Download Epub Format ¸ The Naked and the Dead PDF by ð Norman Mailer treatmentinlithuania.co.uk

Download Epub Format ¸ The Naked and the Dead PDF by ð Norman Mailer The General had once said to him, I like chaos, it s like the reagents foaming in the beaker before the precipitation of the crystals It s a kind of savory to me To generals war is a theatre and a battlefield is a stage so they can admire the scenes of bloodbath from afar The Naked and the Dead is Norman Mailer s best novel and it is the best American book about war The Naked and the Dead is a merciless and extremely graphic novel but what the hell, war knows no shame and no pity.
Now that truth in literature has been replaced with political correctness the book is rarely read All the deep dark urges of man, the sacrifices on the hilltop, and the churning lusts of the night and sleep, weren t all of them contained in the shattering screaming burst of a shell, the man made thunder and light He did not think these things coherently, but traces of them, their emotional equivalents, pictures and sensations, moved him into a state of acute sensitivity He felt cleaned in an acid bath, and all of him, even his fingertips, was prepared to grasp the knowledge behind all this War bares all human fears and shows human beings as they are War turns man naked then it turns man dead 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 , The Naked and the Dead Is Representative Of The Best In Twentieth Century American Writing I read this long, long ago and none of the story or characters have stayed with me What is left is an impression of a war so gritty and dirty that one feels disgusted I remember one character having some sort of kidney problem, with attendant stomach ache and blood in urine for me, this has become the defining image of war Also, the last sentence Hot dog by a soldier contemplating possible furlough I think Mailer achieved what he intended, at least with me.
Us readers have no homes, like unnoticed birds we perch anywhere, like the most disturbed stalkers we go through anybody s underwear drawer, like vicious tax gatherers we audit everyone, the writers especially, their creatures the characters very particularly, and hanging between all three of us, the book It sits there in its cover We ticket, we note, we award, with our eyes, brains and stars We scribble in the margins to the outrage of future readers well, I do, maybe you do not do that I never mind if someone has previously done that So I have looked out of Humbert Humbert s paedophiliac eyes, I overheard the good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ, I declined and fell with Paul Pennyfeather and I closely observed Molly Bloom in her bed for at least three hours, she didn t notice a thing It was like I wasn t there With Jeanette Winterson I too grew up in a crazy Christian cult, and like others before me I could not stop Merricat Blackwood from her pyromania whatever I did Well, you could all say similar things Our acceptance of the thousand varieties of human beingness is almost limitless We are promiscuity itself The Naked and the Dead is not really about World War Two, or about war in general, it s about looking through the eyes of men, a whole bunch of them, sleeping with them, eating with them, drinking, pissing and fighting with them In this novel, the thing to have is a penis The testosterone floweth through this novel as doth the Ganges through India And I just couldn t do it I didn t want to go through all this painful stuff with a bunch of assorted blokes constantly eating, farting, sleeping, waking, yakking, being blown up or not, writing letters, bragging, playing poker, theorising banally about women and on And on.
Because there are a thousand characters, Mailer provides each with a description round the time they are introduced Such as He was a little over medium height, well fleshed, with a rather handsome sun tanned face and graying hair His expression when he smiled was very close to the ruddy, complacent and hard appearance of any number of American senators and businessmen, but the tough good guy aura never quite remained There was a certain vacancy in his face, like the vacancy of actors who play American congressmen Well, after several descriptions like this everything blurs together and you realise why Catch 22 works so well because in that war novel everyone is a cartoon, no painful attempt at ultra realistic detail at all, so Milo Minderbinder, Major Major, Colonel Korn and the rest remain intact in the memory years later But really, me trying to read ND was doomed to failure It could have been a good one, I guess, you never know until you try, heck I ve liked some funny things in my time But the signs were not good 1 I am ferociously biased against novels written by 24 year olds and any novels written by anyone under 30 Writing novels is like the opposite of pop music Evelyn Waugh has squeaked by Decline and Fall and I guess you have to give Mary Shelley the nod too, then there s Dickens of course.
ok, ok, MOSTLY I don t think people under 30 can write a good novel Norman Mailer is no Mary Shelley, and he would have been the first to admit that.
