The Expendables

Leonard B. Scott, Author Ballantine Books $9 (439p) ISBN 978-0-345-37171-3
Military fiction buffs looking for immersion in authentic renderings of infantry combat will appreciate Scott's ( The Hill ) latest Vietnam war story. Shawn Flynn returns from fighting in Vietnamp. 62 to find his home life has gone sour. His career almost goes the same way until a pal with some rank gets him in on developing a new unit, the First Cavalry (Airmobile) Division. Shawn's best men turn out to be an unlikely quartet joined by strong bonds formed during basic and airborne training: Blake Alexander, whose only constant in life is in failing to meet his rich father's high standards; Vinny Martino, a South Philadelphian who grew up streetwise; Eugene Day, a black radical civil rights activist; and Lee Calhoon, a hardworking but poor rural Georgian. Together they face battles against North Vietnamese regulars. These characters are not drawn with finesse or depth, but they are established as individuals and this is adequate to Scott's purposes: the sense of horror instilled by his battle scenes depends not on the drama of these particular characters caught up in such carnage, but from our comprehending that real people were. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-345-38036-4
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-345-48487-1
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