The Odd Angry Shot is the seminal account of Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War.
Brief and bracing, tragic yet darkly funny, it portrays a close-knit group of knockabout SAS fighters: their mateship, homesickness and fears; their practical jokes, drinking and fighting. The enemy is not just the Vietcong they've been sent to fight, but their superiors, the mud and torrential rain, and boredom.
In 1975 it won the National Book Council Award and was made into an iconic Australian film starring Graham Kennedy, Bryan Brown, John Jarrett, John Hargreaves and Graeme Blundell.
This edition comes with a new introduction by the renowned military historian Paul Ham, who writes: 'The Odd Angry Shot reveals...how war damages and destroys not only life and limb, but also the brains, hopes and dreams of everyone involved...It is an Australian Dispatches and - like Michael Herr's classic, which came out two years later - it rips the scales from our eyes.'
William Nagle was born in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, in 1947. Enlisting in the army in 1964, he qualified as a cook the next year. In mid-1966 he was deployed with the SAS to Saigon, but was sent home for subordination the following March and later discharged. The Odd Angry Shot, his debut, fictionalised his experiences in Vietnam. Published in 1975, the novel won the National Book Council Award and became an instant classic. In 1979 it was made into a major film starring Graham Kennedy, John Hargreaves, John Jarratt and Bryan Brown. Nagle died in 2002.
Paul Ham's latest book, Sandakan, was published by Random House in 2012. He is the author of Vietnam: The Australian War, Kokoda and Hiroshima Nagasaki, published by HarperCollins.
'Short, pithy and powerful.' Dominion Post
'This autobiographical novel stands the test of time, revealing human faces caught in a tragic chapter of Australian history.' SMH/Age/Canberra Times
'Evoking a time and place that can still provoke anger, here is a book long overdue for a reprint.' Launceston Examiner
'A savage and mordantly funny novel...Visceral and immediate, irreverent and agonised, the story pules with the plea to ''remember...remember"...The narrative slams its way onwards, in brief, brutal, battering scenes like bursts of gunfire, unexpectedly modulating into moments of wistful hope...Nagle takes no prisoners, makes no excuses. It's a story without sentiment, but packed with passion and compassion. Its damaged young men are the core of a shocking, sundering little book that punches far above its length.' Weekend Herald Auckland
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