2 I hate war stories Hamburger Hill, Platoon, From Here to Eternity, I avoid them all I did watch Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line and like, that s enough.
3 I thought I should read this because I was reading Norman Mailer s biography which is VERY ENTERTAINING but I just always wanted to be finding out what happened to NORMAN next not the boys in the jungles of Anopopei I can tell this is really a heck of an accomplishment, he commands his material fearlessly, ther s no holding back, he s a right know it all, and somebody needed to do a big honest novel about men in WW2 which could be set beside the big thumpers from WW1 there won t be any great novels coming out of WW3 So, for me this was a 2 star experience from a 4 star novel, abandoned a little shamefacedly but with relief.
The General had once said to him, I like chaos, it s like the reagents foaming in the beaker before the precipitation of the crystals It s a kind of savory to me To generals war is a theatre and a battlefield is a stage so they can admire the scenes of bloodbath from afar The Naked and the Dead is Norman Mailer s best novel and it is the best American book about war The Naked and the Dead is a merciless and extremely graphic novel but what the hell, war knows no shame and no pity.
Now that truth in literature has been replaced with political correctness the book is rarely read All the deep dark urges of man, the sacrifices on the hilltop, and the churning lusts of the night and sleep, weren t all of them contained in the shattering screaming burst of a shell, the man made thunder and light He did not think these things coherently, but traces of them, their emotional equivalents, pictures and sensations, moved him into a state of acute sensitivity He felt cleaned in an acid bath, and all of him, even his fingertips, was prepared to grasp the knowledge behind all this War bares all human fears and shows human beings as they are War turns man naked then it turns man dead Brothers in Arms.
Beh, passato un bel po di tempo da allora, da quando ho finito di leggerlo.
Ma se ancora adesso mi ricordo di loro, se ogni tanto, quando guardo un film in cui si parla anche di guerra, di quella guerra, mi ritrovo a pensare alla storia di Hearn, di Red, di Wilson, di Roth, di Brown, di Gallagher, di Croft e di tutti gli altri se dopo tutti questi mesi ancora ricordo i loro nomi e non riesco a togliermi dagli occhi l immagine della montagna, dell isola del Pacifico di Anopopei immersa nella foschia, del caldo appiccicoso, della pioggia e del fango se sento ancora il peso della barella portata a spalla e il respiro del nemico giapponese nascosto dietro ogni curva del sentiero e della giungla se ancora ricordo tutto questo e insieme a tutto ci che li ha uniti dal giorno in cui la guerra ha messo insieme il plotone , ricordo anche le loro storie, una per una, cos come Mailer a solo ventiquattro anni le ha raccontate, affinch il suo romanzo non fosse solo un romanzo che raccontava di una guerra vissuta in prima persona, delle battaglie e delle conquiste, della vita al fronte e delle sconfitte, dei giochi di potere e di quelli di squadra ma anche, attraverso la macchina del tempo che si contrappone alla diretta della guerra, con quelli che io ho definito durante la lettura, gli inserti di vita , con i quali, un po alla volta ci fa conoscere, in maniera pi approfondita, i singoli personaggi il ritratto delle tante citt , dei tanti Stati, dei tanti americani, tutti diversi per classe sociale, razza e colore, che a quella guerra si affacciavano colmi di speranze, delusioni, miserie, ricchezze e desideri di rivincita.
