THE LAST HAPPY HOUR by Charles J. Hackett


Email this review


The Happy Hour is the five p.m. alcoholic lift-off at the officers' clubs on military posts, and the last happy hour is a reunion 30 years after WW II of Baker Company's misfits who pulled duty on a rusty bucket, the Bonneville, in England. Featured are three US Army lieutenants with genius IQs who were improbably assigned to the Bonneville. In the flashback, Henderson's a pacifist who has never loaded his pistol but is about to be court-martialed for knowing the secret of the atom bomb before any other officer ever heard of it (he's a math genius). Rhatigan's a disreputable con artist, given to jokes: ""Well, there goes the orgy. How about charades instead? We could act out the lives of the saints."" And the nameless narrator, the Alexandre Dumas of this trio, is a poet-writer who paints pictures of sounds (a trumpet note is ""usually a lemon-colored rhomboid""). The Bonneville handles poorly in calm waters but survives the trio's adventures in quasi-black market activities. The reunion in Atlantic City? sadder than a drinking song. Henderson the pacifist is now a boorish board chairman of an oil company and willing to fight the Arabs. Some amusing genius jokes, but spotty in its appeal.

Pub Date: June 11th, 1976
Publisher: Doubleday