love the way Wilfred recycles the
That's fabulous stuff with a
direct line to Heller's Catch-22
perfectly captures the insanity of
the Vietnam War."
Richard Peabody, editor
Readers call it:
a riveting read that blends drama, romance and
that only someone who was there can appreciate
powerful; how war changes men
irony, tragedy and spirituality
- an anti-war novel in the best tradition
(but aren't all war novels anti-war novels)
altogether hilarious, dinky dau,
that foil the army brass
Read it one
long night and loved it!
-- Ole fart "Poppa,"
As a fellow Cav trooper, this book brought
back fond memories of the great friends and infrequent happy
moments made and shared by soldiers growing out of the unreal
existence that was combat...
a story of what could/should have been.
It had me laughing out loud
at how dinky-dau we and Morris's characters had gotten.
No. 10 For Men
a Vietnam novel
by Richard Morris
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cure for the stink of war
This is truly
superb novel of the Vietnam war, a novel that compares favorably with
those earlier dark humor?war novels such as CATCH-22 and
M.A.S.H. The writing crackles with authenticity.?/i>
A soldier in
Vietnam invents a uniquely absurd solution to the horrors of war.
A relatively nave Wilfred Carmenghetti comes to the Far East to
outmaneuver the draft and save the Western world, but when he lands at
the First Battalion to join an air-mobile platoon in the 13th Cavalry,
the young Army lieutenant is greeted with a profane censure of communism
and the offer of a $30 prostitute. Once he gets over his initial dismay,
Wilfred accepts his place in this peculiar milieu by bonding with a
black rabble-rouser named Joshua Henry and falling madly in love with a
dilettante Vietnamese girl.
Morris, once a rifle platoon leader
who tread in the same rice paddies as his fictional character, writes
convincingly of battle, bloodshed and the disarming brevity of sudden,
violent death. He also infuses his war story with the black humor
prevalent in many modern American war stories like Catch-22 or M.A.S.H.
as Wilfred struggles to outmaneuver the incompetently bureaucratic Lt.
Col. Clary, his lapdog Capt. Simms and an engaging, philosophical
Vietnamese spy. The book, played out in discrete segments following
groups of characters on missions that usually relate more to their own
motivations than the company line, also carries echoes of Tim OBriens
similarly toned The Things They Carried.
Eventually Wilfred, traumatized by
his experiences and absorbed in a debate with himself over the nature of
humanity, arrives at a fanciful conclusion that involves recycling the
bodies of dead Vietcong to satisfy his superiors appetite for grossly
elevated body counts. What we need to create is the functional
equivalent of war: Everything except the killing,?he says. To wit, the
illusion of war.
A funny and
serviceable satire about the gross rationalizations that propel
war and peace.
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