E se tutto questo vero, e lo , ed ancora cos vivo dopo tutto questo tempo in cui ho aspettato di scrivere un commento a Il Nudo e il morto perch volevo lasciarlo decantare per capire meglio cosa fosse e cosa avesse significato per me se poi me ne sono dimenticata, e poi, alla fine, me ne sono ricordata, e dimenticata ancora, finch oggi arrivato il giorno per scriverlo, e adesso, finalmente, posso dire che questo libro, questo romanzo, questo best seller, davvero un capolavoro E che nessuno lo definisca un libro di guerra , perch dentro c molto di pi la guerra si fa istituzione totale , e un romanzo in cui, pur narrando di guerra e di morte, si riesce a sentire il brulicare della vitaCi sono solo due elementi fondamentali Una nazione combatte bene in rapporto al numero di uomini che ha a disposizione E l altro fattore dell equazione che il singolo soldato un elemento migliore se ha vissuto in condizioni miserevoli prima di arruolarsi La necessit pi profonda dell uomo l onnipotenza S Non la religione, evidente, non l a, la spiritualit questi sono tutti contentini, premi che ci creiamo da soli quando i limiti della nstra esistenza ci allontanano dall altro sogno Raggiungere Dio Quando veniamo al mondo siamo Dio, e il confine dei nostri sensi l universo E crescendo, quando scopriamo che l universo non siamo noi, viviamo il trauma pi profondo dell esistenza Croft fissava la montagna L inviolato elefante che dominava sulla giungla e le misere colline.
Era pura e lontanissima, Nella luce del tardo pomeriggio era di velluto verde, di roccia azzurra e di terra chiara, una materia diversa da quella di cui era fatta la giungla Beh, tanto ti possono ammazzare una sola volta Splendida anche l introduzione, scritta da Norman Mailer nel maggio del 1998, a cinquant anni dalla pubblicazione E cos , a me Il nudo e il morto piace ancora Ha i suoi pregi e i suoi difetti, ma ha senz altro un salubre, forse anche stimolante, tocco di compassione tolstojana che mi permette di coltivare speranza per tutti noi le rarissime volte che mi guardo indietro e ne rileggo qualche pagina.
Lasciatemi quindi credere che sia possibile trovarvi un bel po di speranza qualora lo si legga per intero.
http youtu.
be jhdFe3evXpk Brothers in Arms.
Beh, passato un bel po di tempo da allora, da quando ho finito di leggerlo.
Ma se ancora adesso mi ricordo di loro, se ogni tanto, quando guardo un film in cui si parla anche di guerra, di quella guerra, mi ritrovo a pensare alla storia di Hearn, di Red, di Wilson, di Roth, di Brown, di Gallagher, di Croft e di tutti gli altri se dopo tutti questi mesi ancora ricordo i loro nomi e non riesco a togliermi dagli occhi l immagine della montagna, dell isola del Pacifico di Anopopei immersa nella foschia, del caldo appiccicoso, della pioggia e del fango se sento ancora il peso della barella portata a spalla e il respiro del nemico giapponese nascosto dietro ogni curva del sentiero e della giungla se ancora ricordo tutto questo e insieme a tutto ci che li ha uniti dal giorno in cui la guerra ha messo insieme il plotone , ricordo anche le loro storie, una per una, cos come Mailer a solo ventiquattro anni le ha raccontate, affinch il suo romanzo non fosse solo un romanzo che raccontava di una guerra vissuta in prima persona, delle battaglie e delle conquiste, della vita al fronte e delle sconfitte, dei giochi di potere e di quelli di squadra ma anche, attraverso la macchina del tempo che si contrappone alla diretta della guerra, con quelli che io ho definito durante la lettura, gli inserti di vita , con i quali, un po alla volta ci fa conoscere, in maniera pi approfondita, i singoli personaggi il ritratto delle tante citt , dei tanti Stati, dei tanti americani, tutti diversi per classe sociale, razza e colore, che a quella guerra si affacciavano colmi di speranze, delusioni, miserie, ricchezze e desideri di rivincita.
