From Here To Eternity
By James Jones
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From Here To Eternity by James Jones ranked # 62 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
From Here to Eternity is a novel by James Jones. It is loosely based on Jones' experiences in the 19th Infantry Regiment, Company E ("The Boxing Company"). Fellow company member Hal Gould said that while the novel was based on the company, including some real people, the characters are changed, the harsh conditions and the events are fictional.
Set in the summer and autumn of 1941 at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, the story follows several members of G-Company, including Captain Dana "Dynamite" Holmes and First Sergeant Milt Warden, who begins an affair with Holmes's wife. At the heart of the novel lays a struggle between Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt, an infantryman from Kentucky, and his superior officers. The stubborn Prewitt refuses to box in his company's outfit and then resists the "Treatment," a daily ritual in which his drill sergeant runs him into the ground.
Like Jones's other World War II novels, the central characters are actually the same in all three books, though their names have been changed. From Here to Eternity features Warden and Prewitt, who become Welsh and Witt in The Thin Red Line and Mart Winch and Bobby Prell in Whistle. Similarly, Corporal Fife in The Thin Red Line reappears as Marion Landers in Whistle, as does the cook, Storm, who becomes Johnny "Mother" Strange.
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