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Captain Harding's Six-Day War (Captain Harding #1)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  66 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Assigned to baby-sit a loose-cannon colonel at remote Wheelus Air Base, Libya, handsome, hard-charging Captain Joe Harding spends his off-duty time bedding an enlisted medic and a muscular major, then begins a nurturing friendship with the American ambassador's teenage son. The boy swiftly develops a crush on the man, feelings that Joe, a Southern gent with a strong moral ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published September 12th 2011 by Lethe Press (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 153)
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Jun 30, 2012 Erastes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-historical
There’s something very engaging about Mackle’s writing. I couldn’t imagine that I’d be at all interested in this book–military realism set during a period I know absolutely nothing about–but damn! Mackle (who wooed and won me with his marvellous “It Takes Two“) had me gripped within a chapter of Captain Harding’s Six Day War and I was found myself enjoying reading about life on a military base and all its incestuous hothouse intrigue. Damn you, Elliott Mackle!

Imagine those wonderful 1950′s movie
Erik Orrantia
Well, I liked the writing, but the story started to lose me. Perhaps it's too real, in the sense that a lot of things can happen at once. But with all the military acronyms and the many different characters, each with his or her own separate conflict, I had a hard time following. I started to lose interest which made me even more lost, just wanting to finish it. At first, I thought it would be a bit of a mystery--forensics on a military base, perhaps--but that didn't pan out. It wasn't a romance ...more
Oct 25, 2011 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1967, Captain Harding is working his way up the promotion ladder within the U.S. Air Force. He’s a go-getter with a head on his shoulders and a talent for fixing problems. He is also gay.

The story begins with Captain Harding arriving at his new assignment, the post of executive officer for Wheelus Air Force Base in Libya. It’s a bit of a disappointment for Harding, who knows that he needs a tour in Viet Nam on his record before his next promotion will be approved. His mood takes a nosedive wh
Jul 12, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this novel. At first I thought it was going to be about solving the mystery of the brutal killing of a young airman. This was true for part of the novel, but it was mostly about the difficulty and danger involved in being a gay man during that time period (late 1960's). I think there was probably even more hatred of homosexuals in the armed forces than existed within the general public at that time, probably because soldiers were considered to be "he-men" and of course homosexuality wa ...more
Loved this. Written by someone who lived in the time frame, reads like an autobiography. Highly recommended. Erastes wrote an incredible review.
Sep 29, 2011 Hilcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hah! I really enjoyed this book. The writer pulled me in to the story from page one. I meant to skim it to read later and ended up reading it in one sitting. It's all about Captain Joe Harding's escapades at the Wheelus Military Air Base in Tripoli, Libya. Set in the 1960's right before the Six Day War in the Middle East. That Joe is something else! "He's got balls." He's in the military, gay, and deep in the closet -- he has to be in order to keep his career intact and himself out of the
Nancy Silk
Jan 16, 2013 Nancy Silk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read by Author Elliott Mackle. I'm impressed! Right from the beginning he has drawn me into what I think is a great story. The story takes place at Wheelus AFB near Tripoli. A young airman is found dead off-base, his body naked and ravished by predatory birds. Captain Joe Harding, newly arrived for duty as the Wing Commander's Executive Aide, has his first assignment of settling the affairs of this young man who had been sexually assaulted and left to die. There are s ...more
Roger Kean
Sep 18, 2013 Roger Kean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From its splendid "pulp fiction"-style cover (UK has a good but less apt one) to the "to be continued yet satisfactory ending" Joe Harding's war is an involved, page-turning, character-involving, realistic masterpiece. Don't expect full-on hard-core sex, yet there is an erotic charge to this story that many books never achieve. Since so many have already rated it highly I think, like another reviewer, I'll leave it to Erastes to do the convincing, and to quote him: "The writing is crisp and matu ...more
Dec 19, 2011 Carycleo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, glbtq
Fascinating setting at a USAF base in Tripoli, Lybia in 1966, while the US war in Viet Nam was ongoing, which creates the main appeal of this novel. I found the tone grim, and it reads more like a memoir than a novel, but has a convincing sense of place and time. Captain Harding makes an unlikable narrator, who is supposed to be an ace at his job, but seems prone to foolish, self-destructive and callous behavior. The novel is anxiety-inducing from beginning to end, as Harding makes one inexplica ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's a fascinating account of what it's like to be gay in the military. While my edition did not feature the campy vintage cover art of the edition listed here, the novel nevertheless blends humor, romance and action. Be sure to also read the sequel, 'Captain Harding and his Men.'

If you liked 'The Boy Who Picked the Bullets Up' and 'Wingmen,' be sure to check out Mackle's work.
Jul 31, 2012 Scotty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went in thinking that this was a gay romance novel. Was I in for a surprise. Just reading the first page should have warned me off.

This is a very well written novel telling a very realistic story about life in the Air Force in the late sixties. It's not that this book isn't all about gay folks - it is. It's just not the usual HEA.
Barbara Elsborg
I enjoyed it. Three and a half stars. It was different and I learnt rather more than I expected about army life. I liked the mix of politics, shenanigans, sex and friendship. I liked Harding as a narrator - flawed and realistic. I'd definitely read another - I want to know what Harding does next.
3.5 stars

Entertaining story despite the fact that it's not a true romance. I liked the cast of characters and the plot was interesting which surprised me as the time period and military war stories aren't really my thing. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
Yuri Aoi
Feb 05, 2013 Yuri Aoi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2012 Don rated it really liked it
Enjoyable and easy read. There's suspense, action and sex. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel and finding out more about this character. He's flawed, but in a human and relatable way that makes him likable and keeps him on your side.
Jan 10, 2012 ElaineY marked it as mission-aborted
Shelves: mm, military-themes
I may return to this one day but right now, it's not quite the type of story I enjoy. Even though there's supposed to be a romance (maybe even an HEA), the style is more gay lit and I'm not in the mood for that right now.
Jul 08, 2012 Rosie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Initially I couldn't decide whether this was a four or five star for me, but my reaction to the surprise that there is a sequel to this, told me that it must be a five. I have to read more about these characters!
Jun 22, 2014 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well told story that held my interest. The setting for the story was unique and was laid out well. I enjoyed the book, however, the ending felt a bit rushed and was too contrived.
Four Stars!
Aug 09, 2011 Yte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable read. My only complaint is the deus ex machina solution of all MC's problems.
Gerry Kelly
Great read.....recommended A +
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Other Books in the Series

Captain Harding (2 books)
  • Captain Harding and his Men (Captain Harding, #2)

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