NO BUGLES, NO DRUMS by Charles Durden


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A sometimes hilarious Catch-22 about a Georgia ""grunt"" stuck guarding a pig farm near Danang. Hawkins and his buddies smoke dope, run a numbers game, smoke dope, run a lottery, smoke dope, smuggle dope, and dope-philosophize (sort of) as they wait for time and the war to pass them by. During off hours, they blow up a South Viet outfit to win the daily numbers (based on the number of dead ARVN), or share an ice-cold beer with a deserter in a comfy air-conditioned hut replete with tape deck, electric can opener, and stereo, courtesy PX black market privateers. But the war catches up with them--in the guise of Colonel Levine's search for a high body count, and (his son) Lt. Levine's fatal attempt to be the compleat soldier--the dangers, of course, being less the VC than the US artillery shells, landing short on the wrong guys. Like most Vietnam war novels, this is a tale of psychic and moral disintegration--a humorous and at times disgusting charting of the path from cynicism to nihilism. The narration is occasionally clumsy but effective--the dialogue an honestly realistic compendium of ""mothafuckahs"" and ""sonofabitchs.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1976
Publisher: Viking