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Dear Mr. President
by Gabe Hudson
Everybody’s Gulf War Syndrome is a little bit different. Or so believes Larry, who returns home from Desert Storm to find his hair gone and his bones rapidly disintegrating. Then there’s Lance Corporal James Laverne of the US Marines, who grows a third ear in Kuwait. And in the audaciously comic novella “Notes from a Bunker Along Highway 8,” a Green Beret deserts his team ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 11th 2003 by Vintage
(first published August 20th 2002)
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It seems a lot of critics liked this book. Overall, I have to admit I didn't. Hudson's book consists of a set of short stories, two of them quite good, most of them so-so, and the last and longest really quite awful. I think the reason that the critics liked Dear Mr President is that they wanted an important statement on the horrors of the Gulf War. But humour and surrealism in war books works well mostly when the object is to deflect the horror. I don't really sense that this is what is going o ...more
Thanks a lot Casey! This was a really nice gift. I'm a complete sucker for books about war. Tim O'Brien's books about Vietnam have been topping my list of books I've read over the last couple years, and this lives up to any standards set by O'Brien. I forget who I was talking to, but I was recently discussing the books that we anticipated coming from Desert Storm, and George W.'s war. Anyway, this is a collection of a few short stories and one novella. They're all really great. This was the perf ...more
Whew! Crazy with a capital C, violent, a little disturbing at times. Yet, very readable and often quite funny. Comparisons with "Catch 22" and "Slaughterhouse Five" are made on the blurb on the back cover - I don't think it's anywhere close to those in importance. A better comparison would be with Chuck Palahniuk (who wrote the blurb on the front cover).
i don't normally enjoy reading short stories because i only remember reading them for about ten minutes after their over. this collection is different, the stories all revolve around one central theme - The Gulf War. don't worry, it's not heavy. most of the stories are pretty comedic in nature. i think because they are so creative and bizarre they've actually stayed with me all of these months later. i still get a kick out of thinking about some of the scenario's and characters. keep an eye out ...more
I read this book by virtue of finding a copy on Madison's "Take-a-book-leave-a-book" shelf way back when. Very entertaining series of connected vignettes, similar in some ways to O'Brien's The Things They Carried. Since then, I've seen Gabe Hudson speak in person. It was very rewarding. He was unlike what I expected from having read the book. His letters to the Whitehouse project is really neat...
I remembered reading something good by this guy in McSweeney's years ago. Finally traced my way back...and I can't say I'm impressed. He's about as bad of a writer as Chuck Palahniuk, similar stretches of humor. I wanted to like this book but really couldn't invest myself in the absurdity for the most part.
Wow, amazing energy, twisted plot lines though nothing expected, not your typical PTSD or Gulf War syndrome stuff, bizarro, "I rode through the desert on a camel with no name". Fans of Tim O'Brien's The Things they Carried will enjoy these stories which aren't quite as heavy due to a sardonic element of humor.
A collection of short stories all based on PTSD from the Gulf War. Each version of PTSD is totally absurd. For one, his PTSD manifested in dissolving bones. For another, either cross-dressing or taking over the body of his daughter, and yet another losing his mind and ending up in a cage.