Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: Hook Up

Hook Up: A Novel of Fort BraggHook Up: A Novel of Fort Bragg by William P. Singley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hook Up follows newly drafted recruits and a couple RAs as they start jump training in the 82nd Airborne Division in that nebulous time between the Korean and Vietnam “conflicts.” Their time training as paratroopers matures them all into men, but as it is in life it reveals the kind of men they are. Also as it in life, not all of the recruit’s outcomes are just or fair. In the late ‘50s the military was a different experience than the modern military - in some ways. In some ways it seems nothing has changed.

I enjoy history, and Hook Up reveals aspects that we don’t often record. Everyone has heard of some of the heroism and sacrifice of war, but how that individual came to be able to make that sacrifice or what his training was is often glossed over, when in fact without that the heroism would have never been exhibited. I appreciate that author William P. Singlely showed some of the unsavory aspects of the military and didn’t paint everyone in the hero swath. My civilian self also really appreciate the glossary at the end and the scene setting at the beginning of each chapter that detailed aspects of military life that I would not know otherwise. However, I did think the story dragged a bit and needed to focus on fewer characters as it got confusing when jumping from soldier to soldier. I also think that there might have been some issue with the Kindle formatting, as generally when switching to a different character perspective in the narrative there is a longer space than a single line, which added to the confusion when I wasn’t sure which character was being followed. However, I did find it an overall intelligent read, and appreciated the perspective and personal history shared that shaped the events in the novel.


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