MASH by Richard Hooker

MASH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

MASH, the ""Mobile Army Surgical Hospital"" boasted the finest on-duty medical men and off-hour nuts of the Korean War, at least in this first novel which succeeds in maintaining that delicate balance between stethoscopic trauma and recuperative antics. The bearded, jaded cuts, both in and out of the operating room, are Captains Hawkeye Pierce, Duke Forrest and Trapper John McIntyre. They are irreverent, inventive and totally disarming whether getting blasted in their home quarters, fondly known as ""the Swamp,"" peddling personally autographed photographs of Jesus Christ (Trapper John bears an aesthetic resemblance), pretending a need for psychiatric care, demanding an epileptic whore, rigging a football game or sending in substitutes for ""short-arms"" inspection. But it isn't all games. . . Mr. Hooker knows his surgical procedures and his characters and there is a real sense of the overwork, frustration and pain present, particularly during the two weeks of the ""Great Deluge"" as the bodies poured in and the sound of the six o'clock chopper meant a hold full of the worst, probably hopeless, cases. MASH is for men. . . those who remember the battles that were fought after the battle was over.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1968
Publisher: Morrow