A Forgotten Man

Carl Bancoff, Author Seth Press $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-940461-03-1
A Jewish doctor's tour in the Air Force is the focus of this choppy, poorly written first novel set first in a Philadelphia medical school, then in Vietnam and finally in the States long after the war's end. Herb Klein is the president of a med-school fraternity whose members are as preoccupied with hijinx as medicine. During these Animal House days, Herb becomes the special concern of a black maid who wants to restore his faith and a coal miner's daughter who becomes his wife. No presage of his destination is provided, yet the new doctor appears next in Southeast Asiain a Vietnam whose soldiers are as rowdy as his frat brothers. Gradually and haphazardly, Herb is involved in a rescue at sea and American attempts to win the favor of Vietnamese and Montagnard villagers through the establishment of clinics. As the Tet offensive looms, Herb becomes both altruistic to the Vietnamese and wise to the ins and outs of the ugly war. Bancoff's apparent intention of adding a Jewish perspective to the growing literature about the Vietnam War is a wash in this novel, with his still unpolished style instilling little insight into the characters of his med-school students, their friends or fighting men. (October)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1986
Release date: 12/01/1986
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