WELCOME TO THE CLUB by Clement Biddle Wood
Kirkus Star


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WELCOME -- this is a spankingly fresh, funny, serious first novel which spends a few days in Hiroshima (1946) with Andrew Delancey Oxblood. He's a nineteen year old Quaker from Philadelphia, Liberal from Harvard, poet and parfit knight. Andrew's got some problems. For instance, he's still a virgin, but one of them he has already solved. His best friend back home was a Negro, and he's determined to prove his point in this man's army (whose? ""micks, spicks, frogs, wogs, limeys, wops, bohunks, krauts, polacks, and any boog present who's passing as a lilywhite""). And in spite of his best friends, Morve, a Jew, and Robert E. Lee Fairfax, a southern fascist charmer. Or for that matter the General who makes him Morale officer (""I want to have Morale droolin from their dewlaps""). For the weekend. Before he's sent back to the infantry. Because Andrew has a billeting problem with an entertainment group, the Warblers, who turn out to be Negro and he's told to arrange separate quarters for them. He puts them up at the Officers Club. The Club ""could use a little interracial jollity and amity, goddamity"" and maybe it doesn't work out very well but it's quite an exposure. Andrew also makes friends with Hideki, a Japanese, and as Hideki says--""I try not to believe in 'us' and 'you' but in 'me' and 'thee.'"" That's the point of the book and it comes across here in an inimitable idiom, letters, cables home, poetry--even some very nice haikus.... Club, like Catch 22, should have its claque. It's got lots of heart, lots of humor, lots of guts, and a wide open talent.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill