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Sunday, November 25, 2012
SUNDAY REVIEW / FOG AND DARKNESS /Novel By Roger L. Conlee
SUNDAY REVIEW EXCERPT---“Fog and Darkness” takes readers through the
final year of World War II by depicting the dramatic events in the lives of two
Americans, one a journalist and one a young Marine Corps officer. Time and
again in great danger, these two men experience the war in highly contrasting
ways, but their lives intersect at crucial points and they come together to
forge a close bond of friendship. Although a work of fiction, the novel
describes this epic conflict’s major events with Conlee’s trademark historical
FROM FOG AND DARKNESS:
“…Operation Stalemate finally ended, after three more bitter days and
nights. Some well-placed aerial napalm, 75-millimeter hammer blows from the
tanks, and a gallant charge by what was left of the Seventh Marines plus some
GIs from the 81st, brought the death storm to an end.
One ragged, emaciated
scarecrow emerged from a cave with his arms up, bowed from the waist, and
immediately flew into bloody pieces from bursts of machine-gun fire. Normally,
Kenny would have jumped in and said, “No, don’t do that,” but he was just too
tired to give a damn. He later learned that this had been the last of more than
10,300 Japanese to die on Peleliu, where the predicted three-day battle had
taken forty-five days.
An unearthly silence fell
over the island. Someone raised a tattered American flag on the top of Bloody
Nose Ridge but no one cheered. The surviving Marines were too far around the
bend for that. Some were so far beyond exhaustion they didn’t even look up and
notice. Kenny hung his head and began to weep.
Later, his only surviving
second louie reported with the roster tally. Able Company was down to forty-two
men. Sixty percent casualties! Kenny felt like a failure. More tears formed.
“Thanks,” he said, putting the report down. “Now get out of here.” Didn’t want
his men to see him crying.
He shambled to an aid
station and got his arm stitched up. “Another fucking Purple Heart,” he
murmured. “Nah, I’m not even gonna put in for it.” He saw a dead Marine being
covered up and asked, “How did this poor guy get it?”
A corpsman shook his head
sadly and said, “He wasn’t hit all that bad, but he bled to death over a period
of eight or nine hours, just because we didn’t have any more goddamn blood or antihemorrhagic
to give him. We ran out of everything.”
WWW.ROGERCONLEE.COM # SUNDAY REVIEW is a literary review published weekly in www.tomshess.blogspot.com