A FEVER FOR LIVING by Robert A. Roripaugh


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Post-war Japan is the setting for this novel. The antagonist is the occupation army stationed at Camp Ogawa where boozing, wenching and brawling are the antidotes for army apathy and boredom. But emerging from the muck and mire is the delicate love of a young American soldier for a sensitive Japanese girl. Yoko's traditionally sheltered past and uncertain future give her many ambivalent feelings about a liaison with the American Paul Travis who comes to work in the camp Personnel Office where she is a typist. She has watched from a distance the army men, married or single, keeping their Japanese women, making crude jokes, selling or leaving them behind to others when they head for home. She refuses to become a ""business girl"" like a few of her sad friends. After much resistance she agrees to her first meeting with Paul. Their growing relationship is almost stifled by the sordidness around them and, particularly, by the vindictiveness of Keeler, the sadistic commanding officer who glories in torturing Travis with Yoko's one past mistake. The hate he sows among his men eventually bursts forth in several violent episodes and Paul himself is drawn into the conflict. Just when the lovers are most certain of the endurance of their love it is tragically ended. It's a solidly written novel with dialogue that appears recorded from first-hand experience. Especially memorable is the figurative bludgeoning the American camp inflicts on the easily bruised landscape of Japan.

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 1960
Publisher: Morrow