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The other James Jones (THE Great American Novel Found...and Lost)
Washington Examiner ^ | October 21, 2010 | P.J. Gladnick

Posted on 10/21/2010 6:04:42 PM PDT by PJ-Comix

When it was announced recently that National Security Advisor, James Jones, was leaving the White House, the name caused my thoughts to turn to another James Jones. No, not James Earl Jones the actor. Actually my mind focused on James R. Jones the novelist.

Although most people have forgotten about James Jones the novelist or remember him only for his groundbreaking novel, "From Here To Eternity" or, perhaps, "The Thin Red Line," he also wrote what can only be described as THE Great American Novel, "Some Came Running." Perhaps you saw a movie of the same name starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine. Well, the character names are pretty much all that the movie has in common with the novel. "Some Came Running" was a sweeping novel of such detail and depth that it can serve as a goldmine for sociologists and psychologists who want to research what post WWII America was like. In many ways, "Some Came Running" covered the same themes (and more) as Sinclair Lewis' "Babbit" with one important difference: the characters in Jones' novel were much more developed.


(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: books; jamesjones
James Jones wrote what can only be considered THE Great American Novel, only to have it savaged by critics for the most petty of reasons. And if you read "Some Came Running," make sure you read the UNABRIDGED version. And forget about the movie. Almost no relation at all except for the names of the characters.
1 posted on 10/21/2010 6:04:45 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: Charles Henrickson
You should check out "Some Came Running" since much of it was set in Robinson, IL although it was given another name in the novel. I promise you will RAVE over it.

(No LCMS Lutherans were harmed in the making of that novel.)

2 posted on 10/21/2010 6:07:34 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

could you give us more details that might interest us without giving the book away?


3 posted on 10/21/2010 6:09:07 PM PDT by Perdogg (Nancy Pelosi did more damage to America on 03/21 than Al Qaeda did on 09/11)
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To: bcsco

You should check it out too since it takes place in familiar territory. BTW, all the characters in the novel are based on real characters (including the main character). I did a lot of research on this topic and even ‘Bama Dillard was based directly on a real life person named Arkie Ashby. A big scandal at the time since the folks in Robinson, IL easily knew to whom James Jones was referring in the novel. I don’t think the schoolteacher was any too happy with the novel. Read “Some Came Running” (UNABRIDGED) and find out why.


4 posted on 10/21/2010 6:11:32 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: Perdogg
could you give us more details that might interest us without giving the book away?

It is easily the most sweeping (and truthful) novel about American life...without trying to be an "important" book. It is basically about a small IL town based on Robinson, IL but it covers an incredible range of topics. The very rough theme is the tension between the main character (Dave Hirsch) and his Babbit-like brother. However, it is much more broad and multi-dimensional than the Sinclair Lewis novel. Included it is a detailed look at many aspects of life in post WWII America: drinking, gambling, prostitution, American roads before the Interstate Highway System, petty jealousies, political corruption, Southerners, Miami Beach, and...much, much more. Any description would not do it justice. All I can say is read the UNABRIDGED version of "Some Came Running" and you will be absolutely astonished. This is THE Great American Novel but the critics at the time were so petty they slammed it for dopey reasons.

5 posted on 10/21/2010 6:18:45 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

Would you mind giving a hint of what critics slammed in his book?

I have his book, From Here to Eternity, but I am not familiar with this one at all.


6 posted on 10/21/2010 6:22:20 PM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: PJ-Comix
you will be absolutely astonished

I am absolutely astonished now, and not in a good way. I could pull up a rock and find more appealing organisms than those crawling about in Some Came Running.

To each his own. Especially in this case.

7 posted on 10/21/2010 6:25:59 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Did you actually READ the novel?


8 posted on 10/21/2010 6:28:39 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

I’ve read everything. I can hardly believe you’re not pulling our legs here.

It’s like Proust, James Joyce....it’s Gravity’s Rainbow, And Ladies of the Club, and Giles Goatboy, balled up by Henry Miller and rolled off the presses by a dung beetle in a Kafka mask.
You can’t be serious. This is a Halloween prank, right?


