' Stand By Your Beds! '
NON FICTION BOOK REVIEW
Title: ' Stand By Your Beds! '; by Cordell Cross; Publisher,
Aggie Blinkhorn Organization Inc.; Paperback; 370 pages; $ ??.??;
Reviewer: A.T.Connellan, "The author reminds us of the undeniable
dictum that steel is only iron until its been through the fire. In
the hands of a good screenwriter what a movie this would make."
A tale of turning boys into men
This is a novel built in layers. Cordell Cross has a case to make for
the declination of Canada's Armed Forces, and he does, effectively,
and relentlessly, for all 370 pages. His analogy is the parallel
deterioration of the cadet corps and, in particular those who trained
at the Vernon Army Cadet Camp from the 1950's on.
There will be a lot of nodding of heads from those readers old
enough to know better.
We join a cross section of lads in their mid-teens as they are trained
and tested to their limits by seasoned veterans of the Korean conflict,
and we are treated to a detailed examination of the philosophy and
methodology of the Army's process for "turning boys into men." All
this is good stuff, well written, but it is when the author finally
gets off his soapbox that things really get rolling.
Inside is an immensely entertaining tale of a group of boys struggling
to maturity through a series of experiences social, sexual, and
otherwise. The characters so clearly defined, and colorfully described,
the pranks and the language so vivid, the bravado so typical of 14-15
year olds that you'll find yourself lost in the story or racing to the
mess hall with them.
For those of us who have shared the experience there are friends to
be remembered and, I warn you, an occasional catch in the throat or,
emporary impairment of vision.
In the hands of a good screenwriter what a movie this would make.
The author reminds us of the undeniable dictum that "steel is only
iron until its been through the fire."
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