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Baby Jack : a novel

Author: Frank Schaeffer
Publisher: New York : Carroll & Graf ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, ©2006.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : English : 1st Carroll & Graf edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Schaeffer, the author of two nonfiction books based on his experience of having a family member on active duty in the Middle East, treats similar themes in his new novel. Self--absorbed painter Todd Ogden and his patrician wife, Sarah, are stunned when their 18-year-old son, Jack, the product of prestigious prep schools, enlists in the marines. Moving from cajolery to cold fury, Todd finally refuses to speak to his  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Fiction
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Frank Schaeffer
ISBN: 9780786717163 0786717165
OCLC Number: 71303860
Description: 309 pages ; 22 cm
Responsibility: Frank Schaeffer.
More information:

Abstract:

Schaeffer, the author of two nonfiction books based on his experience of having a family member on active duty in the Middle East, treats similar themes in his new novel. Self--absorbed painter Todd Ogden and his patrician wife, Sarah, are stunned when their 18-year-old son, Jack, the product of prestigious prep schools, enlists in the marines. Moving from cajolery to cold fury, Todd finally refuses to speak to his son. Meanwhile, Jack finds the camaraderie and dedication of his drill instructors and fellow marines to be a welcome change. The majority of the novel, however, is devoted to how the parents deal with their guilt and grief when Jack is deployed to the Middle East and killed one week later. In reductive fashion, Schaeffer contrasts the full-blown patriotism of the enlisted with the selfishness of the upper classes. An irreverent God makes an appearance, as does the ghost of the dead marine. In the end, too many broad strokes and the wide variance in tone weaken the novel's effect, although the vivid portrayal of the appeal of the military sets the story apart from much war fiction. Given the subject, expect some off-the-book-page interest.

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