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Elizabeth D. SametExcept for the novella "The Long March" and the play "In the Clap Shack," Styron's work usually treats military culture obliquely. The Suicide Run tackles that culture head-on while, for the most part, avoiding the trap of reductiveness into which too much late-20th-century American war literature tends to fall. Styron chronicles what happens to those damaged by battles they did not fight—those who must dwell always in anticipation of the horrors to come.
—The New York Times