Who Shot the Water Buffalo? by Ken Babbs

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Synopsis

Ken Babbs was the last member of the legendary Stanford writing class led by Wallace Stegner to publish a novel, and the wait was worth it. Lieutenants Tom Huckelbee ("leathery as any Texican come crawling out of the sage") and Mike Cochran ("loquacious son of an Ohio gangster") make an unlikely pair of of?cers training to be helicopter pilots in Vietnam. Their only aim is to get through this disorienting war without losing their minds. This is a bullet-straight story, a hallucinatory journey with a fearlessly unconventional voice. Babbs brilliantly portrays the world through the eyes of a young man discovering what it means to be beholden to another.

This novel, acclaimed as "a cross between Joseph Heller and Hunter S. Thompson" (Booklist), is a riveting and very funny exploration of war and friendship, and a book not to be missed.
 

About Ken Babbs

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KEN BABBS graduated from Miami University in Ohio and attended Wallace Stegner's Graduate Writing Program at Stanford University. Later, as a Marine Corps Captain, he flew helicopters in Vietnam. A founding father of the Merry Pranksters, he was a collaborator of Ken Kesey's. Ken Babbs lives in Dexter, Oregon.
 
Published April 14, 2011 by Overlook Books. 314 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Who Shot the Water Buffalo?

Publishers Weekly

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Notorious Merry Prankster Babbs finally delivers a first novel, the vividly wild story of an unlikely friendship between two Vietnam war helicopter pilots-in-training.

May 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Who Shot the Water Buffalo?

The Washington Times

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A reader probably has to have been alive in 1962 to fully appreciate this thinly disguised memoir of the author’s time as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot in the second year of the Kennedy administration.

Aug 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Who Shot the Water Buffalo?

Washington Independent Review of Books

Think Catch-22 crossed with M*A*S*H set in Vietnam in 1962, starring Huckelbee, a 5’9” wiry Texan, and Cochran, a 6’2” hairy bruiser from Ohio, and you’ve got an approximation of Who Shot the Water Buffalo?

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Who Shot the Water Buffalo?

Review (Barnes & Noble)

The author photo of Ken Babbs on the dust jacket of his first solo novel, Who Shot the Water Buffalo?, depicts a jovial, burly, silver-maned fellow wearing an insignia-laden Armed Forces leather jacket.

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Who Shot the Water Buffalo?

Historical Novel Society

This is the story of a man who wasn’t all that strange – at least until after his Vietnam experience.

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Reader Rating for Who Shot the Water Buffalo?
77%

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