Email this review


This takes a leetle while to get off the ground but when it does the mishaps, misadventures and cumulative misfortunes of Georgia cracker Will Stockdale, his beloved buddy, military minded Ben Whitledge, and the ill-fated Sergeant King have a kind of goony glory. There's a mite of trouble when Pa doesn't take kindly to the draft board coming to get Will and works out an impregnable defense; Will's 27 mile walk to town lands him in jail; and then -- ""here we air"". In the Air Force, although Ben was hoping for the Infantry, Will's determination to get along with everybody results in strange things happening in KP, latrine duty, classification tests; lands him and Ben in Houston with cockeyed pilots and a crash; sends them AWOL to find themselves decorated for heroes' deaths. A General gets out of that when they prove too lively corpses (they get the medals) and the Infantry, on maneuvers, gets them- with King, permanently resigned to being behind a large 8-ball. As ""Blue"" scouts, they lose the patrol, catch King, and wind up with Pa, who becomes belligerent about the ""Reds"" filling up the woods around him. This lands the trio in the hospital, with Will working hard for a little bit of cooperation and straightening things out so that Ben is medal-ed again and the big brass humping itself to get out of THAT mess. A bubble of trouble takes over the military in a last hell straw rassle and it's right curious how the vernacular can turn into the spectacular. He-man's horseplay that will get a boost as one of the Book of the Month Club's double selections for October.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1954
ISBN: 0822208296
Publisher: Random House