Shep's Army: Bummers, Blisters and Boondoggled

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Overview

(Book). Disclaimer: No U.S. Military Personnel were harmed during the making of these fictional reminiscences. No warrior is more forgotten than he who has been left behind by the war department. Most men who have never tasted combat beyond the occasional fistfight on poker night quickly learn to lay low and zip the lip when battlefield stories are unfurled by the Purple Hearters at the dinner table. Except, of course, for our man Jean Shepherd. Fearless in his uncombativeness, he manfully fought his dearth of frontline duty with the weapons he
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Overview

(Book). Disclaimer: No U.S. Military Personnel were harmed during the making of these fictional reminiscences. No warrior is more forgotten than he who has been left behind by the war department. Most men who have never tasted combat beyond the occasional fistfight on poker night quickly learn to lay low and zip the lip when battlefield stories are unfurled by the Purple Hearters at the dinner table. Except, of course, for our man Jean Shepherd. Fearless in his uncombativeness, he manfully fought his dearth of frontline duty with the weapons he wielded unmatched by even the most decorated dogface: rapid-fire griping and explosive laughter. Jean Shepherd was, and remains, a pervasive part of American culture. His quirky individuality was portrayed for posterity by Jason Robards in the play and film, A Thousand Clowns , written by Shep's close pal, Herb Gardner. Jack Nicholson embodied a Shepherd-like late-night radio talker in The King of Marvin Gardens . While in Network , by Paddy Chayefsky (another of Shep's comic cohorts), the television newscaster beseeches his listeners to open their windows and yell, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore," an unmistakable echo of Shepherd's radio habit of "hurling an invective" like a hand grenade out into the nation's air waves. Shepherd was a spiritual father to Garrison Keillor, Daniel Pinkwater, Bill Harley, Paul Krassner and Joe Frank. Tens of thousands of rabid fans stayed up past their bedtime with transistor radios stashed under their pillows to follow Shep's always unpredictable, usually extemporaneous, verbal forays into current events, social mores, idle thoughts, stories about his childhood in northern Indiana ("I was this kid, see..."), his army days, and his idiosyncratic take on his world-wide travels. Shepherd once bamboozled an innocent public, and gullible publishing world, by promoting a non-existent book ( I, Libertine ) and author (Frederick R. Ewing), then co-writing it with sci-fi author Theodore Sturgeon. It sold in best-seller numbers. Shepherd wrote nearly two dozen stories for Playboy and even interviewed the Beatles for the magazine. He published several best-selling books of his stories and articles; he appeared at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and in hundreds of jam-packed college auditoriums. Shep's Army is the first volume of new Shepherd tales to be published in a quarter century. Shep's Army is the first volume of new Shepherd tales to be published in nearly a decade.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/09/2013
Editor Bergmann attempts with much success to simulate a posthumous memoir of author, comedian, and radio personality Jean Shepherd’s army years. Utilizing years of broadcasts and taking advantage of multiple retellings of the same events, Bergmann has assembled a surprisingly unified and confident account of oppressive years spent in the army’s Signal Corps from 1942 to 1944, with factual commentary between chapters providing context. Shepherd was never shipped to a warzone; thus the incidents recounted mostly concern the accommodations at a series of stateside camps, the cruelty of the fellow soldiers, and the sometimes Kafka-esque bureaucracy. His service was not without the defiance of death, and seems to have damaged both Shepherd and his compatriots; the pessimistic tone may surprise fans. The collection is otherwise a compliment to Shepherd’s usual storytelling and the exaggerated melodrama of his signature narration style, with a number of laugh-out-loud moments in a presentation that, against the odds, captures the energy of an oral telling. The book is reminiscent of Spike Milligan’s WWII memoirs; both include stories told in hindsight of the authors’ young goofball selves before their respective fame as radio comedians. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623160128
  • Publisher: Opus Books
  • Publication date: 8/9/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 602,571
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2014

    I was looking forward to a book of the caliber of "in G-d W

    I was looking forward to a book of the caliber of "in G-d We Trust." This book was published many years after Shepherd's death. It  lacked both the volume and depth of writing that I recalled from his earlier works.
    I give it two stars for the effort by his fans and radio show collectors to keep Jean Shepherd's memory as a story teller alive.

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