James Jones

James Jones : A Friendship

4.42 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Willie Morris gives us a finely tuned, funny, and heartrending elegy to his friend, James Jones, whose novels "From Here to Eternity" and "The Thin Red Line" immortalized the experiences of a whole generation of World War II victims and survivors. Morris, a former editor of Harper's and a prolific author in his own right, crafts a moving portrait that captures Jones's integrity, strength, and lust for life. Interwoven with recollections by Jones's colleagues, such as Irwin Shaw and William Styron, and his editors, Maxwell Perkins and Burroughs Mitchell, Morris sketches the pivotal events of Jones's life as well as small but defining moments of intimacy and compassion. Morris spins out Jones's experiences in the wartime Pacific, his storybook marriage, his self-imposed exile in Paris, and his return to East Hampton, Long Island. He also recounts Jones's race against the clock to finish Whistle, the culmination of his World War II trilogy, which Morris himself completed after his friend's death in 1977. An exquisite and lyrical rendering of an artist and his work, "James Jones: A Friendship" celebrates a rare bond that transcends both the vicissitudes of life and the finality of death."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 141.2 x 210.3 x 23.1mm | 437.93g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • Subsequent
  • 0252068378
  • 9780252068379

Review quote

REVIEWS FROM PREVIOUS PUBLICATION BY DOUBLEDAY "Inspired a kind of nostalgia by proxy for the good times in Paris from 1968 until 1973, when so many Americans passing through would drop in at the Joneses' house on the Ils St. Louis to play poker or argue politics or dance to the music of the 1940s or watch a tipsy James Baldwin mount the pulpit that Jones kept in their living room and heap fire and brimstone on the evils of drinking... As much autobiography as it is a portrait of another." - New York Times "The story of Jones as written by another writer, Willie Morris, but it is more, much more... Morris explores Jones' early life, his exile, his peacetime army stint and the attack on Pearl Harbor. He covers the war in the Pacific, the time spent in the military hospital and his first successes. Comments from peers add to the picture of fond remembrance of America's favorite writers." - The State- Journal Register, Springfield, IL "Morris' loosely biographical book is at its best when it describes these last years, when the two men became close friends. Particularly affecting is his description of a trip they took with their sons to visit the sites of Civil War battles, including Antietam, where 23,000 men died in one day. 'The way men go to die,' Jim said, looking down at the ridge before us. 'It's incredibly sad. It breaks my heart. You wonder why it was necessary, why human beings have to do that to each other.' Perhaps these words would seem banal in most mouths. But coming from James Jones, who spent a lifetime writing about soldiers, they resonate." - Washington Post Book World "A memoir that is valuable not only for its illumination of a distinguished and deadly earnest novelist, but as a record of the international community of writing during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s." - Booklist "An eloquent, intensely moving and perfectly painted portrait of a rare and precious friend... A book both devoted to and revealing of its subject... Incredibly rich, warm and honest, this account could only come from a writer's deepest thoughts, feelings and affections." - The Christian Science Monitor "A refreshing tribute to a man who, it appears, was as impressive a human being as he was a writer. Novelist Morris movingly and evocatively describes his ten-year friendship with Jones... An engaging portrait: anecdotal and affectionate, witty and wise." - Library Journalshow more

Rating details

7 ratings
4.42 out of 5 stars
5 57% (4)
4 29% (2)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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