M*A*S*H MANIA by Richard Hooker

M*A*S*H MANIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Related vignettes concerning Hooker's famous surgeons, Hawkeye Pierce, Duke Forrest, Trapper John McIntyre, and Spearchucker Jones, who once gathered in a tent (The Swamp) at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) outside Seoul, Korea. Fame came to this raspy crew, you'll recall, when Robert Altman chose to film their weirdness from a script by Ring Lardner, Jr.--a movie ostensibly about Korea that was instead the first big Hollywood raspberry against the Vietnam war. These new short stories, set twenty years later in Spruce Harbor, Maine, have the local hospital for a background and mostly substitute a mild racial humor (Spearchucker's black) for the real edge Altman and Lardner gave to their grisly anti-war humors. Not that this won't satisfy the bland hungers of the TV sitcom audience now attached to Hawkeye and Company. Targets include psychiatry (and Dr. Rex Eatapuss), the local whorehouse (manned by Bette Bang Bang, Mattress Mary, Made Marion, Graveyard Alice, Infected Allegra, and Edie with the Great Big Pair), social service, and a set of highly overcolored characters as testy and full of bite as Clarence Buddington Kelland's Tugboat Annie in the old Saturday Evening Post. . . . It's like pulling rubber teeth.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Dodd, Mead