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Author: James Jones
ISBN13: 978-0440182610
Title: Some Came Running
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ePUB size: 1735 kb
FB2 size: 1969 kb
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Language: English
Category: Contemporary
Publisher: Dell Pub Co (April 1, 1979)

Some Came Running by James Jones

One Book among the rest is dear to me; As when a man, having tired himself in deed. And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

The theme of Some Came Running is the sad gap between capability and The great success of his first book From Here To Eternity established James Jones's reputation as a major novelist and an unrivalled interpreter of the American soldier. For his new novel, massive in scale and closely observed in its detail, the small town of Parkman, Illinois provides a civilian setting. The theme of Some Came Running is the sad gap between capability and achievement

Some Came Running is a 1958 American drama film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine, based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. Set in 1948, it tells the story of a troubled Army veteran and author who returns to his Midwestern hometown after 16 years, to the chagrin of his wealthy, social-climbing brother.

This is James Jones's second book, and the basis for the Vincente Minnelli film that starred Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Some months before my first reading of Some Came Running I had come across a piece of nasty gossip Mailer published about Styron reading aloud at a dinner party some of Jones's work (in his absence) and making fun of it. At the time I highly admired all three novelists. Sadly I admit this disparagement of Jones's skill influenced me to regard him for a while thereafter in a lesser light. Time has turned out to be the true test of their merits in my estimation, all three of them

Some Came Running (1979). About book: The great success of his first book From Here To Eternity established James Jones's reputation as a major novelist and an unrivalled interpreter of the American soldier. The theme of Some Came Running is the sad gap between capability and achievement

James Jones's saga of life in the American Midwest, newly revised five decades after it was first published. 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.

James Jones’s second novel is located in a mythical town in Illinois called Parkman. It is an attempt to interpret the lives of its representative citizens, the bums, lushes, and whores who inhabit its bars, the Rotarians who run its stores and banks, and the literati who preside over its intellectual life. Dave Hirsh and Parkman are in continual conflict and the book documents the hero’s futile attempts to preserve his integrity and talents in a world largely alien and stupefying. Before being murdered by a madman, he comes to understand that the responsibilities of love and of the family corrode talent and that the writer must stubbornly refuse to participate in the conventional life of his culture. There is in Some Came Running the heavy drinking, brawling, and fornicating among the hangers-on at Smitty’s bar that one found among the soldiers in the barracks at Schofield.

I was raised in Robinson, Illinois as well as James Jones (he was born and raised there) and he returned to Robinson after serving in the military in World War II. Most of his writing was about his life growing up in Robinson and the surrounding area which we natives refer to as "the Wabash Valley" - Mr. Jones wrote much about his experiences during the war (WW II) as well.

Reviews: 7
From what I understand, James Jones' family edited, or had a professional edit, this book down from its original 1200+ pages down to what it is now, still over 1000 pages. I'm glad that they are pushing to get this great writer's work out there, since Jones has (incredibly, impossibly) been largely forgotten since his death in 1977....but I don't know about calling this the "definitive" version. The original version, published in 1957, is extremely hard to find, especially since it never seems to have come out in paperback in an unabridged version. In '58, when the (excellent, though radically changed and watered-down) movie version appeared, a paperback came out that was about half the length of the hardback, which by definition is a butchering job. Jones worked on "Some Came Running" for six years and must have been devastated at the furious attacks on the novel, which essentialy condemned it to a brief life. It's been out of print for decades, until now, and although I think the book should be published in its complete form I am grateful that it's around again.

Personally, I think the reviewers all got it wrong. THIS IS A GREAT BOOK. Yes it's very very long, still one of the longest American novels ever published, and you bet it meanders all over the place, but I never for a second feel that Jones is getting sloppy or self-indulgent. He's creating a world here, in the same way that J.R.R. Tolkien created Middle-Earth; you might call this Middle-America, since it takes place in Illinois. Nobody complains about the thousands and thousands of pages that Tolkien spent on HIS creation, but boy did they ever complain when Jones did it. There are several primary characters, and some of them are frankly a bit more welcome than others, but as layers of this world Jones is building, they all make sense. This is a place you go when you've got time to stay awhile. You'll meet some WW2 veterans, some professional gamblers, some pillars of the community and their rather shrewish wives, some high school and college teachers, some budding writers, even a famous writer or two. Some of them are sarcastic, some of them are even mean, and at least one of them (apologies to Steve Carrell) is a 40 year-old virgin, but they're all interesting and worth reading about. (As an interesting side-note, and this only my opinion, "Some Came Running" bears in part a striking similarity to Jack Kerouac's "On The Road," which came out the same year. The character of Dave Hirsh, a writer, becomes great friends with, and kind of falls under the spell of, a kind of professionally-unsavory character named 'Bama Dillert, who loves to drive and talks all the time, and there is an extended section mid-novel where the two go on the road for some months....sound familiar? I'm not saying one was influenced by, or even interested in, the other, but it's interesting to note the similarities)

So if you can't find the original, full-length hardback (which I highly recommend, it usually runs about $50), by all means get this version, which is ALMOST all of the story and is sanctioned by James Jones' family, which is good enough for me. The prologue, which deals with the main character fighting in the Battle of the Buldge, is one of the best things Jones ever wrote. I don't think this book tops "From Here To Eternity," which is my favorite novel of all time, but man it comes pretty close. James Jones was one of the great American writers, and never got his due respect, in my opinion. The more people who read him, the more people who'll love him. Check this baby out; you'll be glad you did.
James Jones was a master at story-telling and fleshing out characters and situations that represent real life as it is. It is the story of a man adjusting to life after the war and the people around him. It wavers dramatically from the movie adaption which I had loved. But the original plot is so engrossing I was not bored by knowing the original story - as is often the case for me when reading a book after seeing the movie.
If you are like me--who sees a 1000 page book and salivates...I don't think you will be disappointed. It is both poignant and sad at times but always thought-provoking.
This is an incredible book. Even though it was written in the 50's, about the end of the 1940's, it is very relevant today. It is a long story but I could not put it down. The character development is extraordinary, much more intricate than most of today's writers. The story involves a group of people in a small midwestern city, starting two years after the end of WWII. It revolves around two brothers who have not seen one another in many years, their relationship, and the relationships of the various other relatives, friends, and acquaintances, who satellite them. It is about the grace and the absurdity of the decisions that the characters make and and the consequences that result from them. It is a fascinating book about every day life and a slice of Americana.
I love this movie!!!! I've watched it a couple of times in the last month or so. Frank was his moody self which I love to watch, but I truly think Shirley stole the show!!!!! A lonely hearts woman looking for someone to love her as she was, but also looking for respect as a person who was willing and wanting to grow.

I highly recommend this movie. It is well worth watching.
My first James Jones read helped me appreciate why his talent is recognized as one of the greatest of 20th century American writers. Strong character development carries well the deep psychological analysis of how individuals live within their own realities while interacting with the realities of others. Addresses a lot of questions we have about life and love from the viewpoint of small town Midwest America, from a very amoral point of view. This is a book best used as a springboard for thinking about life, but for someone with a commitment to spiritual realities, it ends up empty and hopeless. A classic because it provides a strong story to carry serious musing about real questions to which we can all relate.