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No Time for Sergeants
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Group Reads: Moderator's Choice > Moderator's Choice-March 2017- No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman

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message 1: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
I believe I am up for the month of March. I have chosen No Time for Sergeants written by Mac Hyman in 1954. Hyman died at an early age of 39. This was his first and only novel published while he was living. I have not read this book but remember watching Don Knotts and Andy Griffith in the movie adaptation. This book may be hard to find but I was fortunate that my library has a copy.


message 2: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2420 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "I believe I am up for the month of March. I have chosen No Time for Sergeants written by Mac Hyman in 1954. Hyman died at an early age of 39. This was his first and ..."

I remember enjoying the movie as well. I wonder if this was the first pairing of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts.


message 3: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane | 738 comments Sounds like a great choice thank you


message 4: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
I am thinking you are accurate, Tom, and some say the pairing launched both of their careers. I remember thinking the characters switched roles from the movie to the sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show. I am a die hard Andy Griffith show fan. If I'm not reading a book then I am watching an episode (black and white only) of TAGS.


message 5: by Brina (new)

Brina This is what The Andy Griffith Show is based on?? I used to watch it on WGN as a kid because it was on right before Cubs games. I am digressing a bit but I will have to look for the book and maybe I can get my husband to read it as well.


message 6: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
I don't think so Brina. The Andy Griffith show is based on Andy Griffith's life in Mt. Airy, NC but this is where I think the two actors met up before starting on TAGS. What I was saying is, Andy plays dumb and Barney plays smart in the movie but when they meet up in sitcom Andy takes on the more serious role while Knotts is more comedic.


message 7: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
Actually, I think "Gomer Pyle" was based on this book, and Gomer Pyle was a spin-off of The Andy Griffith show. Anyway, great choice! I read this book many, many many years ago, and remember laughing on every page. The movie was on TV not long ago and I watched it. Still funny after all these years. I'm off to look for a copy.


message 8: by Brina (new)

Brina These guys still make me laugh when I catch snippets of it. Anyway my library has a copy.


message 9: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
If you all are ever in Walmart where they have those DVD bins, they usually have copies of the movie for $.99. Glad to see libraries still making room on their shelves for this book.


message 10: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
My library does not have, but I got a copy at Abebooks for $4.00, free shipping.


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim Kaso | 589 comments I remember the movie. Sounds like fun.


Patricia Watkins | 13 comments I look forward to this read. It was in our bookcase when I was grown in up, but I had not thought of it for a while. Mr. Hyman's daughter wrote Icy Sparks, an Appalachian novel about a young girl with Tourette's.


message 13: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
Ill look that one up, Patricia. Thanks


message 14: by Tina (new) - added it

Tina  | 480 comments Looking forward to this one Laura!


message 15: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2420 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "Actually, I think "Gomer Pyle" was based on this book, and Gomer Pyle was a spin-off of The Andy Griffith show. Anyway, great choice! I read this book many, many many years ago, and remember laughi..."

From what I've read, No Time for Sergeants was also a TV show that came out about the same time as Gomer Pyle but didn't last long. Pyle got much better ratings. I also read that the movie was the first time that Andy Griffith and Don Knotts worked together and that Knotts played a straight role in the movie.

BTW: I found a first edition copy online, complete with cover so I'm looking forward to reading it next month.


message 16: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
Very nice Tom. I didn't know he had a daughter who was an author until Patricia mentioned it. I had not heard of her book but have added it now.


message 17: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
I read Icy Sparks a long time ago, it's very good. Amazing what nice little tidbits we pick up from each other!


Howard | 374 comments Tom wrote: "Diane wrote: "Actually, I think "Gomer Pyle" was based on this book, and Gomer Pyle was a spin-off of The Andy Griffith show. Anyway, great choice! I read this book many, many many years ago, and r..."

It was the first time the two worked together, Tom, but Knotts didn't play a straight role (I don't think it was in him.) He played a pompous military psychiatrist (not unlike Barney Fife) who was driven up the wall by his attempts to psychoanalyze Will Stockdale (Griffith). His was more of a cameo appearance, but he was hilarious.

You are correct about the TV series, but I never saw it. I don't think it even made it through a full season.


message 19: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2420 comments Mod
Howard wrote: "It was the first time the two worked together, Tom, but Knotts didn't play a straight role (I don't think it was in him.) He played a pompous military psychiatrist (not unlike Barney Fife) who was driven up the wall by his attempts to psychoanalyze Will Stockdale (Griffith). His was more of a cameo appearance, but he was hilarious."

I'm sure your are correct. I haven't seen the movie since high school but your description rings some bells. I thought I had read that he had played a (relatively speaking for Knotts) straight role in the movie but now I can't find the comment in my go-to source for movie info (imdb.com).


message 20: by Howard (last edited Feb 17, 2017 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Howard | 374 comments Tom wrote: "Howard wrote: "It was the first time the two worked together, Tom, but Knotts didn't play a straight role (I don't think it was in him.) He played a pompous military psychiatrist (not unlike Barney..."

Tom, I did a little research (TCM bio of Knotts) and I wasn't totally correct.

I did remember that "No Time for Sergeants" was first a Broadway play and then a movie. I have also watched the one-hour TV adaptation of the play (which can be viewed on YouTube).

I also remembered that Knotts was in all three, playing the same role. So, actually it was the Broadway play that first brought the two together.