E se tutto questo vero, e lo , ed ancora cos vivo dopo tutto questo tempo in cui ho aspettato di scrivere un commento a Il Nudo e il morto perch volevo lasciarlo decantare per capire meglio cosa fosse e cosa avesse significato per me se poi me ne sono dimenticata, e poi, alla fine, me ne sono ricordata, e dimenticata ancora, finch oggi arrivato il giorno per scriverlo, e adesso, finalmente, posso dire che questo libro, questo romanzo, questo best seller, davvero un capolavoro E che nessuno lo definisca un libro di guerra , perch dentro c molto di pi la guerra si fa istituzione totale , e un romanzo in cui, pur narrando di guerra e di morte, si riesce a sentire il brulicare della vitaCi sono solo due elementi fondamentali Una nazione combatte bene in rapporto al numero di uomini che ha a disposizione E l altro fattore dell equazione che il singolo soldato un elemento migliore se ha vissuto in condizioni miserevoli prima di arruolarsi La necessit pi profonda dell uomo l onnipotenza S Non la religione, evidente, non l a, la spiritualit questi sono tutti contentini, premi che ci creiamo da soli quando i limiti della nstra esistenza ci allontanano dall altro sogno Raggiungere Dio Quando veniamo al mondo siamo Dio, e il confine dei nostri sensi l universo E crescendo, quando scopriamo che l universo non siamo noi, viviamo il trauma pi profondo dell esistenza Croft fissava la montagna L inviolato elefante che dominava sulla giungla e le misere colline.
Era pura e lontanissima, Nella luce del tardo pomeriggio era di velluto verde, di roccia azzurra e di terra chiara, una materia diversa da quella di cui era fatta la giungla Beh, tanto ti possono ammazzare una sola volta Splendida anche l introduzione, scritta da Norman Mailer nel maggio del 1998, a cinquant anni dalla pubblicazione E cos , a me Il nudo e il morto piace ancora Ha i suoi pregi e i suoi difetti, ma ha senz altro un salubre, forse anche stimolante, tocco di compassione tolstojana che mi permette di coltivare speranza per tutti noi le rarissime volte che mi guardo indietro e ne rileggo qualche pagina.
Lasciatemi quindi credere che sia possibile trovarvi un bel po di speranza qualora lo si legga per intero.
http youtu.
be jhdFe3evXpk I can t recall how many years ago I tried to read this probably 30 or I recall hearing that it was the best story about war ever written so, impressionable as I was at that age, I decided I d have to read it My only recollection is that very early on there was a scene of such grim death and destruction that I felt physically sickened Coward that I was and probably still am I gave up the attempt to work my way through this tome immediately I noticed an excellent review from a GR friend and it reminded me of this unfinished task that of my failure to complete the book, not that of recording my failure to do so So I m now asking myself whether I m man enough to give it another go I have no answer to that question at present Maybe I will in another 30 years.
Norman Mailer s The Naked and the Dead is War and Peace as written by Larry David It has all the Tolstoyean hallmarks dozens of main characters an ever shifting third person point of view and lengthy, turgid digressions on History, Philosophy, and the like It also has a thoroughly misanthropic point of view This book reminded me of nothing so much as an episode of Seinfeld set during the Pacific War The characters are all hateful, spiteful, little men None of them are likable Nothing really happens There is no great set piece battle, which you might expect when reading a war novel the war novel, according to the cover And the ending is straight out of the Seinfeld finale, with the action devolving from black comedy to farce, and the hateful, spiteful, little characters left utterly unredeemed Mailer s ultimate disgust for his creations is utterly brimming on the last few pages The Naked and the Dead is set in the Pacific theater during World War II Is is putatively interested in the invasion of the fictional island of Anopopei The main characters are the men of an Intelligence and Reconnaissance IR platoon Lieutenant Hearn, Sgt Croft, Sgt Brown, and your typical ethnic and cultural grab bag of enlisted men Goldstein and Roth the Jews Martinez the Mexican Wilson the redneck At the beginning of the novel, I was actually impressed with the depth of these characters Though some of them are archetypes of the genre, Mailer gets really deep into their psyche You literally are privy to all their thoughts which are often petty, self absorbed, and relatable Then, after awhile, I realized that all the characters were having these same thoughts And all of them exhibited the same disgust for their fellow man, while outwardly attempting to conform to the expectations of society Pretty soon, the characters started to meld into one, and all I knew