Now the Hell Will Start

BrendarImgNo, I’m not talking about being the father of a brand new infant.

I’m talking about a book.  A great book, in fact.  Now the Hell Will Start is a rip roaring (or possible rip snorting, as I get those two mixed up) real life adventure,  which tells the story of Herman Perry, an African American soldier in Burma during World War II, who, after enduring months of back breaking labor in the sweltering jungle building the Ledo Road, and after being subjected to degrading treatment as an African American soldier during the Army’s Jim Crow days, became a habitual user of opium and ganja.  One day, strung out on dope and hoplesness, he shot and killed a white lieutenent and fled into the bush.

What followed is an truly amazing story, the kind that would be absolutely unbelievable if it wasn’t so well documented. I refuse to give away any details, but let’s just say Perry turns out to be exactly the sort of resourceful, quick thinking jungle soldier a smart military would probably want to have in a combat role, rather than building a pointless road in the middle of a god forsaken jungle.

Two more things:

1. The book’s author is Brendan I. Koerner, who in addition to writing for Slate and Wired is responsible for the phenomenal Microkhan blog, and

2. Given the tribulations of new fatherhood, I probably wouldn’t have been coordinated enough to read this book in regular book form.  Luckily, thanks to the Kindle app for iPhone, I was able to easily read it with one hand while simultaneously 5 S-ing my new baby into a state of docile submission.

-Norm De Plume

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Published in: on June 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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