Sunday, 30 December 2012

M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker (4/5)

The Back says: The doctors and nurses who worked in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) during the Korean War were well trained, dedicated, and pushed to the brink. And they were young - too young to be doing what they had to do. As Richard Hooker writes in the Foreword, 'A few flipped their lids, but most of them just raised hell, in a variety of ways and degrees.'

Meet the true-life heroes and lunatics who fought in the Korean War, and experience the martini-laced mornings, marathon high jinks, sexual escapades, and that perfectly corrupt football game that every fan of the movie will remember. It's also a story of hard work and skill in the face of enormous pressure and odds. Here is where it all began - the novel that made M*A*S*H a legend.

I say: When I was young – far too young to fully understand the humour – I loved the TV-series M*A*S*H. It may have something to do with my crush on Alan Alda or how much I loved Klinger and Radar. So imagine my shock to realise that the series was based on a book! The same day I found out I ordered it and as soon as I got it, I read it.

And it was hilarious.

I laughed out loud a lot, and chuckled at quite a few things as well. Hooker is great at the comedy and mingling it with the serious things that the doctors had to deal with during the war. There was a lot of medical talk, and since I’m not in that field I cannot say if it was genuine or not, but it blended in nicely and was adequately explained. It’s nearly impossible for me to grasp the concept of having to work for 18 hours straight trying to save soldier after soldier, and it was understandable why these doctors – and sometimes nurses – had such, often, crude humour; it was a form of relief from the seriousness of the war; the only way to escape.

And also, maybe, they were just really funny guys.

If you’ve seen the series, you’ll notice that most of the things that happen in the novel also take place in different episodes of season one of the series. If you haven’t seen the series, what the hell is wrong with you get a hold of it stat.

I made a medical pun.

Heh.

Most of the people from the series are in here except Klinger, which was sad because he was one of my favourite characters. Even if you don’t like the medical industry or novels about war, M*A*S*H gives you a great mix of the seriousness with the comedy. That is if you are amused by sharp wit and quite juvenile pranks. If I hadn’t seen the series I may have appreciated this more, but I have to concede that the series are a tad funnier.

Just a tad...

And they have Alan Alda!

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