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Mash: A Novel About Three Army Doctors Paperback – March 19, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 19, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688149553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688149550
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Heller's narration captures the book's irreverence with a conversational, brisk pace---almost as if he were recounting stories with former brothers-in-arms." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Audio Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Richard Hooker (1924-1997) was an author and surgeon. His most famous work, MASH, was based on his experiences in the 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War.

Johnny Heller has narrated some five hundred books and garnered a bunch of swell awards and accolades, including Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, Audie Awards and nominations, AudioFile Earphones Awards, and selection as one of AudioFile magazine's Top 50 Narrators of the 20th Century. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

If you're a fan of the film or the TV show, MASH, you'll enjoy reading the original novel.
The JuRK
You will never regret the time spent reading this novel, nor will youever forget what it is about.
JenniDeere
Boyfriend had read book years ago and wanted to give to a friend but decided to ready again too!
sTACEY Fergerson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Charles Phelps on June 30, 2001
Format: 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.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By JenniDeere on March 5, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the characters within the covers, Richard Hooker's "MASH", is not so much a work of art, but a piece of work and as dear Hawkeye is so fond of saying,"the finest kind". This book proves the theory that "the book is better than the movie", despite the fact that both the film and tv show were, perhaps, the best in their respective mediums. Put away your images from both and let Mr.Hooker take you to Korea. His prose is not the mystical, lyrical verse of some writers, but it is indeed a story, told masterfully. The characters are full of life, with enough kick to jump start your car, yet their wit is dry as the Sahara, just like the martinis served by the main characters, and prefered by the author himself. An easy read, if not an enjoyable one, that will make you laugh out loud and then, with a simple sentence, fill your mind's eye with the violence and destruction of war on the often forgotten participants. You will never regret the time spent reading this novel, nor will youever forget what it is about.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brent Wigen on July 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
Richard Hooker's story about three army doctors who deal with the stresses of meatball surgery in Korea is a great book. Never mind that it served as the basis for a movie and one of the most popular TV shows ever; if you think you know the story, you probably don't.

The movie and the TV show loom so large in popular culture that it is almost impossible to write a review without some mention of the video version's of Hooker's work. What we find of the familiar names is that the doctors in the book are neither the anarchists of the movie nor the peaceniks of the series, but simply a few Type A personalities who don't have a lot of respect for authority and are stuck in a tough job without much to occupy their spare time. This is really a study in the difficulty of life performing meatball surgery mere miles from the front line, and the methods men use to cope with the stress of dealing with life and death situations on an hourly basis.

I think the most compelling part of this book is the daily wait for the six o'clock helicopter. I won't disclose the plot details, but this little portion of the story breaks the life of the MASH down into its most basic elements.

I have to say I enjoyed this book immensely. As is almost always the case with the book form of a story, the characters are so much fuller than they can be on screen. Hooker has a dry, witty sense of humor that is on display throughout the story, but he never fully allows the reader to forget the stress and the pall of death and destruction that hangs over the camp. Hooker establishes a fine line between humor and horror, and writes about three doctors who couldn't survive the latter without the former.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Britt Schramm on September 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Having seen the movie by Altman and the TV show by Alda, et al, I thought that MASH the book would just be a refresher course. I was not only incorrect but also surprised at the difference between the mediums. The book contains some pretty funny scenes that weren't included in the movie, of course (Where can you find a hooker with epilepsy?). And the telling of the football game was still hilarious. Overall, the material is still fresh after all of these years and incarnations.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By The JuRK on November 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you're a fan of the film or the TV show, MASH, you'll enjoy reading the original novel.

I thought the movie was brilliant (I actually think it's better than the book) and I liked the TV show at first, until cast members started bailing out and were replaced by whining, "enlightened" characters who enabled Alan Alda to whine about the US Army and "War is Hell." It would be akin to the Delta House from ANIMAL HOUSE organizing a peace rally or marching for civil rights. You get the idea.

You'll see just how far off track the final seasons of the show went by watching the film and reading the original novel. MASH isn't as well written or satirical as CATCH-22 (good book, disastrous film), but it stays funny and interesting and doesn't overstay its welcome.

Actually, the more buffoonish (Henry Blake) and clownish (Frank Burns, "Hot Lips" Houlihan) characters come off as more real in the novel. I know the film and definitely the show tried to avoid references to the Korean War (because they wanted the war to represent any war, like Vietnam at the time of the film), but I appreciated the short references to the Korean battles and such in the novel.

If you're a fan, check it out.
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