The powerful debut from one of the legends of twentieth-century fiction, loved by Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos.
'Crumley writes like an angel on speed' Time Out
Clark Air Force Base, the Philippines. 1962. Sergeant Jacob ‘Slag’ Krummel, wannabe scholar now warrior, is posted to the base to take command of the 721st Communication Security Detachment, perhaps the least committed band of drunken, rebellious and bored soldiers in the US Air Force. With the Vietnam War looming large in their minds, they cannot escape war, fear and the truth about America, overturning the lies they’ve been told about their homeland.
First published in 1969, this is the debut that launched the career of one of the greatest writers of his generation. Crumley’s timeless classic is a stunning exploration of the effects of war, told with his trademark razor-sharp dialogue, dark humour, relentless pace and remarkable set pieces.
“A dark, intense and deeply felt novel”
“A brawling romantic novel about the hell of war, the value of friendship, the difficulties of loving and how to be a man despite it all”
“A stunning narrative talent”
New York Times
“Top notch...an imaginative narrative sense, chaotic and even manic, but violently dramatic...excitingly new”
Los Angeles Times
“A gutting, eloquent first novel with an insistence you won't, you just can't evade”