THE SERGEANT by Dennis Murphy


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A new novelist who owes something to older hands - a direct narrative, a stripped prose-chronicles the conflict between a young soldier and his ambivalent attraction to an older man. Tom Swanson, while involved in a gentle romance with a girl in Bordeaux, is still unable to disregard the attentions of his Sergeant, Callan, newly assigned to this maintenance outfit, a former war hero disliked by the men he now has in his charge and a crude and awkward figure. Tom avoids Callan's self-conscious overtures, and then drifts into a closer friendship as they talk and drink together, but finally realizes the nature of Callan's intentions which he has sensed but never fully acknowledged to himself. In full recoil, Tom returns to his girl, and the Sergeant, a shattered man, takes his own life..... Mr. Murphy, a young writer, and the first winner of the Joseph Henry Jackson Award, develops the incident- rather than the characters- and it is all very bleak- earnest- and instinctual.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1958
Publisher: Viking