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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The crowning novel of James Jones's trilogy brings to life the men who fought and died in the war and the wounded who survived, living to carry the madness home.
Paperback, 496 pages
Published June 8th 1999 by Delta (first published January 28th 1974)
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189th out of 243 books — 145 voters

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A great book about returning from war. The Viet vets (me included) thought that rejection, depression, and scorn was only for them. This WW II book tells pretty much the same story. Everyone didn't get the parade down Main Street.
Yair Bezalel
Ah, James Jones, you and I are old friends, aren't we? I remember when I first heard your name when I saw the film adaptation of your book "The Thin Red Line". An incredible movie on all fronts, far better than its apparent rival Saving Private Ryan (afraid I'm in 'that' camp) that completely changed how I looked at not only film but also at how a story could be told and told well, even profoundly so.

Fast forward a couple years from that and I finally got around to reading the source text, your...more
This is the third and final book in Jones's war trilogy. Published posthumously after Jones's death of congestive heart failure at the age of fifty-five, Whistle along with its companions From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line, provides what Jones claims is "just about everything I have ever had to say, or will ever have to say, on the human condition of war and what it means to us, as against what we claim it means to us" (xxi). It is not a joyous account. Frankly, it's pretty depressing....more

But for the possible message, “To be avoided at all cost,” the themes of aimlessness, futility and despair hold no moral, social or entertainment value for me. Unfortunately these are the major themes of ‘Whistle,’ by James Jones.

Recommendation: No.

“It was all such a goddamned game. Everything was. Bravado. Bravery. Fear. Pride, humiliation, dignity, decency, viciousness. And yet it was serious. Even panic started out as a game, before it got serious.” –page 151

Adobe Digital E...more
This author has less a clue about women than even Hemingway. Unfortunately he's not near as good a writer though, so it's a book full of non-redeeming characters without a value system, but there's none of the starkly beautiful romanticism found in a Hemingway. Interesting insight into injured and wounded WWII soldier's environment and the era itself, though. But something tells me there's a whole other side to this story though, if told by someone with more moral maturity.
Brian D'Souza
The best book ever written on the subject of post-traumatic stress disorder. Ignore at your own peril.
'Whistle' is the final novel in James Jones' WWII trilogy that also consisted of 'From Here to Eternity,' and 'The Thin Red Line.' Each of these novels is a grim look at a cross section of soldiers from the same company. 'From Here to Eternity," examines their days of training on Hawaii up to the Pearl Harbor attack, and 'The Thin Red Line,' shows their struggles on Guadacanal in the Pacific theater, during the early days of WWII. 'Whistle' is about a few of the main characters from the earlier...more
John Scott
A fine read indeed. The third and final of Jones soldier trilogy. I was not expecting this to reach the heights of From Here to Eternity, few novels can, but this was certainly up there with The Thin Red Line.

Anyone that writes a suicide that makes the hairs stand on end knows how to write. This is not a book for the faint hearted and as one gets through the story of the 4 protagonists one senses that their life of, by some standards, depraved sexual needs, booze culture, their endless nightmar...more
Mike Manos
On a hospital ship headed home wounded in the war a group of soldiers try to recover both physically and mentally. I had seen the movies From Here To Eternity, and The Thin Red Line years ago as a kid. I had enjoyed the war movies of the day. I had never read any of James Jones works, but happened upon Whistle in a used book sale for one dollar and picked it up to add to my collection of old books. It struck me as soon as I started to read this was not going to be an ordinary book. It is a maste...more
The final part of Jones’ WWII trilogy. Jones died before he finished the book and the last few chapters are based on his notes and verbal recordings.
This time the four main characters have returned to the US wounded and are sent to a hospital in Luxor (based on Memphis) for surgery and recovery.
All four men struggle with their memories of Guadalcanal, with their physical injuries and illnesses as well as the inadequacy they feel once they are removed from their old Company. Very powerful tales a...more
Terrance Bramblett
The final book in the WWII trilogy by Jones. This is about soldiers recovering from wounds, some being sent back into battel. And it is about, apparently, Jones discovery of what females like. Not as good as the others, but still worthwhile.
Scott Dye
The novel was getting interesting when the author died several chapters from the end. Instead of bringing in an experienced writer to complete the novel (which I'm guessing would be done today), the publisher simply provided a narrative outline based on the author's intentions for the ending of the novel. Not a wise option. Made for an unrewarding ending for the reader (and likely would have disappointed the author as well).
Erin O'Riordan
A great read, and a fine, fitting ending to the wartime trilogy Jones began with From Here to Eternity - but the ending is really a bummer. I especially wanted something much, much better for Robert E. Lee Prewitt/Bob Witt/Bobby Prell.
John Freeman
Wounded WWII soldiers returning home. As timely now, as it was when the novel took place. I read the first novel of Jones' WWII trilogy "From Here to Eternity" when I was still in high school. Forty years later, I read his concluding novel.
This book is really about the far reaching wounds of war. Trudging through the army, trying to hold on to friends, trying not to go crazy. Really interesting.
Jan 01, 2013 Joanne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: keep
This is the last of the WW II trilogy; From Here to Eternity, The Thin Red Line, and Whistle. Does a great job with his characters.
Sarah Riddle
Again there are moments in this book that moved me profoundly. Overall not amazing, but with some amazing moments.
Bill Pilon
Not as strong or consistently interesting as From Here to Eternity, but still not bad.
Edmond Stevens
For those who think PTSS is just a phenomena of the Iraq and Vietnam wars.
Aug 08, 2012 Doug rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: war
Very interesting, moving novel. More later...
Mike R
Mar 12, 2011 Mike R added it
4 WWII vets who have been wounded return home
A little tough to get through.
Aug 20, 2009 Cws added it
Shelves: wwii
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Ramon Jones was an American author known for his explorations of World War II and its aftermath.

His wartime experiences inspired some of his most famous works. He witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which led to his first published novel, From Here to Eterni...more
More about James Jones...
From Here to Eternity The Thin Red Line Some Came Running Go to the Widow-Maker The Merry Month of May

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