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some came running a novel by james jones

Some Came Running : A novel by James Jones


New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1957. First edition; first printing with A 10-57 [H] on copyright page. Hardcover. 1266 pages ; 22 cm. $7.50 dust jacket with minimal wear. A very good copy with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.


From Here To Eternity is the most famous first novel of this decade—a book now securely established in American literary history. For the six years since its publication, James Jones has been occupied with the writing of his second novel; and it is one of the longest to have been published in this country. But these facts are unimportant beside the fact of the book itself infused with the vitality of James Jones' great talent, this novel creates a world, unique and yet universal.

The story takes place in the Wabash Valley of Southern Illinois—largely in a town called Parkman. Four years pass during the course of it, the four years of peace imprisoned between World War II and Korea. There are at least a dozen major characters in SOME CAME RUNNING, and many more secondary ones; but two brothers, Dave and Frank Hirsh, stand central. A rebel, a wanderer, a writer who has given up writing, Dave Hirsh has just returned to town after years away; while his brother Frank has risen steadily in Parkman, a shrewd businessman with a driving need for admiration and affection. The contrasted, conflicting lives of the Hirsh brothers provide the core of narrative, but SOME CAME RUNNING contains enormously more. No character emerges more impressively than Dave's friend the gambler, Bama Dillert—a strong and intelligent man, coldly without illusions and yet possessing u remarkable capacity for friendship. In Gwen French, with whom Dave falls deeply in love; in Agnes Hirsh, Frank's wife, and Edith Barclay, his mistress; in Dawnie, Frank's teenage daughter, James Jones presents an extraordinarily varied gallery of women. The respectable people who gather at the country club; and the lower world of Parkman, the rootless, brawling, heavy-drinking men and their factory girls—they all come under dispassionate, searching examination. To each character something important happens, as their lives cross and recross in the rich fabric of this novel; each story is brought to a conclusion. There are no heroes and no evil men, for in the most powerful Mr. Jones finds weakness and in the most animal-like he finds pride. In all of them, too, he finds the material for true comedy.

As the reader proceeds through this huge novel, he becomes increasingly aware of a central theme. It concerns illusion—the gaping difference between what man thinks he is doing and what he is actually doing, between one man's conception of reality and another man's. Because of James Jones' marvelous gift for exposing his characters and rendering their ways of life, because of his power to express exactly and completely his view of the human condition, SOME CAME RUNNING becomes a major work of fiction.

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