Kristina's Reviews > The Naked and the Dead

The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
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Feb 04, 11

Read in December, 2010

I'm a detail person, but I think Mailer is hard to read sometimes because of the detail. Perhaps the whole point of this book is to focus on every last, tiny aspect of the lives of these men as they do battle, but for me it got to the point that it was just ponderous. Were it not for the rule I have for myself of trying to finish every book that I start, I probably would have given up on it. It's not that I don't like long books -- I've read "The 900 Days" and "Sarum" and "Gone With the Wind" and "The Grapes of Wrath" and am reading "Pillars of the Earth" -- but this book just seemed to be long without necessity ... and that kind of irritates me. It's not that the writing wasn't good, in its way; I just think it could have been a lot better if Mailer followed Shakespeare a little more closely and employed the always-appropriate maxim "more matter, less art."
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