Declared the "best novel of the year" by the Cleveland Press when first published in 1966, Yancey's Waris the story of ordinary men in an extraordinary off-the-main-track war. Marvin Yancey—short, fat, over forty, sloppy, sycophantic, cowardly—is the most unlikely recruit at a Virginia training camp during World War II. He is called a bootlicker and a toady to the army system, which he is, and all the men in his platoon find him disgusting. Yancey's upset of well-planned military maneuvers by overseeing a party that becomes an orgy and by spinning a laundry unit askew are some the novel's funniest moments. In the end, this pocket-size Falstaff finds himself in actual combat across the ocean—quivering, frightened, jelly-like—blundering his way to an irritating act of heroism.
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