was that they were all pretty much dicks I had to recall the one thing that set each guy apart Red had bad kidneys Gallagher had the pregnant wife Stanley was a brown noser Only three men stood out General Cummings, because he was a general Lt Hearn, who was Cummings foil, and engages in a series of Important discussions with the general and Sgt Croft, the psychopath Of the three, only Croft is memorable He is as unlikable as the rest even so Yet his awfulness at least elevates him to an over the top villain For instance, in one unforgettable scene, Croft gives a Japanese prisoner a cigarette, then blows him away Croft felt his head pulsing with an intense excitement There were tears in the prisoner s eyes again, and Croft looked at them dispassionately He gazed once about the little draw, and watched a fly crawl over the mouth of one of the corpses The prisoner had taken a deep puff and was leaning back now against the trunk of the tree His eyes had closed, and for the first time there was a dreamy expression on his face Croft felt a bitter tension work itself into his throat and leave his mouth dry and bitter and demanding His mind had been entirely empty until now, but abruptly he brought up his rifle and pointed it at the prisoner s headThe prisoner did not have time to change his expression before the shot crashed into his skull He slumped forward, and then rolled on his side He was still smiling but looked silly now.
The reality of war is that it s mostly boring You read the statistics and are shocked to learn that only 1% of soldiers actually see combat, while the rest are relegated to the numerous support positions cooks, medical personnel, drivers, etc That is reality It doesn t work in a novel Your English teacher was right there does need to be some sort of conflict to propel the story In a war novel, that generally means a battle of some sorts I mean, a war novel without a war is like a porno consisting solely of dialogue Right For the first 400 pages or so, the book just meanders forward, with the men of IR sitting around, grousing to each other, and generally being insufferable There is a brief skirmish at the river, which is really sort of distracting, owing to Mailer s gross over use of onomatopoeia For several pages, my copy of The Naked and the Dead looked like an old Batman cartoon POW BANG ZOOP I just made that last one up Finally, the IR platoon is given a scouting mission They are sent around to the back of the island and told to gather intelligence on the Japanese They run into trouble One man is killed and another wounded The squad splits, half the men taking the wounded man back, the other half plunging forward Suddenly, there is conflict, there is forward progressand then, inexplicably, the farce begins After hundreds of pages of struggle and toil, the platoon is sent running after it stumbles into a bee hive Perhaps if I had known from the outset that this was satire Anyway, 700 pages in, I was less than amused It was as though Steven Spielberg had handed over the last 15 minutes of Saving Private Ryan to the Coen Brothers circa Fargo I felt like Mailer was laughing on me like he d pulled a fast one Ha ha, the jokes on you The denouement is all black comedy, with the finale focusing on Major Dalleson s attempt to get a Betty Grable pinup for a map reading course I m not kidding The ending pissed me off.
I was also annoyed with the use of fug for the colorful, the elegant f k Apparently, this was self imposed censorship, suggested by the publishers I guess this shocks me, considering that we d just finished incinerating 100,000 Japanese women and children in Tokyo, then topped that by shadow blasting 100,000 with nuclear weapons Yet the delicate American sensitivity could not tolerate a profanity alluding to the act of lovemaking Sheesh Thanks for the sexual hangups, Puritans I was further annoyed with Mailer s literary affectations, notably The Time Machine and the Chorus The Time Machine is a flashback device Some of them were okay, especially Croft s Most of them, however, do little to illuminate the characters Moreover, they are often painfully hard to read, since they are written in the idiom of the stunted character at the center of the flashback The Chorus sections are just plain showing off They are written like a play, dialogue only, and touch on a certain topic chosen by Mailer, such as what the soldiers are going to do when they get home There are some beautiful passages in the book, and some wonderfully memorably scenes There are two deaths, for instance, that really stuck in my mind Funnily, these were scenes that were underwritten when compared with the rest of the book They were short, elegant, haunting Mostly, though, the The Naked and the Dead serves to demonstrate what happens when you write a war novel about nothing.
