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One To Count Cadence (1994)

One to Count Cadence (1994)

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3.99 of 5 Votes: 4
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0330324500 (ISBN13: 9780330324502)

About book One To Count Cadence (1994)

This is an alright novel that became a chore to read about halfway through. It's about soldiers in the earliest days of the Vietnam conflict, but mostly takes place on a base in the Phillippines. It was James Crumley's first and came out in the early 70s (I think). I got my copy in a Goodwill in Georgia. It didn't have a cover or anything. The basic story reads like a blueprint for many recent war movies, especially Tigerland (an early-ish role for Hollywood bad-boy Colin Ferrell). There's a grizzled Seargent returning to the shit after leaving the Army and getting divorced (which he blames on the Civil Rights movement--it took his wife's attention away from him); there's a too-wild-to-live-in-this-man's-army private losing his mind amid a sea of booze, Fillipino whores and generalized angst; there's a tight-ass Lt. who doesn't "get it." You get the picture. It's told from the narrator's hospital bed, and weaves between the past and present. There are two problems here for me: 1)ok drinking is "awesome" but does there have to be a drink at the end of every scene? 2) for a war book, there's surprisingly little war. The characters mainly get hammered, dodge their boring work and carouse. Toward the end of the book there's a brief scene of the war, but the whole outfit is killed or wounded and sent out of action after about 20 pages. Blargh. Where's Bruckheimer when you need him?

Do You like book One To Count Cadence (1994)?

After LOVING The Last Good Kiss I thought I would follow up with Crumley's first and only war novel.Firstly, it's really good, and definitely worth reading. What's interesting is how the central character shares the same gritty cynical, hard-as-nails outlook as CW Sughrue (and Crumley too, I imagine). It's all about being a man, and grappling with the conflicts that come from having both a violent nature and a strong compassion. On rejecting thought in favour of action. On refusing to fight on principle, or killing despite them.It's brilliantly written, but I didn't enjoy it as much as The Last Good Kiss. I think that's because it lacks the plot structure that all good mysteries must adhere to, which keep you glued to the page. I wish I could have met Crumley, I bet he was an awesome bastard, but I get the feeling that the more I read his books, the more I'll know the man, warts and all.
°™Jason Horton

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