War & No Peace

THE NAKED AND THE DEAD (721 pp.)—Norman Mailer—Rinehart ($4).

A 25-year-old Harvard graduate who fought at Leyte has written perhaps the best novel yet about World War II.

It is distinguished primarily for simple realism, a forthright, almost childlike honesty, a command of ordinary speech, a cool and effortless narrative style, quickened here & there with a mild, understated humor. The battle scenes are so vivid as to suggest Tolstoy's War and Peace, the common soldiers as clearly visualized as Tolstoy's peasants. Unlike Tolstoy's masterpiece, it is all war, not only in the sense that there are no scenes of peaceful...

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