Remains: Stories of Vietnam

William Crapser, Author Sachem Press $18.95 (175p) ISBN 978-0-937584-13-2
Crapser joined the Marines in 1967, was assigned to a reconnaissance battalion and eventually became a pointman for patrols. Remains is his catharsis for what he witnessed in Vietnam, told with an intensity, a vividness, that gives voice to the terrible absurdity of war. In the prose-poem ``The Descent,'' which opens this remarkable debut collection, a drill instructor at boot camp yells at the young men in training, ``Become strong! There's fightin' an' dyin' waitin' for ya!'' And Paul Timons, the character that the pieces follow from his induction to after his release from the war when he becomes a self-described malcontent and pacifist, finds the DI's exclamations to be horrifyingly true. The reader will participate vicariously in Timons's ``Baptism of Fire'' and read his letters home, in which he writes to a friend, ``How do we win? . . . I haven't any idea except we're supposed to fight to the death. Death has the clearest meaning here.'' As a pointman, Timons relies on his disciplined fear to stay alive as the sounds of artillery and explosions shatter his sleep, concertina wires slice into unsuspecting soldiers and traps, and mines and the Viet Cong keep up a relentless aggression against the unwanted American soldiers. In ``Wild Child,'' Timons returns home and fights his nightmares, rage and disillusionment without any hope of winning, to find himself, ultimately, in a veterans' hospital under sedation. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 175 pages - 978-0-937584-14-9
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