation in Jamaica with his ice queen of a mistress, who considers him to be her personal trophy, his thoughts remain in New York City, with a gorgeous girl that he met only days before he left town. While the stress bears down on him, this brilliant playwright goes almost to pieces before he can find his salvation under water.

Grant, while on his first deep sea dive, falls in love with the reef’s haunting beauty. He comes back just as soon as he’s able, staying longer and swimming even deeper until all of his issues seep away. However a man is unable to breathe underwater forever, and his obsession is going to push him to take increasing risks which will change his life forever.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Jones

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