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The Suicide Run by the author William Styron

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The Suicide Run
Genre: War
Series: missing
Ratings: ★★★☆☆
Publisher: Random House
Pub Year:
ISBN: 9781588369062
List Price: 0.00
Download: EPUB MOBI


The Suicide Run collects five of William Styron’s meticulously rendered narratives based on his real-life experiences as a U.S. Marine. In “Blankenship,” Styron draws on his stint as a guard at a stateside military prison at the end of World War II. “Marriott, the Marine” and “The Suicide Run”—which Styron composed as part of an intended novel that he set aside to write Sophie’s Choice—depict the surreal experience of being conscripted a second time, after World War II, to serve in the Korean War. “My Father’s House” captures the frustration of a soldier trying to become a civilian again. In “Elobey, Annobón, and Corisco,” a soldier attempts to exorcise the dread of an approaching battle by daydreaming about far-off islands, visited vicariously through his childhood stamp collection.  

Perhaps the last volume from one of literature’s greatest voices, The Suicide Run brings to life the drama, absurdity, and heroism that forever changed the men who served in the Marine Corps.

From Publishers Weekly

This posthumous collection from Pulitzer and National Book Award–winner Styron (Sophie's Choice) is a mishmash of early stories and unfinished novel excerpts that, while interesting as an artifact, adds little to his esteemed oeuvre. A former marine, Styron shows the horrors of war not through battle but through vignettes of men on leave (such as the title story) or in their quarters, struggling with their fate. Blankenship follows a young warrant officer as he investigates the escape of two Marines from a military prison island. Through interrogating another prisoner, McFee, Blankenship learns how deep soldierly ennui can run. Marriot, the Marine is about a writer recalled to duty as a reservist on the eve of his first novel's publication. He finds solace in a superior's love of literature and begins to believe that not all Marines are as brash as his roommate (he of the wet, protuberant lower lip and an exceptionally meager forehead), but the illusion doesn't last long. Styron's prose is as assured as ever and his knack for character is masterful, but the overall moralizing tone—war is debasement—is both too simple and too political to work in these character-driven stories. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

Lest we forget, William Styron (1925–2006) was a major American writer, author of such profound novels as Lie Down in Darkness (1951), The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), and Sophie’s Choice (1979). Sadly, he is little read these days. Perhaps this collection of lesser Styron material will stir interest in his earlier works.These five pieces of fiction, referred to as “narrations” (including two previously unpublished), explore Styron’s own experiences as a U.S. Marine. The collection, then, is a taste of his talent and one of his major subject-interests. Straddling fiction and memoir, they work out different contexts of the overall theme of the draw of military life, which obviously enticed Styron himself. For larger serious fiction collections. --Brad Hooper