RARA-AVIS: Crumley

From: Bill Bowers ( Bill@Outworlds.net)
Date: 20 Apr 2001

>Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 01:03:28 EDT
>From: Mbdlevin@aol.com
>Subject: RARA-AVIS: Crumley

>Crumley also wrote a Vietnam Vietnam novel, which I haven't read: "One Count
>to Cadence." I think it is his first novel, hard to find (?), well-respected
>in the literature of Vietnam (maybe?--that's another list and something I
>know little about). Doug

"'James Crumley is the James Jones of Vietnam.' --Chicago Sun-Times"

"The time: late Summer, 1962. The place: Clark Air Force Base, the Philippines. Sergeant Jacob 'Slag' Krummel, a scholar by intent but a warrior by breeding, assumes command of the 721st Communication Security Detachment, an unsoldierly crew of bored, rebellious, whoring, foul-mouthed, drunken enlistees. Surviving military absurdities reminiscent of those in CATCH 22 only to be shipped clandestinely to Vietnam, Krummel's band confront their worst fears while finally losing faith in America and its myths."

...of course my reaction is (mildly) influenced by the fact that a bit later on in the 60s ('67-'68) I spent 17 months of my 3 years 9 months 4 days -- but who's counting *what*! -- in the Air Farce, stationed at Clark, living in a world more alien than any this lifelong sf fan has ever read about... but I'd definitely recommend ONE TO COUNT CADENCE to anyone who did time in Southeast Asia in the late 50s thru the mid 70s.

The book's mini bio says Crumley "served three years as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army", but is no more specific than that. Copyright 1969, it is by no means a 'mystery', but definitely has the 'hard-boiled' tone and absurd ambience of his later work.

I really have no idea how well it would 'read' to a non-vet. I'd be curious to hear....

[The copy I have is a Vintage Contemporaries tpb from the mid 80s, in the same design as a couple of his other books I have. I don't recall it being that hard to track down. Once I heard about it....]

And let me add my voice to the chorus in Praise of THE LAST GOOD KISS!

Bill Bowers  |  <Bill@Outworlds.net>

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