MAN ON THE WIRE by Edward Franklin


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Just what we've all been waiting for--a conception of absolutely arrested adolescence. Twenty years ago, on Yellow Hill--where the present DMZ now exists in Korea--novelist Colin MacGregor, a marine, had the most expansive, zinging time of his life, fighting Chinese Lt. Liu Lung-chi. MacGregor had wound up bound on barbed wire, an unmoving dummy staring down a steep hill. Two decades later he is being mistaken for Hemingway, picking up Lolitas with peachfuzz pelvises, teaching a college writing course to gloomy adult students, and he's growing thick around the middle (and plenty fat between the ears). He receives an invitation from Lt. Liu, to meet again in combat on Yellow Hill, on the very eve of their anniversary there: Lt. Liu has also remained cemented into adolescence. Well, they stalk each other, in the quarter-moonlight, using old-type weapons, and--amid endless flashbacks and merciless padding--there's an inconclusive shootout where MacGregor once again winds up back on the wire. This love-hate, kill-kill-hug-hug has as much to do with real battle feelings as a grenade burst on a silent TV.

Pub Date: March 13th, 1978
Publisher: Crown