The Post-War Dream: Book summary and reviews of The Post-War Dream by Mitch Cullin

The Post-War Dream

By Mitch Cullin

The Post-War Dream
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2008,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

Hollis and Debra have settled into their golden years in a gated community outside of Tucson. Although they are devoted to each other, events that took place decades earlier have left Hollis with a deep-seated trauma–and with a secret he has never been able to share with his wife. When Debra is diagnosed with cancer, she makes her husband a simple request – "Tell me about us" – which forces Hollis to revisit his past.

In 1950, Hollis fought in the Korean War alongside the bigoted but charismatic Bill McCreedy. McCreedy seems to have it all, although he is a mercurial soldier whose ungovernable behavior is often at odds with what Hollis believes to be right. Now, years later, Hollis is haunted by memories of McCreedy and his own wartime actions that he had tried to suppress. These recollections eventually lead him from the body-strewn battlefields of Korea to the remote farmhouse in Texas where McCreedy had grown up – and for the first time he finds himself examining his and Debra's life to understand how chance had played a hand in bringing them together.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Cullin's brilliantly clear descriptions of both emotions and landscapes give this story a near-mystical feel as Hollis' life is shown to be far from ordinary." - Booklist.

"This touching, quintessentially American story of marriage, aging, and the fading Greatest Generation is enhanced by poetic prose, vivid accounts of war, and sympathetic characters whom many of us will find familiar." - Library Journal.

"A misstep in Cullin's unpredictable, adventurous and, alas, frustratingly uneven oeuvre." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Cullins's sterile eighth novel is the bleak dirge of Korean War vet Hollis Adams ... Flashbacks to Korea provide welcome reprieve, but the reader never connects with Hollis or Debra, so their suffering feels muted, even as the narrative dives into stark tragedy." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

Mitch Cullin Author Biography

Mitch Cullin is the author of eight books, including A Slight Trick of the Mind, Tideland, and Branches, a novel-in-verse. He lives outside of Tokyo, Japan, where in addition to writing fiction he collaborates on various projects with the artist Peter I. Chang.

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