The Naked and the Dead is concerned with the invasion and taking of the Japanese-controlled island of Anopopei. Most of the 721-page book follows a platoon as they prepare to land on the island until the successful American victory, with some inserts from ”The Time Machine” to give back story to the platoon of foot soldiers the nameless, omniscient narrator follows through the campaign in third person POV.
Talented people are often considered at having an intrinsic ability that is given at the time of birth and manifests itself over time. Coyle, however, agues that inherent talent is a small part of success and that the habits of making mistakes and learning to improve on such mistakes are the true keys to success.
And even as I lay there I saw, with no more interest than if it had been a picture, a sail come up towards me over the sky-line. My mind must have been wandering, and yet I remember all that happened, quite distinctly. I remember how my head swayed with the seas, and the horizon with the sail about it danced up and down; but I also remember as distinctly that I had a persuasion that I was dead, and that I thought what a jest it was that they should come too late by such a little to catch me in my body (p 6-7).
Dejah Thoris, the princess referred to by the title of the book, protests to her fellow Martians: ”Why, oh, why will you not learn to live in amity with your fellows… A people without written language, without art, without homes, without love…Owning everything in common, even to your women and children, has resulted in your owning nothing in common” (p 87).