Big BookUna squadra di ricognitori su un isola del pacifico in tempo di guerra Un grafomane qualunque ne avrebbe scritto in prima persona, dal proprio punto di vista, Mailer scrive in terza e si avvale dei punti di vista di ciascun membro della squadra Tu che leggi ti chiedi chi fra essi sia Norman, perch sicuramente lui stato l Ogni profilo attendibile, i soldati sono diversi per estrazione sociale, geografica e religiosa Con uno stratagemma che si chiama MACCHINA DEL TEMPO, in coda ai capitoli, viene raccontato cosa facessero prima di arruolarsi Dietro a chi ti sei nascosto Norman Dietro a Wilson, a Red, a Gallagher a Hearn Quanto c di te in ognuno di loro Le dinamiche di squadra sono restituite in modo mirabile, il senso di inadeguatezza il motore della rabbia verso s stessi e dell aggressivit nei confronti dei commilitoni Alla narrazione dei fatti si affiancano excursus politici e filosofici affidati al Generale Cummings, il comandante della spedizione Si tratta di un romanzo di novecento pagine senza la presenza fisica di una donna, ma con le donne come argomento pi dibattuto possibile dividere la vicenda in due tronconi l arrivo dell intero battaglione sull isola con le prime schermaglie di guerra e successivamente l assegnazione di una missione diversiva alla squadra dei ricognitori, inviati ad aggirare il fronte Nella missione diversiva mi parso di intravedere la balena di Melville travestita da elefante Vedevano in lontananza il monte Anaka stagliarsi al centro dell isola Si ergeva freddo e distante sulla giungla circostante, perdendosi tra le nuvole basse del cielo Nelle prime ombre del crepuscolo sembrava un enorme elefante grigio, ritto sulle zampe anteriori, i fianchi nascosti dalla verde distesa del pascolo La montagna pareva essere saggia e potente, terribile nella sua grandezza guard la massa scura del monte Anaka, visibile tra le tenebre come un ombra pi densa, una massa pi grande del cielo che lo sovrastava Era l asse dell isola, la sua chiave di volta Dietro di lui il monte Anaka gli pesava sulla schiena quasi fosse un essere umano Si volt e lo fiss accigliato, con quell emozione inarticolata che sempre provava alla vista della montagna In alcuni tratti ho rivissuto il piacere di leggere Updike, tanto era dettagliata la descrizione degli stati d animo e dei comportamenti ad essi associati La fine della missione per quanto tragica, la liberazione dalle paure di ciascuno dei membri della squadra I soldati stremati, dopo ottocentocinquanta pagine di sofferenza, lasciano che le loro debolezze nascoste con cura fino a quel momento, rivelino la loro vera natura, prendano il sopravventoSe qualcuno volesse farsi un idea di che cosa sia la guerra, di quanto sia scarso il valore di ogni vita umana, di come dolore e gioia siano i due lati di una medaglia che tutti portiamo al collo, legga questo libro Fin qui le mie considerazioni da lettore ignaro che ha scelto il Nudo e il morto dopo aver apprezzato molto The Match, il resoconto della sfida per i Pesi Massimi fra Foreman e Al.
Da qui in poi la luce che hanno fatto il curatore Tommaso Pincio e l autore stesso Ve li metto ad intermittenza, sono molto godibili da leggere per intero entrambi, peccato che svelando il trucco tolgano una parte di magia a questo Big Book view spoiler TOMMASO PINCIOMailer era animato da ambizioni e passioni dirompenti, apparteneva a quel genere di romanzieri che considerano pi importante essere un uomo che un buono scrittore Una filosofia che vede ovviamente in Hemingway il proprio modelloNORMAN MAILERlo scrittore che aveva iniziato l opera a ventitr anni per completarla quindici mesi dopo, all epoca aveva gi all attivo pi di duecentocinquantamila parole scritte al college Si trattava pertanto di un dilettante che quantomeno lavorava sodo, amava scrivere e si sentiva pronto, come pu esserlo un ventiquattrenne, a mettere la propria spada a disposizione della causa della letteratura.
