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Author David Sherman

David Sherman

Biography of David Sherman


Title: The Junkyard Dogs
Sub-genre: Military
Epoch: Vietnam

Type: Novel
Page Count: 299
Size:  6 x 9 inches
Cover: Color, art
Illustrations: n/a

Publisher: WordCaster Novels
ISBN: 978-1434845993
Other Books In Series:

David Sherman's The Junkyard DogsInterview with David Sherman on The Junkyard Dogs


Mike McPhail

Reviewed for by,
"Mike McPhail"

The Junkyard Dogs is a work of military fiction set against the real-world conflict of Vietnam--circa 1968. From the very first page, the reader is immersed in the seemingly alien world of the day-to-day lives of the American Marines and the locals in the villages of South Vietnam.

Painted with the hard-hitting jargon and colorful slang of the day, the story revolves around Corporal Socrates (the bravado of nicknames seems to have been the norm), a CAP Marine stationed at Fort Cragg in the village of Khung Toi. The village was nicknamed The Junkyard because of it's dilapidate state (that and because Li'l Abner's Dogpatch had already been taken).

Early on the reader learns that Socrates is a dedicated Marine; one who believes in the ideals of the Corp, and in the goals of protecting the locals from Viet Cong raiders.  Along with his fellow Marines, Captain Hook and Sneaky Pete, he is recruited for special assignments by the shadowy Mr. Smith (a man who he believes works for CIA); what had started out to be just another way to get at the Viet Cong, eventually threatened to turn him and his men into political assassins and terrorists.

As a young man, Socrates found his strength and discipline through playing soccer in school, through his dreams we learned of his past and how it shaped his character, as well as reflecting on his apprehensions of the current situation.

What struck me the most about the writing style was the incredible richness and attention to details, combined with an intimate quality among the characters that easily drew you into the story--in a very true sense you could feel the mud beneath your toes--what some might consider just mundane things often helped to flesh out the mind set of the characters; such as the interaction between the Marines and the locals, which I found most heart-warming and quite enlightening. The combat scenes were dark and haunting, punctuated by moments of frantic action; in other words, realistic and lacking the usual Hollywood flash bangs, which I found most refreshing.

In my experience, military fiction writers generally fall among a combination of just four categories: those who make it up, those who do their research, those who have served, and those who have been there; in this case I have very little doubt that the author is among the later.

If you’re a fan of David Sherman's science fiction series Starfist and DemonTech, then you'll find The Junkyard Dogs an eye-opening look into the reality of one man's experiences of war, and how it helped to fuel the fires of his imagination.

Mike McPhail

FTC 16 CFR Part 255 Discloser:
Solicited by the author, with no compensation beyond a review copy of the book.

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