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1972 – 1979 A Canadian Soldier at Peace — A Novel, by Frank Reid ( 263 pages, $19.95 softcover) — Frank Reid of Waterloo served for eight years in the Canadian Armed Forces — not so coincidentally, the same eight years as the narrator of his debut “novel,” which takes the form of a candid memoir by an unnamed Canadian soldier serving in Cyprus, Germany and several other European settings
So . . . some of it happened, none of it happened or perhaps all of it happened.
It’s a sobering look at “the way I saw our military personnel who never went to war but could have at any moment,” Reid writes in the preface. “They were the soldiers, sailors and airmen who drank, smoked dope and fornicated their way around the world.”
specific events and military exercises he describes may be real, reid adds, but the stories are a figment of his imagination.
still, it’s likely many readers will believe that the book’s many yarns — some disturbing, but many of them amusing — reflect something fairly close to what the author experienced. (ok, at least the tale about the soldiers using a bidet to wash their muddy boots.)
throughout the novel there is a tone of resentment that canadian soldiers were poorly equipped for their duties and got far too little respect from their political and military masters.
“after years of mulling over these occurrences, I finally realized that in the grand scheme of things, ultimately we were nothing but inconsequential fodder,” the narrator states.
— reviewed by jon fear
kitchener warerloo record

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