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22 June 2012 / getrus

M*A*S*H — Richard Hooker


MASH is hilarious, serious, and full of high-jinks.  Hooker manages to capture the essence of what it was like to live in the 4077th with Hawkeye, Trapper John, and Duke.  Having grown up watching the TV show which was based off of the book I was slightly apprehensive to read the book.  I was afraid it would ruin the show for me like most books ruin the movies which was made after it. But I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t.

The book starts with Colonel Blake trying to get two more surgeons for his unit.  Corporal O’Rilley (Radar) is playing poker in the Painless Polish Poker and Dental Clinic listening to the entire conversation.  Here enter Captains Augustus Bedford Forrest (Duke) and Benjamin Franklin Pierce (Hawkeye.)  They end up bunking with Major Hobson whom the two men manage to drive crazy in a short amount of time and is sent home to live out the rest of the war in peace.

Throughout the book Hawkeye, Duke, and later Trapper John are the best surgeons at the 4077th and manage to cause hilarity.  Hooker goes in to some detail about surgeries performed and care for some of the patients.  He also goes through a play by play of an entire football game.  My favorite part has to be when the three get sent to a psychiatric facility because Colonel Blake is away and the visiting Colonel honestly thinks they are insane.  They get away from the doctors and hide out in a whore house where there is reportedly an epileptic whore.

I loved reading this book and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.  It brought back many memories of when I watched the TV show and how much I missed it.  And every-time I was reading what Hawkeye was saying I heard Alan Alda in narrating in my head

**** (Four stars)

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