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The Naked and the Dead

Mailer, Norman (Book - 2000)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Naked and the Dead
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Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of World War II, "The Naked and the Dead" received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its 1948 publication and has since become part of the American canon. Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows an Army platoon stationed on the Japanese-held island of Anopopei.
Authors: Mailer, Norman
Statement of Responsibility: Norman Mailer ; with a new introduction by the author
Title: The naked and the dead
Publisher: New York : Picador/H. Holt, [2000]
Edition: 50th anniversary ed
Characteristics: 721 p. : 1 map ; 21 cm.
Summary: Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of World War II, "The Naked and the Dead" received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its 1948 publication and has since become part of the American canon. Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows an Army platoon stationed on the Japanese-held island of Anopopei.
Subject Headings: World War, 1939-1945 Fiction
Topical Term: World War, 1939-1945
ISBN: 0312265050
9780312265052
Branch Call Number: FIC M
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Dec 09, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Of the Alpha Male writers of the 50s and 60s (Roth, Bellow, Updike), Mailer was the biggest, the baddest, the most. His reputation and antics (wife stabbing, getting murderers released, heavy drinking, running for mayor of NYC) are inseparable from his writing. Since so much about him was excessive, it's fitting that he has a huge, intimidating oeuvre. This is his first novel and is good as any place to start. Set in the Pacific in World War II, it's a war novel without much combat or much conflict. But at least it goes on for over 700 pages. Maybe try "From Here to Eternity" instead?

Jul 22, 2012
  • kwsmith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

In his first novel, Norman Mailer offers a realistic description of a front line soldier's experiences during World War II. The author, a veteran of America's Pacific Campaign, writes with great realism and emotional depth. Personally, I struggled through the first half of this novel, often wondering why this book is so highly regarded. I'm glad that I finished the book, because the second half is simply amazing.

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