The Thin Red Line by James Jones

The Thin Red Line

"When compared to the fact that he might very well be dead by this time tomorrow, whether he was courageous or not today was pointless, empty. When compared to the fact that he might be dead tomorrow, everything was pointless. Life was pointless. Whether he looked at a tree or not was pointless. It just didn't make any difference. It was pointless to the tree, it was pointless to every man in his outfit, pointless to everybody in the whole world....

Details The Thin Red Line

TitleThe Thin Red Line
Release DateDec 20th, 2011
PublisherOpen Road Media
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, War, Classics, Military Fiction, World War II

Reviews The Thin Red Line

  • Ana O
    “If I never meet youIn this lifeLet me feel the lackA glance from your eyesThen my lifeWill be yours”I love it when the movie and the book are equally good. The Thin Red Line is one of my guilty pleasure movies, along with The Shawshank Redemption, Black Hawk Down, Jaws, The Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Troy, Almost Famous and Sunset Blvd. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read the book.I'm such a peasant.Note: this is not a boo...
  • mark monday
    A true masterpiece and one of my favorite novels. Although it has all the realistic, gritty detailing that any novel recounting World War 2 Guadalcanal should have, it is so much more. The reader will indeed learn which gun is which and which rank is which. They will understand what needs to happen to take a hill. They will know what a crowded ship full of men will smell like. They will come to understand the practical intricacies of making war. ...
  • Ursula
    I saw the 1998 movie version of this book in theaters when it came out. I remember that I was completely mesmerized and transported by it. It was a movie about war unlike any I'd ever seen before - it was mostly quiet and internal. Walking out of the theater, I found out I was pretty much alone in my enjoyment of it - people all around me said it was slow, boring, pointless. I mention this because I think the movie version prepared me for the boo...
  • Igor Ljubuncic
    I really love James Jones's books. As a former military man, he brings the story of war in such vivid color that you don't get from any thousand blockbusters. Think Saving Private Ryan. Then toss that into a bin. Completely not like that. There's melancholy, there's sadness, there's mad happiness in what's essentially total despair and chaos.Don't expect a happy ending, only a bitter sweet one. Don't expect miracles, because there won't be any, o...
  • Drew
    I had the same reaction to this as I did to From Here to Eternity, which is to say that the beginning was so irritating that it almost made me put it down, but I ended up glad that I didn't. I haven't read too many other books that were written around this time, but the prose style in this seems lackluster. Yeah, there are some poetic bits, but there are also bits that seem really lazy. In the first handful of pages, for example, Jones uses the w...
  • Kevin
    War is hell. I first came across James Jones' novel with the Terrence Malick film released in 1998. In that year there were two amazing popular war films released, the other was Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan'. I liked them both. However the Terrence Malick film was the more philosophical and held a deeper meaning than that of Spielberg, but both are different films, different theaters of war and different messages. It has taken me twenty years...
  • 4triplezed
    See my review on From here To Eternity. I thought that this would be a let down after that wonderful book but had no issues at all. Fine book indeed. Now to try and force my self to read the final book of the trio.
  • Megan Openshaw
    If I saw this in a bookshop, the likelihood is I'd walk straight past it without a second glance. I have little to no prior experience with 'war writing' (I'm not sure whether to count The Book Thief) - something like this isn't the kind of thing I'd normally read, but I'm so glad I did!I won't go into too much detail about the plot (no spoilers!), but the basic premise of the novel is that it follows a group of US troops, 'C-for-Charlie Company'...
  • Richard
    This is one of the greatest books on how World War II was fought in the Pacific; it is also unparalleled in its exploration of the nature of war, especially on how it affects the psyches of those bound up in it. It's the second of Jones' trilogy on the Second World War. All of the venues of the three novels were derived from his experiences; Pre-war Schofield Barracks in Oahu, the 1942-43 battles of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea ...
  • Wilde Sky
