Customer Reviews for

Naked and the Dead

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

The Naked and the Dead

It is arguable that no book better captures the feelings and personalities of young soldiers at war better than this one. Every character is unique and wholly believable. When one of them dies the reader feels as though he/she has just lost a friend. A must read for any...
It is arguable that no book better captures the feelings and personalities of young soldiers at war better than this one. Every character is unique and wholly believable. When one of them dies the reader feels as though he/she has just lost a friend. A must read for anyone who wishes to gain a better appreciation for the brutality and emotion of war.

posted by Janus on April 29, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Definitely NOT a combat novel.

Although some have said its a combat novel, I couldn't disagree more. There is very little combat (or 'action') in the book, with nearly the entire book dedicated to the interactions between the very well defined characters. The relationships, interactions, and chal...
Although some have said its a combat novel, I couldn't disagree more. There is very little combat (or 'action') in the book, with nearly the entire book dedicated to the interactions between the very well defined characters. The relationships, interactions, and challenges of the characters could could have just as easily occurred within a mountain climbing team, a sports team, or sailing crew. There is really nothing about the core of story that depends specifically on a war environment.

What bothered me most was the racial and religious stereotyping: the entrepeneurial but weak Jew, the fast-talking, scam-artist Italian, and the snobbish, detached, and Harvard educated New Englander, etc. Nearly each and every character was incredibly unlikeable, with despicable traits and methods that represented the worst of "their kind". Frankly, I wonder if the characters are more of an instantiation of Mailer's own inner believes and predjudices.

Finaly, the inconsistencies and flat-out errors in the story bugged me to no end. Mailer apparently doesn't know how long a yard is based on the many distances he describes in yards -- half of them are unbelievable. And logistical errors, such as exhausted men carrying 90lb packs edging along a 1-foot wide mountain ledge, perhaps can be explained by Mailers apparent lack of time spent in the real world.

posted by dkar3 on October 17, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2006

    The Naked and the Dead

    The Naked and the Dead is a good book that I found that I could simply jump into and start for hours. What I thought made it so great was that it is such a straight forward read and there are very few parts that I had to go back and check to see what was going on. However, I wish that the book was not so straight forward sometimes because then I would be able to think on other things that the author may try to be saying. Anyways, all in all I think people who like books on wars of any nature should read this book because it really does give a straight forward point of view on war.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2006

    A very interesting book

    The Naked and the Dead was a really interesting book because it took you through a whole different aspect of war. It takes you inside the minds of the soldiers and really makes you think about what would be in your head at a time of war.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2003

    Long winded Masterpiece

    Though I would agree with those around me that have read Mr. Mailer's THE NAKED AND THE DEAD, that it is much too long and wastes a great amount of paper explaining one's emotions on three pages when I'm sure it could have been cut down to a single sentence, I still consider this book one of my favorites. As a vetran of the Marines, I feel that Mr. Mailer has caught every type of man that comes into the military. Young with their personal Heavens and Hells yet come together as a team to get a job done. I enjoyed the banter between General Cummings and Lt. Hearn and imagined the same occuring between officers that I have come into contact with. There are men like Cummings who see the world through ultra Right Wing eyes as there are also men like Hearn that believe that changes can be made in this world. There are also men the decieve eachother, men that cheat on their wives, men that have no purpose but to be alive, and men who are Jewish and feel that some people in this world hate them just for the simple fact that they are Jewish. I have no problem believing that these type of men can come together in one single plattoon, because I had the same type of men in mine. I still believe after reading this novel twice now that it captures the conflicts men have within their own personal lives and how they can come to life in a conflict like World War 2.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2006

    the naked and the dead

    The book the Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer is not a book for someone to just jump into. The book is durin wwII on a remote island called Anopopei. The book is about men who fought in the war and giving flashbacks of how they were before the war. This book contains many flashbacks, and also there is alot of characters to remember. So if your good at keeping track of charachters and love war novels then this is a great book and I would recommend it, but if not then I wouldnt recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2005

    really great war book

    The naked and the dead is a great book. I enjoy reading all war books for it gives me a better understanding of war before and after effects, like this book did. I would highly recomend anyone who likes to read about war read this book you will have a great satisfaction after reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2005

    'The Naked and the Dead'

    'The Naked and the Dead' by Norman Mailer is the best war novel I have ever read. Although the book is extremely long and very vulgar, the story of the men and their horific battle is worth it. The book is very detailed and helps paint a picture of the reality of war. Although the book is a fiction novel, it still informs readers the history of the second world war that many of our relatives were involved in. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys American history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2005

    Naked and the Dead

    Well Norman Mailer did a wonderful job on this one. He truly captures the second world war and puts in into words just perfectly. The story is a very lond one but is indeed good and it is hard to put in down. The story all in all is a little gross at times but still it is a great story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2003

    Mailer's war

    This is considered one of the best books written about the Second World War.This shows the tremendous gap between life as it is lived, and literature which can barely touch a small part of life.One online reviewer points to the fact that the essential element in combat survival plays small part in Mailer's book,i.e. the support of soldiers for their buddies, platoon level loyalty. Much research confirms this point ,and does suggest that Mailer's book is very much an ideological centered work whose principle story is the fight against Fascism. Only the Fascists in Mailer's book are not only the enemy , but within the ranks of the American military heirarchy. So Mailer's hero , the liberal Lieutenant Hearn struggles against the Patton like general Cummings. So too within the platoon the soldier Croft by stealth and fear and intimidation rules . Mailer presents too a picture of the absurdity of war , even though there was nothing at all absurd about the Second World War which saved all of humanity from possible slavery . Mailer draws a kind of Dos Passos like encyclopediac picture of American society as a whole .His writing is lean and strong .But the book in a very deep way fails to satisfy ( as Mailer will throughout his writing life ) because somehow he has his head on backwards, and fails to value and appreciate what is good and great in American society , and why a victory for freedom is not meaningless, but something despite the cruelty and the absurdity involved in much of it ,of highest possible value.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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