I Finished (Reading) a(nother) Book
With The Old Breed (at Peleliu and Okinawa) by Eugene B. Sledge. Brilliantly unaffected, crushing, wrenching, proud, true-ringing first-person account of a USMC mortarman involved in the 1st Marine Division’s last two (and bloodiest two) campaigns of WWII. I’ve now read enough war writing that it doesn’t take much for me to get teary-eyed about it. I think if I’d been there, I probably *wouldn’t* have been one of the guys cutting dead Japanese’ gold teeth out for souvenirs, but it’s probably hard to say 100% for sure without being there.
And I think the fascinating thing about war is sitting there safe in your bedroom wondering how you yourself would handle the sorts of hell that only war can present. I think boot camp would’ve set me up to be all right, but I probably would’ve gotten cocky and shot after a couple weeks on the line.
I’m about 2,000 words into my Guadalcanal novel now. I realize how trite it is to write a Guadalcanal novel, but some of my best (IMHbcO, o’ course) work happens when I go after trite subject matters. Mal sehen how long that streak lasts. So far I’m holding steady with the PoV char’s squad leader being an ex-Amish guy who’s trying all-too-hard to not be Amish any more. In another month or two I’ll be able to go back and read it and see if it comes off as humor or just another failed attempt at putting the f-word in a story.
Then I went onto Amazon tonight and bought $125 in additional Guadalcanal-related books. I need to figure out where I can get my hands on a Springfield 03A3. Not sporterized. And hopefully under $1K. Amazon doesn’t sell 03’s. Haven’t found my KA-BAR yet either. Man I suck.