    This book provides a graphic account of war and how it alters men.I found this a tough read, it was 500 odd pages of dense / emotional writing with a slow start, but after the first chapter I was hooked by the description of men in war, and how they cope with the crazy mixture of emotions (fear / bravery / lust for glory / rage) they must face. The way that chance / luck / fate played in whether they lived or died was well conveyed. Some of the c...
  • Michael
    Outstanding account of hill battle at Guadalcanal, the first step in taking back Pacific islands from the Japanese in World War 2. The 1964 book, which was the basis of the great Terrence Malick movie in 1998, was founded on Jones' experience as a veteran of the battle. The portrayal of a company of green soldiers from all walks of life becoming transformed by the horrors and challenges of war and their courage and cowardice into an effective fig...
  • Emanuel
    Li este livro em português, numa edição da Europa América intitulada "Os São e os Loucos" mas com um destaque maior na capa para o título da adaptação de Terrence Malick " A Barreira Invisível". Li finalmente o livro de James Jones, segundo numa trilogia sobre a segunda grande guerra, sendo que os livros podem ser lidos de forma isolada. Em português será a trilogia "Até à Eternidade", título também do primeiro livro, e por fim o t...
  • Bill Yancey
    Written by the author of “From Here to Eternity,” which was about the days before Pearl Harbor on Hawaii, this book takes place on Guadalcanal. Jones manages to be inside everyone’s head, in combat and away from the fighting. His characterizations and detail are amazing. Even though it is a novel, it is obvious that Jones served in the infantry on Guadalcanal during WWII. A great book (and also a movie).
  • the gift
    110213: this is a much much later comment. i have trouble believing it is almost three years since read, so certain i recall the film, the resolution to read 'from here to eternity' then this again! i have to read this again...first review: this is an unusual book, an unusual history of reading: i read this after seeing it as one of my favourite films, so i cannot tell if it has strong images as all i see are scenes from the movie. characters pla...
  • Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
    The thin red line...whet is it? It is the line that separates life from death, health from injury.The Novel is an anti-war novel. The effects of war are clearly elaborated. The reasons for war is actually left out. We see Welsh asking himself why they are fighting? He seems to be the only one with an answer to that question.Fife also tries to answer that question, but his reasons are vague. Besides being sent by the government, he's in war for hi...
  • Geoffrey Benn
    “The Thin Red Line,” by James Jones, is the fictional account of the trials endured by the men of Charlie Company during their first month on Guadalcanal in the early days of WWII. The book, first published in 1962, has come to be recognized as a classic war novel. I think that designation is well-deserved – the book is an incredible examination of the varying ways in which men react to the shock of combat. Jones follows at least a dozen re...
  • Calzean
    Probably the best WWII book written by an American. Covering the arrival, fighting and drinking of C for Charlie Company during the battle of Guadalcanal. Part autobiography, Jones is in the heads of his many characters as they deal with the luck and misfortune of fighting a war. His reality is that no one matters when there are plenty of reinforcements, soldiers are just cogs in the wheel, the US Army officer typically looks for promotion and me...
  • Booknblues
    An incredible War story set in the pacific theater of WWII. Packed with action, relationships, drama and a close look at the inferno of war.This would be a good companion book to Catch 22, if one were to chart a course for literature of the second world war.
  • Edwin
    Er gebeurde veel in dit boek, en toch ook eigenlijk niets. Normaal heb je, als je eenmaal goed in een boek zit, wel een of meerdere 'helden' of favorieten. Dat overkwam me in dit boek niet echt. Dit verhaal is verzonnen, maar toch geeft het wel de gebeurtenissen weer die de auteur zelf heeft meegemaakt in deze slag. Het was een lange ruk om dit te lezen. Of moet ik zeggen, te beluisteren, want ik had dit boek als een audioboek gelezen. Misschien ...
  • Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨
    Are we heroes or are we cowards? WATCH MY VIDEO ABOUT FILMATIZED WWII BOOKS ON MY BLOGThis book took me longer than usually to read and I cant quite put my finger on why. Maybe it was density of the descriptions, the lack of dialogue or the harrowing details.At first I was confused because it was so slow - in my experience books abour active combat units are not slow. They are quick to jump straight into the action and they usually stay there. Th...
