Muffled Shots: A Year on the DMZ

Roskey, William

Published by Dell, 1988
ISBN 10: 044020061X / ISBN 13: 9780440200611
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Synopsis: Overshadowed by the events in Vietnam, a "low-intensity conflict" was waged along the windswept 151-mile long Korean DMZ from 1966 through 1969. During this time, North Korea shot down U.S. aircraft, captured the U.S.S. Pueblo, and infiltrated its special forces troops to ambush U.S. and South Korean patrols. One North Korean 31-man commando team was sent to decapitate the South Korean president and got to within 800 meters of his residence before being discovered. This novel, set in 1966 and 1967, tells the tale of a 5-man U.S. Army Intelligence team stationed on the DMZ who lived on black coffee and blacker humor, and who came in  time to trust and depend on no one but each other. You'll be able to smell that black coffee as well as the diesel exhaust on the cold winter air and the night soil used to fertilize the rice paddies. You'll taste the warm beer, the kimchi and rice, and C rations. Most of all, you'll feel the loneliness the cynicism, the camaraderie, and adrenaline rushes in the night as the linecrossers approach your position and your index finger begins to take up the slack on your trigger.

Review: This brief work is noteworthy for its setting. The U.S. military presence in Korea has been virtually ignored by historians and novelists alike in the 30 years since the end of the Korean War. Most images of that country are derived from the familiar television series M. A. S. H. Roskey deserves credit for challenging Alan Alda, successfully establishing the mood of a border where the fighting never really stopped, and where U.S. troops remain a valued proof of commitment to an ally. The book is typical of its genre: a blend of personal experience, hearsay, hindsight, and wish-fulfillment in a conventional fictional format. The narrator/protagonist serves in an intelligence detachment whose real mission is countering North Korean infiltrators. The time is the mid- 1960s, and the situations and dialogue invite comparison to Robin Moore's The Green Berets. Both works feature young Americans on the outpost lines of a kind of war none of them quite understand. The everyday risks generate the same spectrum of tension. The vicious little fire-fights have the same anonymity. And a man killed on the nameless ridges is just as dead as if he had fallen at Khe Sanh, in Beirut, or anywhere else the television cameras and news reporters bother to notice. In This Kind of War, T.R. Fehrenbach used Korea to pose the question whether the American tradition of citizen soldiering could provide the legionaries necessary to cope with the requirements of policy wars. Muffled Shots implies that this is possible, but at a high human cost. If Charlie Daniels sings for the Vietnam veterans "still in Saigon," Roskey has written for those still on the DMZ. -- From Independent Publisher

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Title: Muffled Shots: A Year on the DMZ
Publisher: Dell
Publication Date: 1988
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Roskey, William
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Book Description Dell Pub Co, USA, 1988. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. Novel set in 1967 on the battle line of North Korea. A very good clean paperback which appears unread. 178 pages. Next post UK dispatch. Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 037105

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