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Welcome Home, Captain Harding Paperback – September 1, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Lethe Press (September 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590214749
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590214749
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elliott Mackle served four years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era. As a very green second lieutenant he commanded a squadron of cooks and bakers, later achieving the rank of captain. He was stationed in California, Italy and Libya, the latter the setting for his new novel, CAPTAIN HARDING'S SIX-DAY WAR (Lethe Press). His previous novel, HOT OFF THE PRESSES (Lethe Press), is based in part on his adventures covering the 1996 Olympic Games for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Then an AJC staff writer, he served as the newspaper's dining critic for a decade, also reporting on military affairs, travel and the national restaurant scene. His first novel, IT TAKES TWO, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. He has written for Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, the Los Angeles Times, Florida Historical Quarterly, Atlanta and Charleston magazines and was a longtime columnist at Creative Loafing, the southeast's leading alternative newsweekly. Mackle wrote and produced segments for Nathalie Dupree's popular television series, New Southern Cooking, and authored a drama about gay bashing for Georgia Public Television. Along the way, he managed a horse farm, served as a child nutrition advocate for the State of Georgia, volunteered at an AIDS shelter, was founding co-chair of Emory University's GLBT alumni association and taught critical and editorial writing at Georgia State University. He lives in Atlanta with his partner of 40 years.

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sirius VINE VOICE on September 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars rounded to 5.

I am not sure whether the third book is the last one in the series, but it certainly brings the trilogy to (mostly) satisfying conclusion.

As you can see from the blurb a lot is happening in the third book as well and Joe Harding is as always thrown in the middle of things. I really appreciate that the writer always makes feel that I was thrown back in time when I am reading these books and this is one of the main reasons I read historical books for - to travel back in time the story portrays. It is strange to call the book which portrays late sixties - early seventies in the twentieth century a historical, but that's what it is now, right?

We get to see and feel the atmosphere in San Francisco - much more liberated than in many other cities at that time from what I have read and while I understand and support anti - Vietnam War sentiments, I have never been in the army and it was nice to see some skepticism from the soldier who just came back. Not that Joe is shown as a stringent supporter of the war, definitely not. But this is only a small part of what Joe finds himself being involved in. As blurb tells you he once again has to investigate some incompetence and some criminal things going on in SAC because his commander wanted him to do that. And the story really does not pull any punches with this storyline. The result of Joe's investigation was surprising to me in the most unpleasant (but fitting) way, however I should have expected it based on some things which had happened at the end of the previous books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lind on October 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
In this third (of three) novels featuring Captain Joe Harding, a gay Air Force administration officer during the Vietnam era, Joe has finished his tour of duty overseas and is working stateside, assisting one of his mentors assigned as the base commander. Unknown to others there, they also have been given the duty to observe, document and report on any potentially serious misbehavior among the pilots and other officers, a situation that can be dangerous to them if discovered. Adding to the complexity of the situation is that Joe is now able to get together more frequently with his lover, Cotton, the nineteen year old son of an important state department official whom Joe first met when he visited overseas with his mother. Then there is Sam, now a TWA pilot, whom Joe had played with overseas, before he met Cotton.

Joe is given an assignment, to coordinate an important air show at the Northern California base, a seemingly-uncomplicated task that becomes anything but, when a hotshot pilot's carelessness threatens to make it a deadly disaster. The challenge involves many of Joe's contacts, both there and overseas, and a bit of trickery, all in the name of safety. It's an assignment he'll remember for the rest of his life.

As mentioned, this is the end of a trilogy with this character, although you really do not need to have read any of the earlier novels to thoroughly enjoy this one. As in all of his previous books, Mackle shows his talent for providing realistic, fully-nuanced characters, which drive the story throughout. This action/adventure novel is something you will not want to put down. Five stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Welcome Home, Captain Harding”, by Elliott Mackle is, as are all the books in the Captain Harding trilogy, well written and easy to read, almost conversational and leisurely in pace. But the overdone rehash of the oh-so-boring history of the Viet Nam war is truly stale, filled with tired clichés and old saws that we all grew weary of in the early 1970s, here reduced to merely a superficial headline review of that strange and wearisome era.

The 3rd installment of the love affair between Harding and his 19 year-old lover, Cotton, son of a highly-placed female US diplomat, remains interesting, even if it is but a fantasy, dating from the early closeted, fearful era before the true start of lawful gay rights. The sex scenes are tepid and pretty much nonexistent, thank goodness. The primary characters are mildly interesting, though often extreme in their outlook and behavior. The chief character, Captain Harding is whip-smart, aggressive and a staunch defender of his right to live his own life the way he wants to. He’s a bit sneaky, too.

Insights into Air Force thinking, values and attitudes are lightweight, though quite interesting and probably true for the time. Closeted gay men abound, meeting in saunas, gyms and such, and Captain Harding pursues a number of them. The crisis in the story is evidently built upon a true incident at an Air Force Show (remember those -- with deafening, thrilling flyovers and exotic planes to see?) at an air base. There’s a lot of intrigue, back-biting, petty prejudice, enough hate to go around for a lifetime, and bad people doing bad things in very high places in the military. The story is slightly over-complicated with a few too many characters with several subplots.
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