  • Zach Riffle
    Goodreads Book Review: My personal take on The Thin Red LineI am a war novel enthusiast, but little do I ever read a book so intricate, complete, compelling, psychological, and informational as James Jones’s The Thin Red Line. I would highly recommend this novel. The novel tells the story of not what character, but of Charlie Company (C Company for short). The characters in the novel represent the tragedies and eternal effects of war. Some offi...
  • Bene
    At university I had to take a course that was called "Manhood in past and present" which I didnt find very interesting because usually Im not into gender studies that much.This novel, however, really reminded me of some things our professor told us then, which were about the changes a man in combat can go through: sheer terror, bravery, dehumanization or "combat numbness", and how these things define some of our modern views of men at war. As a G...
  • Robynne
    This is an incredible study of war and of men who have participated in battle. This book will not make you feel good; it is not designed for that. Jones, who served in the Guadalcanal campaign, says a lot in his dedication at the beginning of the novel: "This book is cheerfully dedicated to those greatest and most heroic of human endeavors, WAR and WARFARE; may they never cease to give us the pleasure, excitement and adrenal stimulation that we n...
  • Emily
    Let’s start with the names of the soldiers: Big Queen, Buck Sergeant Doll, Shorty Tall. Then move on to the soldiers’ names for their battle sites: The Giant Boiled Shrimp, The Sea Slug, Boola Boola. In vivid strokes like these, Jones brings intimacy, humor, and authenticity to his story of the U.S. invasion of Guadalcanal, told from the viewpoints of a handful of combat troops in C-for-Charlie Company. This book gives a reader so much to gna...
  • Ola
    I'm surprised that I did not like the book more. I can't even figure out why, but it's definitely not the best war book I've ever read, to say the least. At some points purely boring. I couldn't make myself like any of the characters. It didn't also help that almost all of them had 4- or 5-letter names, many of them even rhyming, and I couldn't figure out who is who. There's Bell, Dale, Blane, Darl, Doll, Culp, Culn, Cash, Bead, Band, Beck, Keck,...
  • manuti
    Otro más, que cae.Supongo que a todo el mundo le sonarán las películas De aquí a la eternidad y La delgada línea roja, pues además debería sonarnos también que el autor de la dos novelas en que se basan es el mismo, James Jones. Aún no he visto la película, pero sé que tiene fama de dura, pero la novela no es para menos. Creo que es la aproximación más real a lo que pasa por la cabeza de alguien cuando se encuentra en esas situacione...
  • Steve Woods
    This book is a tour de force! If you are looking for a controilled sequentiial narrative this is not it, but as someone who has seen combat the exploration of the function ofmen's minds in those circumstances is right on the knocker. Given my own experiences and conversations in the field and often afterwards the themes Jones outlines turn up time after time, often wryly in retrospect with a dash of embarrassed humour but there. The book has an e...
  • Jim Coughenour
    My favorite World War II novel. I'm tempted to say "sentimental favorite," if that makes any sense applied to this hard-core tale of American soldiers in Guadalcanal. Jones is convincing on the banality, the raw fear, the horniness and insanity of combat – he refuses to romanticize any of it, just as he skips the easy polemics. A gritty, captivating tale.Fortunately I read the book before I saw Terrence Malik's film – which is excellent, if a...
  • John Nevola
    James Jones is a talented writer with great insights and perspectives but I just could not connect with The Thin Red Line.I loved From Here To Eternity but I found The Thin Red Line to be somewhat slow and laboring. Perhaps it was the use of fictional settings on a real island (Guadalcanal) that threw me off but I look for, and value, historical accuracy in historical novels. The War was long over when he published this book so national security ...
  • Sarah
    I just couldn't finish this. I got to about page 130. Then I realised I couldn't care less about the characters.I started to read this because I lived on Guadalcanal as a child, so I was quite disappointed to learn the author had changed the names of hills/towns etc, to render them unrecognisable. The chapters were overlong. There were so many characters I couldn't remember who was who especially as I was struggling to keep my mind on the book an...