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James Ramon Jones

Born: November 6, 1921 in Robinson, Illinois
Died: May 9, 1977 in Southampton, New York

Pen Name: James Jones

Connection to Illinois: Jones was born in Robinson.

Biography: James Jones is an author whose 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 Eternity. It was adapted as a film in 1953; as a television miniseries in 1979; as a TV series in 1980. A musical adaption of the book opened in London in 2013. The Thin Red Line reflected his combat experiences on Guadalcanal. It was adapted as a film in 1964 and 1998. His last novel, Whistle, was based on his hospital stay in Memphis, Tennessee, recovering from surgery on an ankle he had reinjured on the island. His second published novel, Some Came Running, was immediately adapted as a film in 1958 starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine, which was critically acclaimed and nominated for five Oscars.

  • From Here to Eternity National Book Award, 1952

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

A Touch of Danger.
ISBN: 1453218483 OCLC: 785866880

Open Road Media 2011.

A vacation in the Greek Islands becomes complicated when a private eye is drawn into the murky waters of international hashish smuggling.

From Here to Eternity
ISBN: 0385333641 OCLC: 285331

This is a long, satisfying, commanding novel of the soldiers who were poised on the brink of real manhood when World War II flung them unceremoniously into that abyss. Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt is the nonconformist hero who refuses to box at Schofield Barracks and is slowly destroyed by his own rebelliousness. Around him, others are fighting their own small battles--and losing.

Some Came Running
ISBN: 0440182611 OCLC: 4846224

Dell Pub. Co., New York : ©1979.

After the blockbuster international success of From Here to Eternity, James Jones retreated from public life, making his home at the Handy Writers’ Colony in Illinois. His goal was to write something larger than a war novel, and the result, six years in the making, was Some Came Running, a stirring portrait of small-town life in the American Midwest at a time when our country and its people were striving to find their place in the new postwar world. Five decades later, it has been revised and reedited under the direction of the Jones estate to allow for a leaner, tighter read. The result is the masterpiece Jones intended: a tale whose brutal honesty is as shocking now as on the day it was first published. This is James Jones's second book, and the basis for the Vincente Minnelli film that starred Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

The James Jones Reader: Outstanding Selections from His War Writings, Including from Here to Eternity, the Thin Red Line, and Whistle
ISBN: 1559720662 OCLC: 22982978

Carol Pub. Group, Secaucus, NJ : ©1991.

A collection of the author's war writings includes selections from "From Here to Eternity," "The Thin Red Line," and "Whistle," and including his first novel, "They Shall Inherit Laughter"

The Merry Month of May
ISBN: 1888451459 OCLC: 55496992

Akashic Books, New York : [©2004]

Paris. May. 1968. This is the Paris of the barricaded boulevards; of rebelling students' strongholds; of the literati; the sexual anarchists; the leftists -- written chillingly of a time in French history closely paralleling what America went through in the late 1960s. As the Revolution sweeps across Paris, the reader sees, feels, smells, and fears all the turmoil that was the May revolt, the frightening social quicksand of 1968.

The Pistol
ISBN: 0226391868 OCLC: 50948819

University of Chicago Press, Chicago : 2003.

Follows PFC Richard Mask during the first days and weeks of World War II in Hawaii, as he and his company move from Schofield Barracks to the beaches of Oahu, then to a remote mountain pass, and centers on the conflict over his pistol, a .45 caliber automatic.

The Thin Red Line: A Novel
ISBN: 0385324081 OCLC: 294150

They are the men of C-for-Charlie company—“Mad” 1st Sgt. Eddie Welsh, Pvt. 1st Class Don Doll, Pvt. John Bell, Capt. James Stein, Cpl. Fife, and dozens more just like them—infantrymen who are about to land, grim and white-faced, on an atoll in the Pacific called Guadalcanal. This is their story, a shatteringly realistic walk into hell and back. In the days ahead, some will earn medals, others will do anything they can dream up to get evacuated before they land in a muddy grave. But they will all discover the thin red line that divides the sane from the mad—and the living from the dead—in this unforgettable portrait that captures for all time the total experience of men at war.

ISBN: 0385334249 OCLC: 3223758

Delacorte Press, New York : ©1978.

This third volume of a trilogy about World War II deals with the effects of the war on the lives of four soldiers.