Odd Chapter for Author

Gus in his motel room in San Luis Obispo in June, 1987.
Photo taken from LA Times.

Ray Berrett of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus police with
books seized from a campus-area storage locker rented by Gus.
Photo taken from LA Times.

    An Alabama-born author up for an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay Full Metal Jacket was being sought for questioning after thousands of books from libraries as far away as Australia were found in storage lockers, police said.
    An estimated 10,000 books were recovered from a pair of lockers rented in the name of Jerry Gustav Hasford, author of the novel The Short Timers, said Detective Ray Berrett of California Polytechnic State University campus police.

--ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 21, 1988

    Hasford's library collection was discovered when police at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo recently searched his rented storage locker near the campus and found about 10,000 books.  More than 800 were from libraries and most had either been checked out or simply taken from the shelves, said Ray Berrett, a campus police investigator.

--LOS ANGELES TIMES, April 1, 1988

    Author Jerry Gustav Hasford, 40, is the son of a librarian and was married to another, but apparently their message never got through: In recent years he allegedly checked out and failed to return nearly one thousand library books throughout the world.


    A novelist and one-time Oscar nominee who was charged with stealing thousands of books
from more than 70 libraries pleaded no contest Friday to possessing stolen property.

--ASSOCIATED PRESS, December 3, 1988

    Gustav "Gus" Hasford, a novelist and screenwriter who was nominated for an Academy Award last year, was sentenced to six months in jail and five years' probation Wednesday for stealing almost 800 books from nine libraries.

--LOS ANGELES TIMES, January 5, 1989

For the past two years I have not read a book, have not had a spare moment to myself, have not written any personal correspondence at all. For the past two years I've been forced to devote absolutely all of my energy to resisting a vicious attack launched against me by moral majority fanatics backed up by the full power of the Fascist State. I have survived, and intend to do more than survive, but it has been a strain.

So I'm not a lazy slob--I've been taking care of business. I have not gone Hollywood. I am not eating cocaine with a table spoon. Publicity has not made me arrogant and snotty--I've always been arrogant and snotty, as you all know.

--Gus Hasford, January 1990


The Short-Timers  |  The Phantom Blooper  |  A Gypsy Good Time  |  Full Metal Jacket   |  Stories  |  Poems  |  Letters  |  Unpublished

Profiles  |  Interviews  |  Reviews  |   Book Theft  |  Obituaries  | Remembrance  |  Photos  |  Updates  |  Links