M*A*S*H* Goes to Maine
Author ~ Richard Hooker
You were likely aware that the original M*A*S*H TV series that was on the air for eleven season was based off a movie from the 70's starring Donald Sutherland and Tom Skerritt? But did you know that the movie was based off a book written by Richard Hooker? Well from 1968 to 1977 Richard Hooker wrote Fifteen M*A*S*H books, and only the first one took place during the Korean war.
M*A*S*H Goes to Maine is the second book in this series. If you've never seen the movie and have never read the first M*A*S*H book, you will be quite lost as you read this book. There are characters in these books that never show up in the TV series, or were only in the series for a few episodes. I loved the TV series, I remember watching it as a child, then again in my teens and once more as an adult. It was one of those shoes that you could watch over and over again, and it always seemed to be on TV. I would always skip over the nightmare episode though as I found it quite disturbing as a child and those feelings still linger there as I remember Major Margaret "Hot-Lip" Hoilihan standing there with blood running down the front of her nightgown, shudder, but that's all I remember of that episode. Thankfully the rest of the episode's memories have been lost to time.
Back to M*A*S*H Goes to Maine. The second book is written pretty much the same as the first, a bunch of short stories held together by an overall premise, in this case the opening of the Finestkind Clinic and Fishmarket. This was Maine in the late 50's and medicine back then was very different than what it is now (be glad). The surgeons of the swamp, Hawkeye Pierce, Trapper John, Duke Forrest, Oliver Harmon "Spearchucker" Jones, are all tops of their respective fields and have banded together to provide the residents of Maine the very best or "Finestkind" medical clinic and fishmarket. Get your medical exams and procedures done in the morning and on your way out in the afternoon pick up some fish for dinner.
M*A*S*H Goes to Main is a quick read that I enjoyed, however, If you don't like M*A*S*H or struggle with understanding the time frame something was written, then I don't think you would enjoy this. It's quite disjointed in the way Hooker tells his story, hopping around from one "small town event" to another. There is also quite a lot of crude language, racial slurs and outdated views on women in M*A*S*H Goes to Main. This book was written forty-five years ago, and then also written about a time fifteen years earlier than that. Societal views on language, race and women were very different then than they are now. It made me glad that in many ways society isn't like that any more. We are not perfect, we will likely never be perfect and there is still a long long way to go before everyone feels safe, but it is better than it once was.
Maybe one day I will go on to read more of this series, but for now, I'll take a pass.