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Anybody who enjoys Charles Willeford's fiction owes it to themselves to read this memoir. Not only are the stories remarkable (their impact is oddly heightened by deadpan delivery) but also you will see the author's formative influences.One could also regard this as a companion to "From Here to Eternity".
I could not put this down. I've been reading as many of Willeford's books as I can get my hands on (all of the Hoke Mosley fictions,) but after that, it thins out, in terms of availability. This is where I need the Library of Congress back in my life again. I enjoyed this book so much I couldn't put it down. "Something About a Soldier," (not to be confused with Mark Harris's novel of the same name Something about a Soldier , which I also admired.) There was much in this raunchy military memoir t...
#20 from willeford for me.something about a soldier, charles willeford, 1986, paperback, 274 story-pages longdedicated: for john stephen hookerthis on a white page:the author's work, no matter how intelligent, elaborate (proust) or rich and vigorous in imagination, always turns out to constitute a justification for some particular set of values, a making out a case against something or other in favor of something else, a melodrama in which, even if the hero is actually defeated, he is morally tr...
A treat for Willeford fans, this features his usual sharp observations and wry humour, delivered in nicely cadenced prose. The book covers his own military experiences as a recruit in Philippines and California during the 1930s. Some of the anecdotes - not to speak of the general mindset - were used used in his later crime novels, so it's interesting to discover their origins.Underlying the story, there is a certain anger at the personal cost of army approaches (e.g., a friend spends 2 years of
A great memoir, one of the best. Every page, not exaggerating, has at least one anecdote that is humorous, bizarre, charming, disturbing, unexpected, morally questionable, or a combination of those. Willeford seemed to be an old hand at taking things as they come and making the best of them. This is generally a positive, good-natured book, but anyone made uncomfortable by sex talk should stay away. It's not Penthouse Forum level, but it's sometimes close.
Willeford follows "I Was Looking For A Street" with his autobiography of his early Army service in thr Philippines, and later as an Army farrier in Monterey. Seems if he wasn't working, he was drinking and spending money on the ladies, trying to get as much value for his Depression-era Army pay.
I read this book about ten years ago. It was an excellent rendition about the pre WW II Army stationed in the Philippines.
One of my favorite writers V.S.Naipaul had this to say about Ernest Hemingway - "Hemingway didn't know where he was, ever, really. He was so busy being an American and that was his subject matter. You wouldn't have any idea, from Hemingway or Fitzgerald and their stories or writings about Paris, that Paris was in the most terrible way between the wars. They just talked about the cafes, the drinks and oysters and things like that. They don't see the larger thing outside."Something About a Soldier...
A great autobiography by decorated (pretty sure that included a purple heart) soldier, Charles Willeford. In this book he writes non-wartime stories about his drinking and picking up prostitutes. A great read.
The real scoop. What soldiers really do. Interesting stuff on soldiers' life in foreign country in peacetime.
Damn fine autobiography from Charles Willeford. Willeford is about as honest as a human being can be in detailing his earliest years in the Army Air Force in the Philippines.