CAPTAIN NEWMAN, M.D. by Leo Rosten
Kirkus Star


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Those who keep a small flame burning for H*Y*M*A*N* K*A*P*L*A*N*, Mr. Roberts and Love's War Is A Private Att will find here another project for the stories of Ward 7 and its inmates have their balance of compassion, humor and farce, and sadness. Captain Newman, who is in charge of the nuts and screws there, practices his own brand of healing and it is a solemn obligation to him to find the damaged moment that has brought the heroes and the cravens to the ward. Told by Lt. Barney Alderson, from his first introduction to Newman and the mental patients of Camp Colfax hospital, this is a review of the cases in which Newman succeeds -- or fails -- when he shouts ""at the symptoms, not the patient"", when he tries to restore men to living, sometimes fighting, always to know their own weaknesses. The dialectical booby traps of Laibowitz, the operations of ""Newman's raiders"", the hopeless hope of the ex-hood McGraw, Col. Crowther and the goddam ducks, Coby and his fixation about making his own bed, Hammerhead and his compulsive swearing (only at an officer), Little Jim and his valiant exit, Mr. Future and his planned retreat from the world, Italian prisoners of war -- these are some of the burdens that Newman shoulders, fights with and for, and from which he wins a cooperative solidarity. Here -- in a time of war -- are the men who live with agony in weird, wacky, and sometimes tragic ways; here too is the lifeline to sanity with a man who is on the side of the patients -- no matter why. Magazine appearances for some of these, but the sum total, in one book, has a heart and gut string pull.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1961
Publisher: Harper