TOMMASO PINCIOVoleva cambiare il nerbo e il midollo della sua nazione e la coscienza del suo tempo E voleva farlo scrivendo il Big Book , il Grande romanzo americano.
NORMAN MAILERsi dovrebbe chiedere all artigiano che sta componendo queste righe quali siano le virt del suo lavoro da dilettante La risposta che ha avuto la fortuna di essere profondamente influenzato da Tolstoj nei quindici mesi che ci vollero a comporre l opera, tra il 1946 e il 1947 tutte le mattine, prima di iniziare a lavorare, leggeva qualche pagina diAnna Karenina Quindi le sue pagine riflettono quanto aveva appreso da Tolstoj sulla compassione, pur con tutti i limiti di un ventiquattrenne.
TOMMASO PINCIOFu congedato dopo aver passato qualche mese in qualit di cuoco nelle forze di occupazione in Giappone, e al rientro negli Stati Uniti si gett a capofitto nella stesura del resoconto romanzato della sua esperienza bellica Per la trama, prese ispirazione da un fatto realmente accaduto, una missione di pattugliamento dietro le linee nemiche che si rivel particolarmente dura Mailer non vi prese parte perch raggiunse l unit soltanto in seguito, ma venne a sapere dei fatti dai racconti dei sopravvissuti.
Il nudo e il morto, quello che gli regal la fama e l unico libro con il quale si avvicin davvero all obiettivo del Big Book hide spoiler This is a book about America Its no secret that Tolstoy is Mailer s favorite author, and reading this book right after reading War and Peace gave me a good perspective on everything defined in this book It captures a uniquely American milieu of characters at a time when a uniquely american sence of Idenity and patriotism was being forged It spoke of the physical and intellectual challenges of various backgrounds through about a dozen main characters with learned empathy And in the end and throughout you get to glimpse all the indelible cruelity of reality as would be expected by for forboding title.
The book is also brashly written by a novice Mailer himself will admit his syntax tends towards the simplistic, which lends the book a page turning, thiller characteristic that actually aides the reading experience, possibly to the chagrin or the established lit snobs What does hurt the book is some occasionally akward diction and character development for some of the books figures The hispanic sergant, for example, who is a capable if not confident soldier, for some reason has an inner monologue that is written in fractured and childlike stream of consciouseness, as if Mailer equated difficulty speaking a English as a second language with stupidity The crudeness of the soldier banter also can occasionally ring hollow, especially given liberal use of standin euphenisms for censored swear words.
In the end the book is of extreme high quality, readable, illuminating, passionate, and empathic It is well structured and mostly well written, and in a couple places exremely influencial I m tempted to give it five stars, but in the end I think the book maybe wasn t as beautiful and influencial as some of my favorite five star reads.
Parting Shots Did anyone else think the writting of Japbait was somewhat oversimplistic Who else loved that last line of the book So the Leiutenent admitted he hated Thomas Mann s Magic Mountain, but his conversations with the General really reminded me of Catsorp s relationship with Leo Naphta in Mann s classic.
This is the shittiest book I have ever read.
H P Lovecraft, the horror writer from the earlier decades of the 20th century, wrote very little dialogue in his stories because he was aware that he wrote bad dialogue Stilted, pedantic garbage He knew that his forte was the description and action of his stories and so for the most part he stuck to that and wrote some very satisfying creepy stories.
