Our War and How Won It

E. J. Cullen, Author Viking Books $17.95 (238p) ISBN 978-0-670-81562-3
The title piece in this collection of sharply written short stories is a surrealistic essay on the conflation of media and political hype with ""limited'' wars. What makes it work, however, is not the satire, but the individuality of the narrative diction. Each of the 28 stories is, in effect, soliloquy. Outstanding are those of a burglar who doesn't trust the other crooks (he notices that they're all political conservatives``It's a macho thing''); a businessman plagued by the let-it-all-hang-out fad of the 1970s; and a black person musing on the mental lives of the spouses of famous men. Cullen has an exceptional flair for mimicking American ethnic dialogue and mind-sets, evoking with equal virtuosity the voices of upper-middle-class, middle- to lower-class and black Americans. His book holds up a mirror of astonishing clarity. (April 28)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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