Customer Review

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic; It's Just That It's Written By An Engineer, 28 Jan. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Naked and the Dead (Flamingo modern classics) (Paperback)
I though this a classic novel of World War II, set in the Pacific (U. S. American) theatre. What Mailer does so well is to describe an average group of American Joes, who are not always very likeable, and, taking them through the war, make it all so believable and compelling. The battle descriptions are sometimes horrific, but it is Mailer's willingness to describe the tedium and routine, indeed the pettiness, of war, that is ultimately the book's enduring strength - sometimes war is not heroic or even bloody, but just mundane and squalid.
My only (minor) complaint is that Mailer, who was trained as an engineer at Harvard, tries too hard to make everything connect, when perhaps, in dealing with human affairs, and wartime especially, the point is that life doesn't always connect. Thus I felt at times the book went on too long, a few hundred pages too long, though I want to say it was still a great reading experience, one I recommend to anyone even remotely interested.
And don't stop there! If you like this one, try Gore Vidal's World War II novel, Williwaw, set in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska (a "Williwaw" is a freak storm up there that whips down from the mountains causing freak seas and havoc to shipping - one such storm features in the book.) Williwaw has a cool style and controlled prose that reminds me of Joseph Conrad. Also consider John Horne Burns' WW II novel, The Gallery, set in Naples at the end of the war. This is a lyrical, almost Tennessee Williams' style-novel, about a hick/yob North American soldier coming into contact for the first time with the older, softer culture of the Mediterranean and falling for it, in the form of a decent and beautiful Neapolitan woman down on her luck in collapsed-economy Naples.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (23 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
A Customer