Thursday, May 6, 2010

M*A*S*H Goes To Maine - 1972

In just the last week, two very generous friends of mine sent me M*A*S*H-related items, so I thought I'd restart the blog for a few days to show them off!

First up is this paperback edition of M*A*S*H Goes To Maine, the 1972 sequel to the monster hit M*A*S*H, both by Richard Hooker (aka Richard Hornberger, who really served in a MASH unit during the Korean War).

I've never read the original book, since I knew from the movie that its characters are so different from the ones in the series, the ones I've come to know, love, and obsessively blog about, that it didn't really have much connection the show past the names and general setting.

Those differences are even more stark in this book, where the Swamp Rats (Hawkeye, Trapper, Duke, and Spearchucker) all end up working together in Maine. It felt surreal, almost, to read a story featuring characters with names I know like the back of my hand, yet they bear absolutely no relation to the versions we all know. Here, Hawkeye has a wife and a bunch of kids he tows around, and its Trapper who is the lothario!

Hooker/Hornberger apparently had a ghostwriter on the half-dozen "sequels" to this book, which are characterized as on Wikipedia as "hastily written." He then returned as author for a final book, M*A*S*H Mania, in 1977.

Even though I didn't find M*A*S*H Goes to Maine all that good, I was happy to read it, and I really appreciate my pal Mark Sauter for thinking of me when he saw it for sale and generously sending it to me. I toast you with a dry martini, Mark!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:-) Cool post. I've got three MASH paperbacks laying around somewhere I picked up for a dollar apieace a few years ago. I too felt the strange detachment from these characters that made the books unappealing to me.

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