WHY ARE WE IN VIETNAM? by Norman Maller


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Hey, now, what we got here but lit champ hisself, Norman M., up to his ears in ""true-blue Wasp-ass Texas,"" just ""as big as a bat's gnat's nut"" (that's language, son); a wild, wonderful rire jaune (Turkish for kick-in-de-funnybone) epic 'bout de way we live dese days, indebted (oh so much) to Burroughs, Faulkner's The Bear (parody, of course), Aunt Edna Ferber, the Beverly Hillbillies, and Mr. Leslie Fiedler's thoughts on the unholy marriage of American males, or as Norman the professor translates: ""Herman Melville go h---Moby and wash his D---."" Yes, Alice, our favorite writer sure has moved on from the euphemistic scene of The Naked and the Dead, when Talullah at a party says: ""Norman? Norman Mailer? Oh yes, darling, you're the boy who can't spell f---."" Dig? Okey-doke. So now we have these teen-age studs (more or less), D.J. and Tex, and shucks they seem zonked outta their existential patrimony, what with heap aggravatin' relations re those All-American finks, Mom and Pop, not to mention Mr. M's ornery prose, cute as a button, but dull? Daughter, you can go to sleep on that. Anyways, Dallas being what it is, (include Alaska, too: settings shift just like on TV), and manhood forever hung up in doubt, well, these boys got a gun thing see, and sure as shootin' an allegory winds and grinds as awful porno-politics (state of the union, ma'am) lead to Kennedy dead, Vietnam, and whither sex? Lord, your reviewer give M. his laurels, and head to the nearest bar.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1967
Publisher: Putnam