Friday, October 25, 2002

Under Fire

Griffin is my guilty secret. This is the latest installment of The Corps, a sprawling history of a cadre of US Marines that begins shortly before Pearl Harbor and that now reaches Korea. These books are marketed as "men's fiction" and claim to have lots of combat action; in fact, they have almost none, and most of what combat there is happens offstage. (O'Brian does this too, to equally fine effect) This is the story of men who fight (for the most part) sitting down -- from a desk, from a cockpit, from a training depot or a service facility. Most of their enemies wear the same uniform. (In Books...)