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Sunday, November 25, 2012


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 accuracy. 

  “…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.”


SUNDAY REVIEW is a literary review published weekly in

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