Ed's Reviews > Johnny Got His Gun

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
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really liked it
Recommended to Ed by: reader comment from my blog
Recommended for: contemporary fiction fans

Spoiler alert. Or so I've been told there's one.

This well-known anti-war novel came up as a reader comment on one of my Goodreads blog posts, and piqued my curiosity enough to check it out from our local public library. I knew the author Dalton Trumbo had been blacklisted in the 1950s for his alleged Communinist sympathies. He wrote Johnny Got His Gun (taken from a song lyric from the period) in 1939, and it nailed the National Book Award. Joe Bonham is a twenty-two-year old American doughboy rescued from the trenches of France during the First World War. He's been mangled by a mortar shell, and all that's left of him is a slab of meat. He's sans arms, legs, eyes, mouth, nose, and ears. Much of the narrative is his inner thoughts as he tries to keep his sanity. His memory of his past fills in the back story (Joe worked in a bakery) which I found the most interesting parts. The ending sort of drags out for me, and the war-is-bad moral is hammered down again, and again. Okay, I got the message already. Still, I overall enjoyed the read. Some the prose is memorable, and the anecdotes told are colorful.
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Reading Progress

September 29, 2012 – Started Reading
September 29, 2012 – Shelved
September 29, 2012 –
page 39
12.62%
September 30, 2012 –
page 62
20.06%
October 1, 2012 –
page 125
40.45%
October 1, 2012 –
page 138
44.66%
October 1, 2012 –
page 178
57.61%
October 2, 2012 –
page 300
97.09%
October 2, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Yair (new) - added it

Yair Ben-Zvi Could you let me know how it is? I've been wanting to read this one for a while.


message 2: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Yair wrote: "Could you let me know how it is? I've been wanting to read this one for a while."

Sure, I'll review it when I'm finished if you want to catch my comments then. Thanks.


Susan If you ever wanted to know what bittersweet mean-- read this book. The hell of Johnny's world, his injuries and the strength of his life. Yes, read the book... it has been years since I read Johnny Got His Gun and it still rings in my heart and mind.


message 4: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Susan wrote: "If you ever wanted to know what bittersweet mean-- read this book. The hell of Johnny's world, his injuries and the strength of his life. Yes, read the book... it has been years since I read John..."

Lots of passion in the book. Good stuff.


message 5: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Longo I read this book many years ago, and the images from the book have remained with me. Simply written and powerful.


message 6: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Joseph wrote: "I read this book many years ago, and the images from the book have remained with me. Simply written and powerful."

The images are vivid. I won't forget several of the scenes any time soon. Thanks for leaving a comment on the book.


message 7: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Longo I also like your recommedations for crime fiction.I just ordered "Black Wings Has My Angel" from Amazon.


message 8: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Joseph wrote: "I also like your recommedations for crime fiction.I just ordered "Black Wings Has My Angel" from Amazon."

Thanks. Easily one of my best reads of the year.


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