by William Styron
Another dusty paperback from the back of my home shelves. I don't know where this one came from--my husband claims it's mine and I am certain he bought it used for undergrad English 101. The loopy scrawls of a long-gone coed annotate the yellowed pages of this little gem.
Marine recruits and veteran officers swelter through training camp "in the blaze of a Carolina summer." Captain Mannix despises everything about the Marine Corps, but his most passionate fury is directed towards Colonel Templeton. The Colonel, a polar opposite of the Captain, has a calm demeanor, a man "to whom the greatest embarrassment would be a show of emotion." Captain rants and rages against Colonel along the course of a 36-mile forced march over dusty roads and through insect-infested swamps, an uncomfortable test of rank vs. will.
Long-Gone Coed summed it up on the inner back cover: "He realized how feudal it was."