From Publishers Weekly
Retired navy commander Huber's debut novel is a profane and hilarious parody of the post–Cold War navy. Huber's hero is Jack Hogan, a straight arrow trying to keep his sanity in a bureaucratic culture where connections and politics trump competence. Hogan's career appears bright during the waning days of the Cold War, but when the iron curtain crumbles, the sandbox generals and bathtub admirals are reduced to playing war, and Hogan's stock sinks while that of careerists like his friend Buzz Rucci rises. Huber is funniest when satirizing the bureaucratic infighting and petty rules ingrained in naval culture, but he also scores direct hits on feminism, politicians and the military's policy toward homosexuals. Populated by outrageous characters and fueled with pompous outrage, Huber's irreverent broadside will pummel the funny bone of anyone who's served. (Apr.)
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Jack Hogan and Buzz Rucci are a couple of buddies in the modern U.S. Navy. They signed up to risk their lives defending their country, but instead they’re risking their sanity playing at war in a series of military maneuvers and preparedness exercises. They are “bathtub admirals,” performing meaningless exercises in the name of global peace . . . or something like that. In the spirit of Phillip Jennings’ recent Nam-A-Rama (2005), or Joseph Heller’s classic Catch-22 (to which Huber makes a brief reference, acknowledging his novel’s pedigree), this is a witty, wacky, wildly outrageous novel that skewers just about anything you’d care to name, from military budgets to political machinations to America’s success as the self-appointed guardian of the world. Considering that Huber, a career navy man, has mostly written for military publications and Web sites (although he has turned out some short satirical pieces), and especially considering that this is his first novel, it is a remarkably accomplished book, striking just the right balance between ridicule and insight. --David Pitt
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