From Here to Eternity
World War II Trilogy
by James Jones
Modern Library #62, Guardian 1000 Novels
I've read some war novels in the past, but never a book that delved into what the the peacetime military. The primary concern for Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt's unit in From Here to Eternity is the success of the boxing team, and Prew's refusal to join shows kind of a heroic integrity. The "jockstraps" get all the top ratings and cushy gigs, whether they deserve them or not. Prew, because he declines to fight, is not only passed over for the coveted bugler position, he is punished with KP duty, physical challenges, and, ultimately, the stockade. The possibility of war hangs in the background, but mostly the principals are concerned with playing guitars, gambling, getting money from gay benefactors, and frequenting whorehouses.