Donn Pearce, the author of Cool Hand Luke, again revisits the subject of men under tremendous pressure, living and dying according to oppressive circumstances. Now, he brings you another tragic hero, thrust out of the only world he knew and forced to create one on his own terms . . . or die trying.
Toby Parker was America's unwanted son. Only sixteen years old, he was too young to be enlisted in the army, but old enough to know that he didn't want to return to the life he knew: moving from new home to new home, neglected by his mother, ignored by his father, overlooked by everyone else.
The war overseas promised exotic locations and adventure, but what it delivered was something else entirely. The Nazis were beginning to fall back, and the war was all but over. But the fighting still raged on in pockets of Europe. Out of the critical focus on France, only one last position needed to hold: the city of Bastogne. Thrown into battle almost immediately upon arrival, he soon found himself wounded and alone, struggling to survive and looked upon to lead. It was here that Toby was to learn what war really was, and what kind of man he was destined to become.
Many American boys went into World War II, and each one lived their own nightmare, critically shaped by what they experienced. Told with gritty authenticity, Donn Pearce captures the very essence of what it means to be caught under the worst circumstances imaginable, while having the strength and humanity to rise above them.