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THE RIGHT KIND OF WAR

A Marine Raider veteran of the war in the Pacific puts his WW II battle memories into unsentimental, unrevisionist novel form. No-nonsense prose—plus a refusal to load in five decades of postwar psychochat or political hindsight—keeps McCormick's account of island-hopping and man-to-man combat crystal-clear and unusually immediate. Today's gentle readers may find themselves gasping to discover that the ``Right Kind of War'' for the Marine Raiders was a war in which no questions were asked and few prisoners taken. But for the young men yanked from their farms and blue-collar jobs to defend democracy from Japanese expansionism, it was the only way to fight. As the Pacific war was a series of battles fought island by island, the novel is a series of anecdotes leading to the horrors of Okinawa and Guam. The narrator is a matter-of-fact Illinoisan fighting alongside boys from all over the country, following the orders of sergeants more frightening than the enemy, doing the bidding of generals and admirals who may or may not know what they are about. There are no detailed portraits of the boys, everything is action, but there are amusing moments- -and moving ones—and flitting through the narrative are spooky appearances and reappearances of a boot-camp buddy who became an assassin for the corps and kept his job classification afterward. Gung-ho and good.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1992

ISBN: 1-55750-574-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Naval Institute Press

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1992

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MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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