9 posted on 10/21/2010 6:33:42 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

You read the unabridged version? A lot different than the abridged version which is most common. And what did you think of “From Here to Eternity” or “Thin Red Line?”


10 posted on 10/21/2010 6:36:07 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

Jones is great, one of my favorite bits from The Thin Red Line:

JAPANESE (O.S.)
We know you there, Yank. Yank, we
know you there.
KECK
Tojo eats shit!
He is answered by an angry burst of machine gun FIRE.
JAPANESE (O.S.)
Roozover’ eat shit!
KIRK (O.S.)
You goddamn right he does!


11 posted on 10/21/2010 6:44:37 PM PDT by februus
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To: PJ-Comix

Not much. But when he wrote SCR he was doing uncut bug juice for sure. YMMV. I will respect that. Just feel it’s my duty to warn folks, if they want to see for themselves, do so safely. Use the public library and blow the money on something else. Put it in a bait machine. Better results.


12 posted on 10/21/2010 6:46:00 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

I’m not sure you even read any of the Jones novels. Not much? You don’t think much of “From Here to Eternity?” Norman Mailer who was a supreme egotist even credited Jones for writing a better WWII novel than his own “The Naked and the Dead.”


13 posted on 10/21/2010 6:57:54 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

Oh well if Norman Mailer liked it...bwahahaha!

Is this the first time anyone has ever disagreed with your literary preferences? You’re taking it kind of hard.


14 posted on 10/21/2010 7:00:14 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Somehow your criticisms make it seem you haven’t even read any of Jones works. Completely lacking in any specificity.


15 posted on 10/21/2010 7:05:46 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

The subject has already taken more time than it’s worth to me. It’s a forum. You expected no disagreement? Or if you got any, it has to be explained to your satisfaction?
Have a good night.


16 posted on 10/21/2010 7:11:55 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: PJ-Comix

James Jones, The Art of Fiction No. 22 - Interviewed by Nelson Aldrich

http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4779/the-art-of-fiction-no-22-james-jones


17 posted on 10/21/2010 7:13:28 PM PDT by decimon
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Good night. And when you actually READ James Jones, THEN come back.


18 posted on 10/21/2010 7:19:43 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

Such petulance, I’m surprised at you. Well don’t worry, your attitude makes it unlikely anyone else will disagree with you. That’s if you can find anyone else willing to admit they read it.

Over & out.


19 posted on 10/21/2010 7:48:09 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Well, it sure sounds like you didn’t read ANY of James Jones.


20 posted on 10/21/2010 7:51:51 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix
After reading the full article, I did look for a used copy of the book (it's out of print) . Found some 1957 HBs for 9.99, which should be the unabridged version. What the hey-it sounded interesting. :-)

I won't wont hold the movie version of The Thin Red Line against the writer...Though that movie did create one of my fondest memories of my late husband. We were watching the film at the theater, having been tricked by the good reviews. The southern sharpshooter was in the midst of his internal monologue when he has the line, "....the living, and the bor'd..." (Bor'd meaning, borned, rural backwoods for 'people having been born').Anyway, no sooner was that line about "the bor'd" recited when my DH leans over and hisses in my ear, "That would be us". Cracked up right there in the theater. Later, when we we watching the Phantom Menace (again, at the theater) right in the middle, he leans over and whispers, "This is the sci fi Thin Red Line, isn't it?"

21 posted on 10/22/2010 8:04:13 AM PDT by kaylar (It's MARTIAL law. Not marshal(l) or marital! This has been a spelling PSA. PS Secede not succeed)
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To: PJ-Comix

If you’d sooner call another FReeper a liar than accept a difference of opinion about a literary work...nothing in the rules against that. Carry on!


22 posted on 10/22/2010 11:11:44 AM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: kaylar

Make sure it is the UNABRIDGED version you read. Definitely THE Great American Novel.


23 posted on 10/22/2010 3:04:27 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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