A CASUAL COMPANY by Claude Koch

A CASUAL COMPANY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a quasi-religious military tragedy with the accent on agony without redemption...Stationed in New Zealand in 1943 is a U.S. Marine Corps depot for transients and misfits, casuals down from Guadalcanal and men ready to go into battle. This military limbo is ruled with a rasping swagger stick by Col. Charlie Nichols, a shot-up case now going blind and deaf. Colonel Nichols' driving aim is his return to the front line, which is not to be. Meanwhile, his subordinate, Major Narberth, is transferred north to the war although he is vastly over-age. Major Narberth is going, in fact, to the very island where his son is serving. Narberth's replacement in the Casual Company is a malarial Captain Lamphere, The central story concerns how these three officers become involved with a young deserter who has invalidly married a girl he got with child. This lad is to be shipped Stateside for life imprisonment; but when he escapes, a triple tragedy erupts with much hand-wringing rhetoric in the climax. The market seems very marginal.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1965
Publisher: Chilton