Curse of the Coloring Book: A Novel Inspired by a True Story

Curse of the Coloring Book: A Novel Inspired by a True Story

by Howard L. Hibbard


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When Herald Lloyd, an attorney and family man, learns he’s been cursed with a catastrophic legal-malpractice lawsuit, his recurring Vietnam War nightmares flood his daytime consciousness, and he medicates his post-traumatic stress with alcohol.

He was reckless to quit college to join the Army. Mocking the war, he bought a GI Joe Coloring Book and half-gallon of whiskey, for a drunken send-off with his fraternity brothers. Vietnam hurls Herald into becoming a decorated combat platoon leader, commanding stressed oddballs and misfits like Dogman, who walks point and only barks to communicate. Now he must fight again, this time to save his client, law practice, and family.

Was the coloring book cursed?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985634469
Publisher: Ghost Dog Enterprises, Inc.
Publication date: 12/12/2016
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 415,401
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Born in Delaware, Howard L. Hibbard quit college in 1967 to volunteer for the Army during the escalation of the Vietnam War. He rose through the ranks, and was discharged at age twenty-two. By then he was a paratrooper, a first lieutenant combat platoon leader, and briefly a company commander. Among the medals he received were two Bronze Stars, one W/V Device for heroism in ground combat, one Oak Leaf Cluster, and an Army Commendation Medal. After the Army, he graduated from college and law school, and practiced as an attorney for thirty-four years.

Curse of the Coloring Book is based on his combat and legal experiences, along with his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was with the help of his spouse, and veteran services, that this first novel was completed.

Currently he's adapting this book into a screenplay, and working on the sequel novel, Revenge of The Coloring Book. Howard lives in the San Francisco area with his wife, and is a grandfather to his two daughters' children. Cooking is his daily meditation; his handle is Chef PTSD.

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Curse of the Coloring Book: A Novel Inspired by a True Story 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
KJD1991 More than 1 year ago
First off lemme start by saying this is much more then a story about the Vietnam War but a story of a young man who decided he wanted to serve his country and the emotional aftermath it caused him. The book gives great insight to the author's thoughts during his time at war and how they are shaped by his experiences.It also is interesting how the book jumps back and fourth from Hibbard as a lawyer to him as a young man and how his current lawsuit he is working on brings up a lot of the PTSD he has from the war. This is a great read and one that I could not put down, I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next in Hibbard's crazy ride through Vietnam. This book also touches on a much deeper issue with PTSD and veterans, something that needs to more deeply addressed in America.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Everyday life and war experiences fit together about as well as guns and poetry—a combination that author Howard L Hibbard makes feel almost natural in his Vietnam War novel, the Curse of the Coloring Book. The truth of real experience is neither picture-book enticement nor text-book knowledge but somewhere in between—somewhere the author has clearly been. Bringing Vietnam to life through haunting details, from sudden death to sodden airmail paper; adding a vivid depiction of the world of a small-town attorney; stirring in family and friends who would help if only they could, and others who wouldn’t; it’s a heady mix and a story that’s hard to put down. The man, who once risked life and limb by failing to examine a coloring book’s promise, now risks family and career after failing to examine a legal document. And the man who held lives in his hands now has flashbacks when he should be striding forward. The story’s told mostly through the eyes of Herald Lloyd, an attorney “cursed” with a catastrophic mistake and a huge dependence on alcohol. But perhaps he’s cursed by a much smaller error of judgement—a mystery the reader waits to see resolved. And perhaps the coloring book he blamed for his troubles is waiting to cause more pain. He’s a man who doesn’t know what he needs, just as he was once a youth who imagined war would provide a solution to his problems. War is viewed mostly through Herald’s eyes and sometimes through the gaze of others—a wise soldier needing to see his neighbor’s thoughts perhaps. Sometimes, hauntingly, it’s even viewed through Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Coney Island of the Mind poetry. Characters are achingly real. Location is fraught with danger. And true knowledge is far more than books and promotion. As the story progresses, it becomes hard to guess how it will end. Pages rush by between ever more urgent distractions, and perhaps those final scenes are anticlimactic… and perhaps that’s perfect in a novel of Vietnam’s conflict. There’s a sequel I believe, but this book stands alone and unique—a solid convincing voice, a haunting tale of past and present colliding, and a place where all the options finally point to a single-color, single-way forward, one step at a time. Disclosure: I was given a copy and I offer my honest review.
richardblake More than 1 year ago
Combat Veterans and the Frightening Long Term Impact of PTSD Howard L. Hibbard, a Viet Nam combat veteran has chosen to relive his experiences through the eyes of his fictional protagonist, Herald Lloyd, in “Curse of the Coloring Book – A Novel Inspired by a True Story.” Hibbard masterfully incorporates the elements of good story telling as he draws the reader into Herald’s life. Tired of living in the shadow of his father’s academic accomplishments as a student at MIT and his reputation as a highly successful status as a doctor; fun loving Herald struggling with his studies, quit school and enlisted as a combat infantry lieutenant headed for Viet Nam. On a whim Herald purchased a GI Joe Coloring Book and a half-gallon of whiskey to celebrate with his fraternity brothers. Through flashbacks and vignettes Hibbard relates his experiences of serving a year as a platoon leader in an infantry unit on the Cambodian border. He tells of life after the war, trying to adjust to a normal civilian life, his marriage, building a law practice and the ongoing battle with PTSD while defending himself in a malpractice suit, which was the result a clerical error. Hibbard writes with authenticity, sensitivity, and with eye opening reality as he describes the intense terror of serving on the front lines, He writes with a balance heartwarming insight and humor as he speaks reverently of the comradeship and loyalty brought on by the uncertainty of life, death, and the heart ache that accompanies survival. The action-packed account of combat and courtroom tension combine to make 'Curse of the Coloring Book' a must-read for the aficionados of both/courtroom drama and frontline warfare. “Curse of the Coloring Book” is an important book for combat veterans and will resonate with the veterans and their families. Hibbard’s account should be must reading for anyone suffering from PTSD. I have read several books of veterans coming home with battle fatigue and PTSD Hibbard’s account is among the best; one that will linger in the mind of the reader long after closing the final page of the book.