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Publisher's Summary

This was no ordinary war. This was a war to make the world safe for democracy. And if democracy was made safe, then nothing else mattered - not the millions of dead bodies, nor the thousands of ruined lives. This is no ordinary novel. This is a novel that never takes the easy way out: it is shocking, violent, terrifying, horrible, uncompromising, brutal, remorseless, and gruesome...but so is war. Johnny Got His Gun holds a place as one of the classic antiwar novels. First published in 1939, Dalton Trumbo's story of a young American soldier terribly maimed in World War I - he "survives" armless, legless, and faceless, but with his mind intact - was an immediate best seller. This fiercely moving novel was a rallying point for many Americans who came of age during World War II, and it became perhaps the most popular novel of protest during the Vietnam era.
©1991 Dalton Trumbo (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"[This] is a terrifying book, of an extraordinary emotional intensity." ( The Washington Post)
"There can be no question of the effectiveness of this book." ( The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Carollynn7 on 11-27-11


I saw the movie in 1971 when I was a teenager and had wanted to read the book ever since. I finally purchased it from Audible a few days ago. Unfortunately, I didn't know (or didn't pay attention to) the fact that there was to be an introduction by a mother who had lost her son in Iraq that was intended to create a sense of the outrage she felt at losing her son in a war that was unjustified. It also gave away much more of the plot than I remember from the movie and certainly more than I wanted to hear before reading the book myself.

Don't get me wrong . . . I'm not saying that her outrage is unjustified. It just didn't belong at the beginning of a book that I wanted to discover for myself. It set HER tone, justified though it might be, not mine.

As soon as I realized what was happening to ME as I was listening to the introduction I turned it off and found the beginning of the book. But, alas, I will have to wait awhile before I take it up again.

It reminds me of the time in the early to mid 70's when Charles Schultz ran a Sunday cartoon featuring Lucy and Linus watching "Citizen Cane" on TV. The last plate of the cartoon had Lucy telling Linus, "Rosebud is . . . . . . .". It ruined the anticipation for a whole generation of people who had not seen the movie. People who have read a book or have seen a movie or play should NEVER give anything away that might change the experience for others.

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42 of 42 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By L'abeille_alors on 01-04-09

Johnny Got His Gun

The narrator of this audible book makes listening to this book easy. I've read the book, but it is at times very difficult to read due to the lack of proper punctuation (it indicates a drugged state of the first person narration of the book, I believe). The narrator makes it much easier to understand and enjoyable.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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