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.
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|Title of History eBook: The Suicide Run|
|Release Date: 10-06-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Suicide Run|
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The Suicide Run
Amid the smelly stretch of riptides and treacherous currents formed by the confluence of the upper East River and Long Island Sound stands a small low-lying island. Surmounted for most of its length by ancient prison buildings, it is an island hardly distinguishable, in its time-exhausted drabness, from those dozen or so other islands occupied by prisons and hospitals which give to the New York waterways such a bleak look of municipal necessity and—for some reason especially at twilight—that air of melancholy and erosion of the spirit. Yet something here compels a second glance. Something makes this island seem even excessively ugly, and a meaner and shabbier eyesore. Perhaps this is because of the island’s situation; for a prison island it just seems to be in too nice a place. It commands a fine wide view of the blue Sound to the east and the white houses on the mainland nearby—houses which, though situated in the Bronx, are so neat and scrubbed and summery-looking as to make New York City seem as remote as Nantucket. One passing by the island might more logically envision a pretty park here, or groves of trees, or a harbor for sailboats, than this squalid acre of prison buildings. Yet perhaps it’s the buildings themselves which make the place look more than ordinarily grim and depressing—so that the cleanly utilitarian, white marble structures on the other of the city’s islands seem, by comparison, almost beguiling sanctuaries. These date back nearly a century, soot-encrusted brick piles of turrets and fake moats and parapets and Victorian towers. With these, and with their crenellated battlements and lofty embrasures and all the sham artifices of fortr...