February 7, 1979
To The New Republic
From Morro Bay, California

NOTE:  This letter was written in response to a review, "Death becomes a bore"

Dear New Republic:

I assume that you allow authors who have been the object of vicious personal abuse in your pages an opportunity to respond in print.  I am submitting the following comments for publication in your "Correspondence" column:


To The Editors:

In response to J.B.'s (Jack Beatty?) foam-flecked but amusing review of my first novel, THE SHORT-TIMERS, in your Jan. 27th issue, please accept my congratulations for publishing a fair and insightful piece of criticism.  I must admit that I am offended by the accusations of "low blow" and "hatchet job" my friends have leveled against "J.B." in my behalf.  Personally, I was forced to admit to that "J.B.'s" review--the first negative review the book has received so far--was, even so, the most perceptive.  "J.B." has been the only reviewer clever enough to see where my Viet Nam war novel was aimed, and, more significantly, at whom it was aimed.  It is only natural that "J.B." was so deeply offended.  But, not the kind of critic to damn a book with faint praise, "J.B." has wisely elected to praise the book with faint criticism--as when he stoops to focus his formidable powers of ridicule upon such a central dramatic flaw as the inept selection of a name for one of my characters.  And, finally, I am flattered that "J.B." is so confident that his fellow critics will continue to praise the book highly that he feels compelled to denounce all those future reviews in advance.



Gustav Hasford

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