Saturday, February 07, 2009

Recently Read: The Phony Marine

This is Jim Lehrer's 16th novel. Yes, the PBS news guy. I didn't even know he wrote novels. Anyway, it is a quick, quirky little read. Our hero is the bland, middle-aged Hugo, an able suit salesman at an expensive men's clothing store in Washington, D.C.. Recently divorced, he spends his free time online. On an eBay impulse, he buys a Silver Star won by a Marine in Viet Nam. When it arrives, he goes for a walk wearing the lapel pin that accompanies the medal, and thus begins weaving his peculiar tangled web. Hugo finds out that all kinds of things are different when people think you are a Marine... but that you don't have to be a Marine to make all kinds of things different.

I think it is supposed to be funny; I know some readers thought it was a hoot. To me it read more like a basic morality tale. A little trite, but sure, something to think about.

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