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ROCK ’N’ ROLL SOLDIER by Dean Ellis Kohler


A Memoir

by Dean Ellis Kohler with Susan VanHecke

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-124255-7
Publisher: HarperTeen

A memoir about starting a rock band in the middle of a war zone. Drafted into the Vietnam War, Kohler served in a small port town, enforcing the law as part of his military service. Under orders from his commanding officer, the young MP formed “Electrical Banana” with a few fellow draftees and enjoyed a wildly popular run of gigs, including a performance on the front lines, before returning home to restart his music career. With its focus on overcoming adversity and creating positive situations, the narrative could devolve into a blathering self-help book, but Kohler and co-author VanHecke avoid that trap entirely. Reluctant readers will find plenty of action and suspense in the war scenes, while those who are musically inclined will appreciate the trials of starting a band, no matter what the circumstances. Brief sidelines regarding both the motivations for and the difficulties of the war emerge, but it does not overtake the plot, and Kohler avoids getting bogged down in the politics. Humorous and light, with a hint of despair, the narrative depicts life continuing beyond conflict. (Memoir. YA)