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  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409089254
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

The Suicide Run

A powerful insight into the early years of one of America's greatest modern writers.

The five personal and intensely powerful tales that make up this collection draw upon William Styron's real-life experiences in the US Marine Corps, and give us an insight into the early life of one of America's greatest modern writers.

The stories are set in the gruelling camps and sweltering training fields which mark the limbo point between civilian life and the horrors of war. The stories tell of young men embarking on suicidal 1000 mile roundtrips to New York to see their girlfriends on 36 hour leave periods; the surreal experience of being conscripted for a second time to serve in the Korean War; and the frustration and isolation of returning home when service is over.

The Suicide Run brings to life the drama, inhumanity, absurdity and heroism that forever changed the men who served in the Marine Corps.

  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409089254
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

About the author

William Styron

Born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1925, William Styron was educated at Duke University. He served in the Marine Corps during the last war, and was recalled to service during the Korean War. After 1952, he lived mainly in Europe, before settling in a rural part of Connecticut.

He is the author of The Long March, Lie Down in Darkness, Set This House on Fire and Sophie's Choice. He has also published Darkness Visible, the remarkable story of his descent into depression, the collection This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, and A Tidewater Morning. William Styron died in 2006.

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Praise for The Suicide Run

In his elegant, sometimes ornate, prose, Styron balances a loathing of military life with a respect for the human nobility it grants the most unlikely candidates

Daily Telegraph

Quite brilliant


Styron's ornate prose has a wonderful rhythmic flow. The title story, a sultry, white-knuckle sex odyssey across the US, is a particular gem. Told with a frenetic humour that bleeds out into lyrical disquiet, it paints a vivid picture of young men trying in vain to drown out their own death knell

Irish Times

There's such a depth to the characterization and mood here, with doubt, guilt, bravado, lust and more to be felt by the heroes, who of course never fit any such token template


This book will be welcomed by admirers of Styron's work

Times Literary Supplement

This group of previously unpublished stories by Pulitzer Prize-winner William Styron crackle with youthful virtuosity

Jeffrey Taylor, Sunday Express

What intrigues here is the way all soldiers, whether or not they ever see combat, still live with the notion: I am expendable canon fodder. And that sort of existential knowledge makes even the toughest Marine pause for thought

Douglas Kennedy, Independent