RARA-AVIS: About that Soldier

From: Bill Bowers ( BBowers@one.net)
Date: 19 Jan 2002

>Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 05:58:48 -0800
>"Michael Robison" < zspider@gte.net> writes:
>Subject: RARA-AVIS: something about a soldier
>just finished willeford's _something about a soldier_. a tour de force of
>commercial sex in pre-WWII phillipines. some interesting stories but i
>can't really recommend it. the book ends very early in his life... i'd say
>he's not even 20 yet, so there's no discussion of his literary career.

That's a strange leap of logic for not recommending a book. Of course there is no discussion of his literary career: this, and "Street" are the
_basis_ for his later career, and much more apropos, in some ways, than the recent Dennis McMillan collection of Willeford's non-fiction.

Then again, both Something About A Soldier _and_ Crumley's One to Count Cadence have a special resonance for me; by the time I did my sabbatical at Clark AB, RPI (May 67 - Sept 68) things were a bit more "civilized" (the only day we were "locked down" to base, that of Marcos' second
"re-election", everyone in the Filipino press was very Thrilled there had only been something like 47 election-related deaths) -- but when, decades later I first read the Willeford and the Crumley (along with Joe Haldeman's pre-Forever War Year), the sense of flashback was tangible.

The fact that all three books are a *lot* less _fiction_, or hyperbole, than you'd guess, makes them h-b, if not necessarily noir.

Bill Bowers  |  <BBowers@One.net> | mailto:BBowers@One.net

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