4 cassettes / 6 hours
Read by critically acclaimed actor Joe Mantegna
"...a powerful, moving novel that probes the heart of man's most heartless activity--war."
--Clay Gowran in the Chicago Sunday Tribune
"I also learned that in spite of all the training you get and precautions you take to keep yourself alive, its largely a matter of luck that decided whether or not you get killed. It doesn't make any difference who you are, how tough you are, how nice a guy you might be, or how much you may know, if you happen to be at a certain spot at a certain time, you get it."
--James Jones, letter to his brother, Jeff Jones, from Guadalcanal, January 28,
"So this is Guadalcanal," a man at the rail said, and spat tobacco juice over the side.
"What the f' you think it was? F'ing Tahiti?"
The classic World War II novel and basis for the major motion picture directed by Terrence Malick and starring Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel, Ben Chaplin, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Nick Nolte, and John C. Riley.
These are the men of C-for-Charlie Company - "Mad" 1st/Sgt. Eddie Welsh, S/Sgt.
Don Doll, Pvt. John Bell, Capt. James stein, Cpl. Fife, and dozens more just like them - infantrymen in "this man's army" who are about to land grim and white-faced on an atoll in the Pacific called Guadalcanal. This is their story, a shatteringly realistic walk into hell and back.
In the days ahead some well earn medals; others will do anything they can to get
evacuated before they land in a muddy grave. But they will all discover the thin red
line that divided the sane from the mad . . . and the living from the dead . . in this
unforgettable, brutal portrait that captures for all time the total experience of men at war.
An old Midwestern saying goes, "There's only a thin red line between the sane and the mad." War seems to stretch that line almost to the breaking point. James Jones's classic World War II novel recounts with brutal honesty the stories of the men of C-for-Charlie Company as they struggle to hold on to their honor, their sanity, and their lives on Guadalcanal. Actor Joe Mantegna turns in an able performance, his voice expressing a roller coaster of emotions (though his Welsh accent may require some patience). Whether or not you agree with Jones that war is the "most heroic of all human endeavors," this recording will move you. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --C.B. Delaney