But I didn't have his role quite right. Knotts was not a psychiatrist, he was the Manual Dexterity Corporal. Will Stockdale was psychoanalyzed by a military psychiatrist, but he was portrayed by someone other than Knotts. Knotts was a corporal who tested the manual dexterity of recruits. And Stockdale did drive him crazy, because he quickly solved every dexterity task that the corporal presented to him, even those that the corporal thought nobody could master.


message 21: by John (new) - rated it 3 stars

John (jwarner6comcastnet) | 132 comments The play for No Time for Sergeants was written by Ira Levin who also wrote Rosemary's Baby.


Howard | 374 comments John wrote: "The play for No Time for Sergeants was written by Ira Levin who also wrote Rosemary's Baby."

That's very interesting! It really demonstrates great versatility on the part of Levin.


Patricia Watkins | 13 comments I never would have selected this book, but so glad I read it. this is one of the benefits of this bookclub. I love being stretched and also sharing thoughts on a book with others.


message 24: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (last edited Feb 25, 2017 12:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
Yay Patricia! I hope I end up liking it. It always makes me nervous selecting a book for others to read that I haven't read. I especially like finding oldies(pre 1980) but goodies.


Connie G (connie_g) | 392 comments I just viewed a few youtube clips from the movie which were hilarious! I'm looking forward to reading the book.


message 26: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
I am just starting this, reading it in paperback. I saw the movie a couple of years ago, and the funny thing is, as I'm reading I hear Andy Griffith's voice in my head, accent and all.


message 27: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2420 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "I am just starting this, reading it in paperback. I saw the movie a couple of years ago, and the funny thing is, as I'm reading I hear Andy Griffith's voice in my head, accent and all."

It's been over forty years since I saw the movie and I'm pretty sure I will have the same problem.


message 28: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
It's actually not a problem, it's kind of cool.


message 29: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
"I don't guess he talked more than a minute like that before I figgered out that the trouble with him was that he was a Yankee."

" Only it warnt long after I got there that I found out the place was FULL of Yankees. "

"And it was kind of a strain being around Yankees and not letting on I suspected it."

Sorry guys, but this book is FUNNY!


Connie G (connie_g) | 392 comments I loved the book, and read most of it in one sitting. I was smiling and laughing through it all. Great choice for a mod read, Laura.


message 31: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
Thanks, Laura! This was just what I needed after "Sanctuary". A funny little novel full of good old boy humor.


message 32: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
I started today. I'm glad people are enjoying it.


message 33: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
This is a hoot!


message 34: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2420 comments Mod
I'm really enjoying it.


message 35: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
I think I will start the audiobook that his daughter wrote. I'm 100 pages out to finish this one. I totally see Gomer Pyle as Will.


message 36: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
Me too, Laura. I'm glad the TV show used Jim Nabors as Gomer though. Andy Griffith was too smart as the Sheriff of Mayberry for me to see him any other way. Even in the movie of No Time for Sergeants, it was hard for me to watch him being such a rube. Although in the end, he outsmarted them all.


message 37: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2420 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "Gomer Pyle as Will."

I am definitely reading Andy Griffith's voice into it. I know there was a short-lived NT4S TV series but I can't help thinking Gomer Pyle was a knock-off of it.


message 38: by Howard (last edited Mar 16, 2017 08:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Howard | 374 comments Diane wrote: "Me too, Laura. I'm glad the TV show used Jim Nabors as Gomer though. Andy Griffith was too smart as the Sheriff of Mayberry for me to see him any other way. Even in the movie of No Time for Sergean..."

Andy Griffith's role on his TV show evolved over time. In the early episodes he portrays a character much like his Will Stockdale character. However, as Don Knotts' Barney Fife character took off and became more popular than the originators of the series expected, Andy made considerable changes in his character to the point that he essentially became the straight man for Knotts.

It was an unselfish act on Griffith's part that made a star out of Knotts and also markedly improved the show. Knotts' importance to the show became readily apparent after he left the series. It was never the same.


message 39: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
Howard totally agree.
I did have Andy's voice when he said "Ben" from the AGS. Episode where the bootlegger "Ben" is arrested. He later becomes the character Rafe Hollister.
The exchange with Will and Sergeant was definitely a Sergeant Carter and Gomer moment.
I too loved the wiser more serious Andy.


message 40: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1861 comments Mod
I finished this one and thoroughly enjoyed it and was even able to fit in his daughter's book, Icy Sparks. Thanks Patricia for that nudge!


message 41: by John (new) - rated it 3 stars

John (jwarner6comcastnet) | 132 comments No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman
★★★

This novel, which was translated into a play by Ira Levin and a film starring Andy Griffith and Nick Adams, is the story of an uneducated and naive Georgia hillbilly, Will Stockdale, who is drafted into the Air Force during the 1950s. This book was also the inspiration for the television sit-com, Gomer Pyle. Andy Griffin captured Will's narration and speech.

Although the film was generally true to the film, I was fascinated in what changes were made. For example, the scene in the movie when Will is caught speechless encountering a female officer, the same scene in the book involves a black officer. I guess both were telling of the times when this book was published in 1954.

Generally, each page elicited a chuckle but I could not read it without the film running in my head, which is why I don't like to watch movies before reading the book.


message 42: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3783 comments Mod
That happened to me too, John. Even though I was reading, Andy Griffith was narrating it.


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Icy Sparks (other topics)
No Time for Sergeants (other topics)

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