Johnny Got His Gun

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The Searing Portrayal Of War That Has Stunned And Galvanized Generations Of Readers

An immediate bestseller upon its original publication in 1939, Dalton Trumbo’s stark, profoundly troubling masterpiece about the horrors of World War I brilliantly crystallized the uncompromising brutality of war and became the most influential protest novel of the Vietnam era. Johnny Got His Gun is an undisputed classic of antiwar literature that’s as timely as ever.

“A terrifying book, of an extraordinary emotional intensity.”--The Washington Post

"Powerful. . . an eye-opener." --Michael Moore

"Mr. Trumbo sets this story down almost without pause or punctuation and with a fury amounting to eloquence."--The New York Times

"A book that can never be forgotten by anyone who reads it."--Saturday Review
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About the author

Dalton Trumbo (December 9, 1905 – September 10, 1976) was among the most prolific and important literary figures of his time. One of the famous Hollywood Ten, he refused to testify about his alleged communist affiliations before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Blacklisted from the film industry and charged with contempt of Congress, he served an eleven-month prison sentence.  Johnny Got His Gun, the most highly acclaimed work of Trumbo’s extraordinary career, won a National Book award (then known as an American Book Sellers Award) in 1939. The idea for the novel came to Trumbo after he learned of a British soldier who was seriously injured during World War I. In 2015 the acclaimed film “Trumbo,” starring Bryan Cranston, spurred renewed interest in the author’s life and works.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Kensington Publishing Corp.
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Published on
Jul 1, 2007
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780806537603
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / War & Military
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“A desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century.”—Time
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Vonnegut describes as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he himself witnessed as an American POW. It combines science fiction, autobiography, humor, historical fiction, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. Billy, like Vonnegut, experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW, and, as with Vonnegut, it is the defining moment of his life. Unlike the author, he also experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.” Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

Praise for Slaughterhouse-Five

“Poignant and hilarious, threaded with compassion and, behind everything, the cataract of a thundering moral statement.”—The Boston Globe

“Very tough and very funny . . . sad and delightful . . . very Vonnegut.”—New York Times

“Splendid . . . a funny book at which you are not permitted to laugh, a sad book without tears.”—Life

“Funny, satirical, compelling, outrageous, fanciful, mordant, fecund . . .  ‘It’s too good to be science fiction,’ [the critics] would say. But Vonnegut doesn’t care, and you won’t care, either, because this is a writer who leaps over genres.”—Los Angeles Times
That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child's character is self-evident. But generalizations about genes are likely to provide cold comfort if it's your own child who just opened fire on his feellow algebra students and whose class photograph—with its unseemly grin—is shown on the evening news coast-to-coast.

If the question of who's to blame for teenage atrocity intrigues news-watching voyeurs, it tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years before the opening of the novel, her son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and the much-beloved teacher who had tried to befriend him. Because his sixteenth birthday arrived two days after the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is currently in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York.

In relating the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses her estranged husband, Frank, through a series of startingly direct letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son became, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general—and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault?

We Need To Talk About Kevin offers no at explanations for why so many white, well-to-do adolescents—whether in Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, or Littleton—have gone nihilistically off the rails while growing up in the most prosperous country in history. Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story with an explosive, haunting ending. She considers motherhood, marriage, family, career—while framing these horrifying tableaus of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.

This Centennial edition, specially designed to commemorate one hundred years of Steinbeck, features french flaps and deckle-edged pages.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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