Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Long March

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."

No comments:

Post a Comment