Review: Johnny Goes to War- Dalton Trumbo



When I see any work signed by Dalton Trumbo, I have the impression that the writer / screenwriter had no problem getting banned. Famous for being blacklisted for his involvement with communism in 1941 (an event that yielded a book written by Bruce Cook it is a Oscar nominated film starring Bryan Cranston), the author had already had his work Johnny Goes to War banned in the market for being inappropriate, since the plot was very strong for the time, when the second war had just burst.

And it is not for nothing, in short words Trumbo is able to relate the heaviest history ever seen about the war, this is because he does not invest in remarkable moments of the battles, but in the intense peculiar result in only one young man. The author himself agrees, in the introduction to his book, that the prohibition of the work made sense.

Renowned screenwriter, Trumbo puts his experience with screenplays in his narrative, which takes place through the protagonist's moments of lucidity and his memories. This resulted in writing without commas, which at first is a little uncomfortable, but as the reading progresses it seems to intensify the character's despair.

Joe he is the only star of this work, a young man obliged to serve in the war, who ends up being seriously injured and losing his legs, arms, nose, eyes and ears. Without being able to hear, speak, see and even move, he is forced to remain motionless and confused for years, while remembering the good times of his life and trying to figure out how to end his suffering.

The innocence of Joe's memories is the trigger for this story to be so cruel, it is the story of a young man who had his life ruined by war, who will never live a life even remotely normal, see his family again or do something that likes. The character constantly thinks about ways to kill himself - and even that is not capable of doing it. Even in the best of times, the narrative is suffocating and even a little depressing.

It is amazing how the author managed to be so original when talking about such a used subject - and to be the most accurate. Johnny Goes to War became a flag against armed struggle and violence and in the middle of 2017, I still haven't seen any work on the war that has had such an effect.

The new edition of Blue Libraryfrom the publisher Globe, deserves an honorable mention. The beautiful cover is thought out in detail, with a "translation" in Morse code in the title, a very important detail in the book.

Resenha: Johnny Vai à Guerra- Dalton Trumbo 1
Cover of the new edition of Johnny Goes to War

Johnny Goes to War it is a real punch in the stomach, but a rewarding and purposeful one. The simple account shows a whole new side of violence and fulfills its role so well, that it yielded an equally shocking film in 1971, which was even the inspiration for the song. One, of Metallica. Listen again and pay extra attention to the lyrics:


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