When the Poor Boys Dance

G. F. Borden, Author
G. F. Borden, Author Lyford Books $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89141-545-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-446-60407-9
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The horrifying ordeal of a nameless young Marine accidentally abandoned during a training exercise in the Mojave Desert forms the basis of this intense third novel (after Seven Six One) from Borden. As the Marine treks for days and miles in the brutal, arid heat, he sustains himself through imaginary conversations with his drill instructor, Sergeant Kline, and other superior officers. Increasingly, these talks fade into hallucinations in which the Marine relives the final moments of fellow leathernecks in great battles of the past-Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Korea, Vietnam-and of today and tomorrow. Fraught with relentless depictions of the fiery desert, the horrors of war and the courage of fighting men, Borden's narrative, though sometimes transparently manipulative, is more often genuinely stirring. The title comes from an aphorism voiced by Sergeant Kline's: ``War is when the poor boys dance.'' (May)
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