RETREAT, HELL! by W.E.B. Griffin


Vol. X, the Corps
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Griffin’s 34th blockbuster, tenth in The Corps series (Under Fire, 2002, etc.), which ushered the Marines’ X Corps into Korea at that war’s start.

The present entry ends with the war still in its first year with about three years to go. So, at already a thousand pages, where will this project end? Could be anywhere, since Book VIII (In Danger’s Path) left off with the Marines in 1943 while Under Fire leaped ahead to 1950. The same characters are back here, led by Brigadier General Fleming Pickering and his son, Major Malcolm Pickering. At last episode’s end, daredevil Malcolm’s jet had gone down far behind enemy lines; the new entry picks up with him 58 days on the ground, still trying to get back to friendly territory. Meanwhile, Harry Truman is having big headaches with Douglas MacArthur and fiddles with the idea that he must relieve the Supreme Commander of command. But this quite likely means that MacArthur will retire, run for president as a Republican the following year, and blow Harry out of the catbird seat. With everything now set up, Griffin, who served in Korea, sticks more closely to the action and moves ahead with galvanized self-assurance.

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 2004
ISBN: 0-399-15081-1
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2003


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