A combination of war novel and love story, this work follows Henry, a young man in 1950 West Virginia, as he falls for a wealthy young woman and runs away with her to New Orleans. When their affair is violently interrupted by her family, Henry enlists in the marines. The Korean War is raging, and Henry experiences an epic battle, gruesome wounds, and unforgettable horrors. Although the book is framed by a love affair, the heart of it--and where the narrative is most gripping--is Henry's experience in combat. Olmstead ("Coal Black Horse") has a spare, direct style that is most effective in the brilliant, engrossing combat descriptions and ironic marine banter. In the West Virginia scenes, the clipped conversations of the characters are more noticeably stylized.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 5:00pm
160 Courthouse Sq