Despite being born after the finale aired, I grew up on M*A*S*H. My parents bought each season on DVD as it was released and I’ve watched each episode at least three times. Maybe it doesn’t hold up quite so well watching it again as an adult (remember that episode where the guys in the Swamp convince a senior officer Hotlips is into him and he sexually assaults her … for laughs? Yeah.) But reading this book brought me right back to it all.
The show (and movie! Oh man, first R-rated film I saw, thanks Dad!) is so rich, and so devoted to the book. I can all but name the episodes that draw directly from each chapter. The book, in fact, is so episodic in its writing, I’m a little surprised they went for the movie and then the show – the show seems so much more the natural successor.
I actually listened to this one as an audiobook! I’ve strayed away from audiobooks because I am a speed-reader and they feel to slow for me, but I did appreciate hearing it come to life. There was a focus on the intricacies of surgery – and football, in one chapter – to an extent that the show did not. The downside of the book was the way that the dialogue was structured. For example:
“This is how people write dialogue?” Hawkeye said.
“Sure seems that way,” Duke said.
“It would get old fast,” Hawkeye said.
“I concur,” Trapper said.
Which is fine when you’re reading and all of the so-and-so saids can blur together, but it’s frustrating to hear read aloud every single time. Worth it, though.
This audiobook gave me four and a half hours to spend with some of my oldest friends, and to meet some new ones. I missed some of the later season characters. Overall, I’m glad I got into it, and I will likely add more audiobooks to my list!
Alan Alda, my heart 🙁
Bingo Square: The Book Was Better?