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by Martyn Burke

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Originally published by Doubleday. Bien Hoa airbase, outside Saigon,
wasn't a very funny place, but Barney's job had one advantage: he always
played to a packed house. The soldiers flocked to his shows, and the war-zone
comedian coaxed his battle-weary audiences first into chuckles and then
into guffaws of healing laughter with material drawn from the lunacy around
them: the little old VC with the single-shot rifle taking potshots at the jets, the
international "peace-keeping" mission, the Vietnamese "car wash" racket, the numbing routine of army life,the officers...
...One officer in particular: Colonel Isaacs, the blood-and-guts commander
of the base, a driven man whose soldiers pay the price of his obsessions.
Barney often ridiculed his authority from in front of the footlights, and after
hours he wooed the colonel's woman, Donna, a beautiful singer with a secret.
So far, he had gone unpunished...

". . . the band began blasting out an off-key Colonel Bogey
March. The audience went wild. But at this point in the eve-
ning they usually went wild over almost anything…….
And so Colonel Bogey races across the flatness like a
tide seeking shore. It is louder than even the laughter and the
strange yelling that comes from the Club and is momentarily
lost in the unearthly whine of the F-lOOs as they return from
bombing whatever it is that has to be bombed. Colonel Bogey
washes over the lone sentries and rushes on into the darkness
that lies beyond the perimeter. The darkness stretches on and
on, beyond the wretches lying soaked and bloody in the swamp
near Cambodia listening to the metallic voices in the headset
that tell them why the F-lOOs cannot come back until dawn,
and listening to the noises in the nearby jungle that might be
metal grating on metal. The darkness goes on forever. But the
nineteen-year-old from Georgia can no longer hear the curling
chords of Jimi Hendrix s guitar as the Armed Forces Radio
brings him the Best in Rock. The nineteen-year-old from
Georgia can hear none of this. A long thin knife protrudes from
his chest at the place where his flak jacket should have been
buckled. Thin bubbles of blood drip from his mouth. In his
final act as a sentry, he has died with his eyes wide open."

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940011832505
Publisher: Author
Publication date: 10/02/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 298
File size: 388 KB

About the Author Shortly after finishing college, Martyn Burke paid his own way to Vietnam. From his experience there cam his first novel,LAUGHING WAR. Since then he has traveled above the Arctic Circle in Russia and on the tributaries of the Amazon. He has made undercover documentaries about the Mafia and KGB, gone inside Afghanistran with rebels attacking a Soviet garrision, snick into Uganda to get an interview with Idi Amin.

When not writing books or making documentaries, he writes and directs feature and television movies. He has won numberous awards for his films and documentaries. A native of Canada he divides his time between Toronto and Santa Monica.

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