Gus, Dale Dye, and Gus's toy gorilla, circa 1990.
Hear David Willson, Steve Bernston and Earl Gerheim discuss this picture
Gus's 43 Year Childhood - 948KB - WAV format
from the Viet Nam War Writers' Symposium
Before the paperback edition of The Short-Timers was published, I received an author's proof of the cover. My civilian blurb writer, appealing to the prejudices of civilians everywhere, hailed my book as a story about "Vietnam violence freaks who kill and kill without a twinge of guilt." I put an arc light of angry objections across the hostile terrain of my publisher's intention. I was personally offended by the exploitative and factually inaccurate injusticeof the blurb, which was obviously designed to sell books to civilians at the expense of veterans. Anticipating the appeal of Rambo by five years, the blurb was revised to read: "...a gung-ho bunch, some of whom kill and kill without a twinge of guilt."
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