The Naked and the Dead

The Naked and the Dead

Paperback - 1998
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Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of the Second World War, The Naked and the Dead received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its publication and has since become part of the American canon. This fiftieth anniversary edition features a new introduction created especially doe the occasion by Norman Mailer.

Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows an army platoon of foot soldiers who are fighting for the possession of the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Composed in 1948, The Naked and the Dead is representative of the best in twentieth-century American writing.

Published: New York : Picador/Henry Holt and Co., c1998.
Edition: 50th anniversary ed.
ISBN: 9780312265052
Branch Call Number: F MAI
Characteristics: 721 p. :,map ;,21 cm.


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Dec 09, 2013

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

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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