Culver and Mannix, two reservist marines, are recalled due to the Korean situation just five years after WW2 and five years of a civilian life in a fast changing post war world. Mannix is rebellious, unhappy at being recalled and damning of Colonel Templeton's order for a 36 mile march back to base. But out of spite for Templeton he determines to march his men the whole way because deep inside he is still a marine..... An early short novella from the great William Styron exploring the growing freedom and liberation and changes that came post war as society pulled away from years of conformity, wars and austerity. Maybe shy of Styron's greatest works,but anything Styron wrote is well worth reading.
No doubt that this story makes it clear why the military is for the young, especially the marines. The author shows how reservists may show their cynical side about the gun ho stuff after they were already in a war and then get called up for the Korean war. The author, having been a Marine himself, probably understood well the difficulty the called back veteran would have in getting back into the gun ho attitude of the naive young recruit. Good book, short read. It is not a condemnation of the military, rather a portrait of why it is hard to come back to the military after you have been away and matured.
In the blaze of a Carolina summer, among the poison ivy and loblolly pines, eight Marines have been killed by misfired mortar shells. Deciding that his battalion has been "doping off," Colonel Templeton calls for a 36-mile forced march to inculcate discipline. THE LONG MARCH is a searing account of this ferocious ordeal - and of the two officers who resist. In Lieutenant Culver and Captain Mannix, Styron has created unforgettable portraits of civilized men tested to their physical and spiritual limits.
I wish it was longer. A very interesting drama, well written. Offers no false glory, nor does it pretend to loan the reader a view of ""authentic" military life.This may have been written for the reader who did serve in the military and needs a reminder of how seemingly foolish/pointless the whole military scene was at times.
I'll say one thing for war: it has produced some fantastic books. The Long March is perhaps not among the very best I've read on the madness of military life. But it's a powerful, provocative story that stirred up the dying embers of rebellion in my contented middle-aged belly.