5.0 out of 5 stars jill's review that dryfuse made her do...
In my opinion, this was one of my favorite books to read. Maybe I liked it so much because I had already been an admirer of the television series before I ever even picked up a copy of the book, but not without giving credit to the brilliant writing and style of Mr. Hooker. It was a truly well-written story, which in my opinion was creative, truthful, and entertaining...
Published on Jan 22 2003 by Jill
2.0 out of 5 stars No 'Catch-22'
First book I've read where the movie was better than the original book. Don't get me wrong, there were some extremely funny scenes. However, Hooker just isn't that good of a writer. It shows, as the book gets better as it goes along.
Hooker employs that basics of black comedies about war: ironic repitition of monikers, and presentation of absurdities with a stark...
Published on Jan 24 2001
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different M.A.S.H.,
This review is from: M*A*S*H (Paperback)The novel is strikingly different in many ways from the film and the TV series which followed it. Some of the charcters are entirely different from the way they were portrayed in the move and Tv series. For instance, Colonel Blake and Father mulchahey are both much tougher characters than they are portrayed as being in the later vehicles. Major Houlihan doesn't play nearly such an important role in the book as she does in the film or series. Trapper and Hawkeye are like and yet not like their later versions. The book is very funny however and is well worth reading, and it is very interesting to compare it with the later and quite different versions. I don't know how Richard Hooker felt about the changes made to his characters in the later versions, but certainly this, the original book that started it all, should be read by any fan of the other versions.
4.0 out of 5 stars DIFFERENT FROM MOVIE AND TV,
By A Customer
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)As long ago as this book came out and with all the different iterations of MASH it was only recently that I picked up a copy of the book that started it all.
Knowing the movie was based on the book I found myself surprised by how much the movie differed from the book. However many of the differences were perhaps necessary as the book had too many characters to track in a movie and some of the story lines were altered. For example, the Major Burns of the movie and TV show was a composite of several characters in the book. The part where the dentist contemplated suicide had a slightly different and cleaner plot line in the book than in the movie. The book jumped around alot and for that reason I had trouble giving it five stars.
Interestingly enough, although he made money off the TV series, I understand Richard Hooker was not a fan of the show. His book was a spoof of the military and the strange ways the military did things during the Korean War (and since the Korean War for that matter). Mr. Hooker supported our effort in Korea and felt the war -- however terrible -- was justified. The series -- especially the last few years -- degenerated into a pacifist anti-war message.
If I were to rate the different iterations of MASH I would rate it in the following order: 1. The movie was great; 2. The first four or five years of the TV series before it decided to preach pacifism; 3. The original book; 4. The last several years of the show when personally I could not wait for it to end.
4.0 out of 5 stars M*A*S*H Review,
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)I thought that this book did a good job of mixing factual information about war situations like the Korean War with humor. The characters in the novel were both life-like and hilarious. I enjoyed it much more than the TV series.
4.0 out of 5 stars One book you won't wanna MASH to pieces,
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)In 1970, the movie M*A*S*H was released and became a legend. But before the movie was Richard Hooker's crazy take on "Catch-22", entitled "MASH". Funny, sad and outrageous, Hooker explores the Korean War through the eyes of Capt. "Hawkeye" Pierce, Capt. "Duke" Forrest, and Capt. "Trapper John" McIntyre. MASH almost snags a *****, but an un-necessary ending takes it down; overall, it comes out as one book you won't wanna MASH to pieces.
5.0 out of 5 stars jill's review that dryfuse made her do...,
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)In my opinion, this was one of my favorite books to read. Maybe I liked it so much because I had already been an admirer of the television series before I ever even picked up a copy of the book, but not without giving credit to the brilliant writing and style of Mr. Hooker. It was a truly well-written story, which in my opinion was creative, truthful, and entertaining. Although it was about war, it did not focus totally on the war aspect, yet it did not completely deny the war component. Both parts of the story were what made it so unique and interesting to read. The characters were a mix of ordinary people, like you or me, drafted into the middle of no where. Their comical situations and heroic attitudes turned them into war heroes and idols. A lack of experience prior to the war, made each character vulnerable to "sticky situations" and by the end of the book, they would be prepared for anything. Throughout the story, a bunch of young "boys", turned into men.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential Military Medicine Book!,
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)What can anyone say about this excellently written book? It transports one to Korea, as well as Japan, and often convinced me to go into medicine. Thank God sick people have been saved from that possible disaster: I am a singer, not a doctor. However, music was certainly played by Hawkeye and Trapper John's scapels, to say nothing of added seasoning with Duke and Spearchucker!
