Remf Diary

David Willson, Author Black Heron Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-930773-05-2
This plotless, characterless debut, which reads as memoir loosely disguised as fiction, is related by a nameless soldier, a 24-year-old self-described loser (``a piece of jetsam on the sea of life'') with a menial desk job in Vietnam. The often self-deprecating narrator is also funny, intelligent and cynical: ``Read an odd article today on a feud in Ky's cabinet. Some nonsense about . . . favoritism by Ky toward Cabinet members from the North because he's from the North. Why is Ky running South Vietnam if he's from the North? The word `corrupt' is used. I'll bet that explains it.'' Unfortunately, the diligent diarist barely enlivens perfunctory entries about typing letters and doing the laundry with such confidences as ``Tomorrow is St. Pat's Day and I won't have to dig deep into the wardrobe to find something green to wear.'' Resident critic-in-country, he reviews books, movies and Army cuisine: ``The usual drink with dinner here is a non-sweetened limeade made from real limes. It would cure scurvy posthumously.'' At times charming and clever, the obscenity-rich journal ultimately suffers from an unrelenting sameness that is the hallmark of Army life. Its weary dailiness might have been relieved had the novel of the subtitle been more in evidence. As the narrator indicates, ``I glanced back over my diary entries and could not believe the redundancy but that is the way it is.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Paperback - 313 pages - 978-0-930773-06-9
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