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Gustav Hasford Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Short-timers aka Full Metal Jacket (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Phantom Blooper (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Gypsy Good Time (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jerry Gustave Hasford widely known as Gustav Hashford was a journalist, poet, and author. Hashford’s, The Short-Timers, was used as a basis for the movie, Full Metal Jacket. Gustav was also a United States Marine veteran, who served in the Vietnam War. Born in Alabama, Hashford is the recipient of the Navy and Marine Corp medal with the Valor Device in the year 1968 during the battle of Hue. During the 1970’s, Gustav Hashford was associated with various science fiction authors. As an author, Hashford has worked with various anthologies and magazines such as the Orbit Series and Space and Time magazines. Hashford also published Bedtime Story, a poem that was featured in the 1972 edition, Winning Hearts. In the year 1978, Gustav Hashford attended Milford Writer’s Workshop and while at the workshop, Gustav Hashford met with renowned author, Fredrick Pohl.

Published in the year 1979, Short-Timers became an international best-seller and was even described by Newsweek as one of the best Vietnam War work of fiction. In the year 1987, the novel Short-Timers was adapted into a feature film titled, Full Metal Jacket. The screenplay was written by Gustav Hashford, Stanley Kubrick, and Michael Herr, while the movie as directed by Stanley Kubrick. Among the three, Gustav contribution was an issue of contention and thus, when the movie was nominated for the Oscar’s, Gustav Hashford decided to attend the ceremony. In the year 1990, Gustav Hashford published Phantom Bloopers, his second novel, which was a sequel to short-timers.

Gustav Hashford Best Books
The Short-Timers
If you are a fan of the critically acclaimed film, Full-Metal jacket, then you are definitely going to fall in love with the Short-Timers. Despite the fact that many believe the movie Full Metal Jacket was entirely based on the novel, the Short-Timers, it is important to note that the novel only provided a guideline for the movie. Short-Timers is more of Gustav’s autobiography, during the Vietnam War. In many instances, Gustav’s use of words can be extremely wonderful such that they can evoke emotions, which may grip the soul of the reader. Apart from telling an extremely heart-breaking narration, authors can also show reality up close. The Short-Timers does the latter by showing reality up-close. Furthermore, it is also important to point out the fact that Short-Timers does not in any way glorify war.

Rather, it shows war’s true side by describing how it feels to be on the front side of war, where simple words and politics will never paint the picture. Shown in a brutal, dehumanizing, bloody, gritty and terrifying reality, which is war, Short-Timers explains to the readers that violence is not as clear as the politicians try to paint it to be. One of the soldiers in the Short-Timers points out the fact that they do not waste gooks so that freedom can be attained, they kill them as payback for killing their brothers. The soldiers justify their roles in the war not for defending freedom but rather for the vengeance for the deaths of the thousands of soldiers. Loss of Innocence and Vengeance are just but some of the main these highlighted in the Short-Timers. The kind of mental trauma, which is inflicted, is not something that can be forgotten easily, as highlighted by the protagonist when they are attacked by a sniper.

“Those soldiers, who will survive the ordeal, will fly on the freedom bird back home. However, the problem is that home will no longer be there and also we are not going to be there”. It is evidently clear that a majority of the experienced soldiers hold a similar view on war, which is a contradiction of the idealistic view, which the civilians and the recruits do not share. The Short-Timers is highly recommended for any lover of the film Full Metal Jacket and those who may be seeking the perspective of a soldier on the frontlines.

The Phantom Bloopers
The Phantom Bloopers is a continuation of the novel, Short-Timers, and picks up several months after the end of the first installment. Author, Gustav Hashford brings the readers up to date with how the marines experience in Vietnam. America as a country has lost the enthusiasm it had for the war. The unwillingness of the nation to send out its men eventually translates into increasingly disorganized marine units. Apart from lacking the winning drive, the marines have also lost the will to kill that they previously had. Furthermore, the idea of going home does not mean anything to these group of soldiers. In Vietnam, the marines can only hope that they are not killed. Just like Short Timers, The Phantom Bloopers has been split into three major acts. Each of the acts marked a significant stage in the narrator’s growth.

Phantom Bloopers begins, as the narrator is a corporal before he is promoted to the rank of sergeant. However before he is handed the promotion, he declines and is demoted to the rank of private. Author Hashford has managed to pull two main tricks from his heart to ensure that the novel is unforgettable. Readers, who are familiar with Short Timers, already know how the batter goes between one marine and another. In the second act in the Phantom Bloopers, author Gustav employs an extreme shift in the narration. The narrator, Joker, is captured by the Vietnam Cong and is placed under captivity. Through the intervention of a sympathetic Vietnam Cong and blind luck that the narrator is able to reflect and observe on the way of life of the enemy instead of being thrown into a pit.

While Joker is in captivating, he spends the entire day, planning how he is going to escape while at the same time exchanging a few words with those who had placed him in captivity. It is during Joker’s captivity that author Gustav introduces the readers to an extremely young woman who understands English. The young woman does not understand a lot of the cultural things such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds or Cadillac. However, the young woman understands Joker in a manner that no one else has in the entire novel. The young woman converses with Joker about his family and the people that he left back home in America. With that said, author Hasford has displayed his bitterness quite well. With that said, The Phantom Blooper is a highly entertaining read, and a refreshing take on the Vietnam genre.

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