I strongly recommend reading this one-of-a-kind book, but then spread your wings and read other MASH books; the best, in my opinion after the original, is MASH Goes To Maine, where all four surgeons from Korea are reunited to play more hijinks.
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique experience unto it's own-well worth reading.,
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)Richard Hooker's primary aim in writing MASH was to vividly capture the essence of what being a MASH surgeon was really all about. The book provides a lot of information about how these guys came to be MASH doctors, how the ARMY supported them-and how the ARMY failed to support them, and what the experience was like from the doctors perspective as a surgeon as well as a man, not part of the "regular army" but [pushed] into it involuntarily.
Is this an antiwar book? Yes, in a way.
Is it a mad-cap comedy? Yes, in a way.
The fact is that hooker uses comedy as one of many tools to convey the extreme conditions-of climate, of workload, of inexperience, of loneliness, of sheer terror-that affected the MASH surgeons experience during the Korean War as well as their responses to those conditions. Thrust, usually against their will, into situations often beyond their ken, in an organizational structure they neither respect or truly understand, the behavior of many was, at best, aberrant as opposed to their true natures. This perforce leads to inherently comic situations. Add that to the normal Army SNAFU culture (Situation Normal-All Fouled UP), and the recipe for comedy is auspicious...
The book remains a very viable stand alone experience.
If you are a fan of either or both the movie and TV series, I seriously recommend reading the book, It elevates the whole MASH experience to a new and more holistically satisfying level.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Origin of a Pillar of Popular Culture,
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)As a novelist with my first book in its initial release, I am fascinated by Richard Hooker's version of MASH. It is well known that Hooker had a most difficult time finding a publisher for the original book. The manuscript went through numerous revisions, found a home in a publishing house, and became a key part of American folklore. This book provides the original version of Hawkeye, Trapper John, Hot Lips, Radar, and most of the rest of the gang. There is more of Maine in these characters here than there is of Hollywood or Manhattan. Hooker's version is less political than the movie and far less socially correct than the latter years of the television series. While I personally prefer those golden latter years of the TV series, I still find this novel extremely enjoyable. Without this book, the great film and historic series would have never existed. American popular culture would much poorer if that were so.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah'd purely love to see it angry.,
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)Richard Hooker's M*A*S*H is quite a diverse book. It is part dramatic documentary on Korean War combat surgery and the remarkable achievements of the surgeons in spite of their lack of field training, the indequate medical facilities with which they had to work, and the sub-human conditions under which they had to perform miracles.
It is also an extremely broad farce. The human sacrifice of Shakin' Sammy and the Jesus Christ personal appearance tour (actually a beer-swilling, half-naked, bearded Trapper John lashed to a crucifix) are a couple of examples of the exaggerated comic stylings.
This interspersing of drama and comedy makes this an interesting if somewhat unsual read and also makes it a perfect subject for dramatization. When it is in comedy zone, it is way out there. When it is in drama zone, it is quite serious. According to Hooker's forward, the surgeons in a MASH were exposed to many extremes. With his writing style, Hooker has exposed us to extremes as well.
It is one of my favorite books and I highly recommend it to fans of either the movie or the TV series. The film captures more of the book's bawdy, ribald spirit. The TV show captures more of the sentiment.
I also recommend "MASH: An Army Surgeon In Korea" by Otto F. Apel if you want the real story of what life in a MASH was. If you are a fan of the film/book/series and think you have an understanding of how rough it was back then, read this. It was a lot worse. An excellent read.
Add both of these books to your collection and then thank your lucky stars this isn't 1951 and you are draft eligible.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Antiwar Book!,
This review is from: Mash (Paperback)This black-comedy of a crazy medical unit during the Korean War is an exceptional antiwar book that was made into an extraordinary antiwar film. Sincerely, Diana J. Dell, author, "A Saigon Party: And Other Vietnam War Short Stories."
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Mash by Richard Hooker (Paperback - April 2 1997)
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