The Hunting Trip: A Novel of Love and War

The Hunting Trip: A Novel of Love and War

by William E. Butterworth III


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From the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the W. E. B. Griffin novels comes a rollicking story of love, war, and adventure.
As the author of the electrifying W. E. B. Griffin novels of the military, police, and spies and counterspies, William E. Butterworth III has been delighting readers for decades—but he has a special treat for them now.
            At the tender age of sixteen, Philip W. Williams III is expelled from boarding school for committing a prank, and on the train home wonders where his life will take him now. It never enters his mind that he will become a special agent of the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps in postwar Germany, play a key role in the defection of a Soviet officer and then work for the CIA, marry a ferocious Austrian ballet dancer, become a renowned bestselling novelist, and meet the love of his life on a hunting trip. Yet all of this, and much more, awaits him, in a raucous series of adventures that will have readers laughing, cheering, and propulsively turning the pages to discover what happens next.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


“Writing as W. E. B. Griffin, Bill Butterworth has given us an unrivaled array of novels about men at war, both on famed battlefields and in the shadows. This time out, his target was pure—no, make that blushingly impure—enjoyment. The result? A ripping, rollicking, very tall tale of Cold War derring-do that’s more fun than a long weekend in Vegas with your worst enemy’s credit card.” —Ralph Peters, author of Cain at Gettysburg and Lines of Fire
“A fascinating, informative, and very funny novel by that American writing phenomenon known as William E. Butterworth III. This one will keep you wondering, is it fact or fiction?” —Fannie Flagg, bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
“The only thing funnier than a Yankee in the Deep South is a Yankee bestselling author writing about it. The Hunting Trip is hilarious.” —Winston Groom, bestselling author of Forrest Gump and Better Times Than These
“Quite entertaining. It might come as a surprise to many W. E. B. Griffin fans that Butterworth's literary output is actually quite varied: under different names, he’s written mysteries, YA fiction, romance, and nonfiction. This thinly veiled roman à clef extends his range still further and will attract fans of military-based fiction.” —Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

Butterworth drops his W.E.B. Griffin nom de plume and shifts from spy/soldier/police derring-do to produce a romantic adventure novel fueled by sly, sometimes arch, humor. Two narrative threads follow Philip Wallingford Williams III, a rich boy expelled from more than one of the right prep schools. In the first, World War II has just ended, and young Phil decides to forge a birth certificate and join the military. He takes "to the Army like a duckling to water," and Butterworth's tale becomes a Forrest Gump-like story of right place, right time. Names are dropped—Schwarzkopf, Colby—as Phil joins a military intelligence detachment in occupied Berlin. Soon he's working for the German-American Gospel Tract Foundation, a CIA cover that unearths Russian spies like beautiful Legs Benidik. Berlin characters include ring-knockers, ticket punchers, hard-drinkers, and refugees from mental institutions and Fort Leavenworth prison. A lusty weekend results in Phil's shotgun wedding to Brunhilde Williams, a Viennese ballerina who later earns the sobriquet "AA," the Angry Austrian. Marriage to a foreigner costs Phil his security clearance, so out of the Army he goes, to settle in Muddiebay, Mississippi, and begin a career as a novelist. Surreptitious notes he made of military officers' sexual peccadilloes become the foundations for bestsellers. The second thread, circa 1975, follows successful novelist Phil among Muddiebay's oversexed dilettantes, trust fund babies, and nouveau riche pretenders as they organize a pheasant-hunting trip to Scotland, a beard for adulterous liaisons and aristocratic hobnobbing. Throughout there's bed-hopping; arch, referential, smug, sometimes supercilious humor; some bits of outright funny stuff; "Expletive Deleted!!" employed by the dozens; a quirky homage to the late Tom Clancy; and some lamentable anachronisms—but Phil finds true love. Butterworth's good-natured buffoonery and hyperbole work far better than Butterworth-as-Griffin adding repartee to Hazardous Duty (2014).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399183706
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/29/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 220,548
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

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Excerpted from "The Hunting Trip"
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Copyright © 2016 William E. Butterworth.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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