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The Pistol

As bombs begin to fall on Pearl Harbor, nineteen-year-old PFC Richard Mask is wearing a pistol, a .45 caliber automatic that makes him feel connected to the army of the Wild West and Custer’s Cavalry. In the chaos of his first days and weeks of the war, as Mask and his company move from Schofield Barracks to the beaches of Oahu, then to a remote mountain pass, a struggle over the pistol dominates this novella’s action, providing the pathos and savagery of the story.

158 pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | © 1958, 2003

Phoenix Fiction



“Superbly written."

New York Times

“Few novelists write as effectively about the American army as James Jones.”


“A little jewel, tautly constructed, economical, but withal vivid in incident, attention-compelling in the narrative, and psychologically convincing. . . . This is a compelling picture of man’s fear of the unknown, and the measures he will take to protect himself against it.’

Taliaferro Boatwright | New York Herald Tribune

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