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The Naked and the Dead
by Norman Mailer

752 pages 5th edition (August 2000)
Picador USA; ISBN: 0312265050

Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of the Second World War, The Naked and the Dead received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its publication and has since enjoyed a long and well-deserved tenure in the American canon. This fiftieth anniversary edition features a new introduction created especially for the occasion by Norman Mailer.

Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows a platoon of Marines who are stationed on the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Composed in 1948 with the wisdom of a man twice Mailer's age and the raw courage of the young man he was, The Naked and the Dead is representative of the best in twentieth-century American writing.

Norman Mailer wrote The Naked and the Dead at the age of twenty-five, after serving two years in the Philippines as a rifleman during World War II. He has written thirty-one books, including Armies of the Night (1968), which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, The Executioner's Song (1979), which also won the Pulitzer, and more recently, Harlot's Ghost.

articles and reviews
May 9, 1948

The Dusty Answer of Modern War

By DAVID DEMPSEY
The Naked and the Dead By Norman Mailer

Perhaps Mr. Mailer should not be damned for attempting to reduce by frontal assault what better writers have failed to win by infiltration. "The Naked and the Dead"--the story of an imaginary battle in the Pacific--trumpets his dusty answer to the brutality of modern war. Undoubtedly the most ambitious novel to be written about the recent conflict, it is also the most ruthlessly honest and in scope an integrity compares favorably with the best that followed World War I. Even in its repetitiousness, wordiness, and overanalysis of motive, it is a commanding performance by a young man of 25 whose gifts are impressive and whose failures are a matter of reach rather than grasp. [read more]

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