Mash: A Novel About Three Army Doctors
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Before the movie, this is the novel that gave life to Hawkeye Pierce, Trapper John, Hot Lips Houlihan, Frank Burns, Radar O'Reilly, and the rest of the gang that made the 4077th MASH like no other place in Korea or on earth.
The doctors who worked in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) during the Korean War were well trained but, like most soldiers sent to fight a war, too young for the job. In the words of the author, "a few flipped their lids, but most of them just raised hell, in a variety of ways and degrees."
For fans of the movie and the series alike, here is the original version of that perfectly corrupt football game, those martini-laced mornings and sexual escapades, and that unforgettable foray into assisted if incompleted suicide--all as funny and poignant now as they were before they became a part of America's culture and heart.
you guys oughta know,” he announced. “Know what?” “I’m going to commit suicide.” There was a moment of silence. Finally Trapper John leaned from his sack and grasped Walt’s hand. “We’ll miss you, Walt,” he said. “I hope you’ll be happy in your new location.” “Hey, Walt, how about you all leaving me your record player?” requested Duke. “When are you making the trip?” inquired Hawkeye. “You oughta give Henry a little warning so he can get a replacement.” Throughout the interrogation, The
maneuvers near Kokura, Japan, had, when a defective grenade exploded, been struck in the chest by a fragment. X-rays revealed blood in the right pleural cavity, which contains the lung, the possible presence of blood within the pericardium, which surrounds the heart, and a metallic foreign body which seemed, to the Kokura doctors in attendance, to be within the heart itself. Two factors complicated the case: (1) there was no chest surgeon in the area and (2) the soldier’s father was a member of
Swampmen that there was a good eighteen-hole course not far from the hospital but that, as the Kokura Open was starting the next day, the course was closed to the public. “So that means we’ve got a big decision to make,” Trapper said. “What’s that?” Hawkeye said. “The way I see it,” Trapper said, for the benefit of the sergeant, “we can operate on this kid and then qualify for this Kokura Open, or we can qualify first and then operate on this kid, if he’s still alive.” “Goddam army,” the
trying to make a four,” Trapper John informed the General. “Little Joe,” Duke begged the dice. “Duke can’t make fours,” Hawkeye assured the General. “He’ll crap out in a minute and we’ll be with you.” Duke sevened and stood up. “Nice to see y’all, General,” he said. “Y’all sure got it knocked—three nice lookin’ WAC’s workin’ for y’all, and comin’ to work in the middle of the mornin’.” “We got here early,” Trapper John explained, “because we spent the night in a whorehouse, and we had to get
shoved the needle into the pleural cavity. Pulling back on the plunger he got air, knew he was in the right place, noted the angle of the needle, withdrew it, took a scalpel, incised the skin for one-half inch and plunged the scalpel into the pleural cavity. Bubbles of air appeared at the incision. Then he grasped the tip of a Foley catheter with a Kelly clamp and shoved the tube through the hole. A nurse attached the other end to the drainage bottle on the floor, a corpsman blew up the balloon