By contrast, Norman Mailer wrote a great deal of dialogue in The Naked and the Dead He didn t write it because it was his strong suit He wrote it because apparently he had no one close to him who was kind enough to say, Norm, this is garbage You need to rewrite this He really could have used a friend like this He really could have used a friend who told him, Really, man, this whole book is a steaming pile of poop Burn it When the stench is gone you ll feel much cleaner I have read a lot in the course of my life Admittedly, not all of it has been great see Stephen King s Desperation And some of it has been amazing Some of it brought tears to my eyes and other stuff made me so angry I wanted to run over a convent of nuns And in all this reading, of so many different types of fiction, I have never, and I say this with no equivocation or uncertainty, read anything as shitty as The Naked and the Dead I gave it one star because I couldn t figure out a way to give it a negative number of stars.
The characterization wasjust bad As I alluded, the dialogue was horrible Yes, stilted Yes, pedantic But also incredibly condescending Most characters in the book were written in overwrought colloquialism that made them all seem retarded None of the characters in the story had a any redeeming qualities, or, b anything that made them interesting Every emotion in the book was set in as clumsy a manner as I ve ever read I ve seen better from high school sophos Everything the characters said, and every thought they had Mailer made sure to share everything everybody thought for the duration of the book was an incessant bitch fest how bad they had it, how much the army was fugging them, how they were certain their wives back home were nailing anything with the ability to maintain an erection Combine all this with the fact that nobody, nobody at all, succeeded in doing a single thing they set out to do over the course of 721 pages Whether it was leading a platoon on patrol, standing up to the crazy sergeant, or carrying a body back to camp, or any of the score of other things characters in the book tried to do, everybody failed and the entire point of everything they attemted was to give the reader the opportunity to listen to their fucking whining about it.
Nothing happens in the first 400 400 pages of the novel Well, okay, there was some bitching And this perverse tension as the latently homosexual general plays dominance games with his lieutenant aid And one character s clap won t go away But aside from that, there is a 400 page lull at the beginning that brings into question my own sanity for finishing commitment, baby, commitment So after a dry beginning that is longer than most novels, the platoon goes on its big mission But first let s look at the pretty sunset So they look at the sunset and they go on their mission and not a great deal happens there either and then the book is over.
The San Francisco Chronicle calls The Naked and the Dead perhaps the best book to come out of any war The San Francisco Chronicle is full of shit.
I read this book because Norman Mailer is one of the most acclaimed authors in the American canon I wanted to see what sort of achievement his breakthrough novel at the tender age of 24 might be I expected Saving Private Ryan What I got was an insufferably boring novel I might burn it I sure wish Norman Mailer had Your time would be better spent reading Archie comic books.
Executioner s Song was one of the best books I ve read in the past year so good I haven t felt up to reviewing it so I had high expectations for The Naked and the Dead The front cover blurb from the SF Chronicle speculates that this novel is perhaps the best book to come out of any war, which really jacked up the ante and got me intrigued.
Well, I got only a little over a hundred pages in, and IMHO The Naked and the Dead isn t bad, but it is not a better book than War and Peace or The Iliad.
It s not even a true classic, though it is a good read The Naked and the Dead was probably a lot essential before we had access to so many war movies you can see all the war movie cliches already present, though there isn t a black guy the troops aren t yet integrated, and Jews and Hispanics are the minority characters here I have to say that I don t think this has aged all that well You can definitely see why it was a bestseller at the time, and you can also see Mailer was in his early twenties when he wrote this, his first novel.
It s a well told story, and interesting, but it s 700 pages long If it were 300 pages or if I cared or didn t have other options I d keep going, but I need to get through my post Proustum depression with something that really makes my toes curl, and this ain t it.
Maybe some other time It is a fun read One of my favorite things is how all the characters say fug all the time, as in fug you, motherfugger It does feel dated, which is not always a bad thing.
I read this long, long ago and none of the story or characters have stayed with me What is left is an impression of a war so gritty and dirty that one feels disgusted I remember one character having some sort of kidney problem, with attendant stomach ache and blood in urine for me, this has become the defining image of war Also, the last sentence Hot dog by a soldier contemplating possible furlough I think Mailer achieved what he intended, at least with me.