Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Opening Sentence: A Bell for Adano

Invasion had come to the town of Adano.

-- A Bell for Adano by John Hersey.

Hersey's Pulitzer-winning novel is the story of an American Army officer in Sicily during World War II.  The Italian-American Major Joppolo who wins the hearts and minds of the people of the town of Adano by helping them find a replacement for the town bell, which the Fascists had melted down cannon parts.

What is so fascinating to me about the book is that Hersey wrote it in 1944, while the war was still going on, which probably explains its fresh, action-oriented style.  It isn't a deep retrospective -- it is breezy and lively and filled with funny character sketches. 

This counts as one of my Pulitzer choices for the 2012 Battle of the Prizes, American Version. 

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