• Review: Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan

    May 18, 2017

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    Posted in: Hooper's War

    From Kirkus Reviews: In this alternate-history novel, Van Buren follows both present-day and historical timelines to explore what might have happened if the United States had launched a ground invasion of Japan to end the second world war.

    In 2017, elderly Nate Hooper is in a retirement home, reflecting on a recent visit to Kyoto, during which he kept a promise to his late wife. But back in 1946, Hooper is an 18-year-old Army officer leading a group of equally young soldiers through the remnants of Kyoto after it’s been firebombed, dealing with the horrors of war and the less-than-humanitarian instincts of his own men. The narrative jumps between the two timelines as Hooper contends with memories of battle and secrets he’s kept for decades. Readers gradually discover the truth about his wartime actions.

    Van Buren presents a bleak picture of a world in which no action is ideal but avoiding decisions is impossible. The dialogue captures the raw emotion of war and the soldiers’ struggles for self-preservation (“Is the morphine for Garner so he stops screaming, or is the morphine for you so you don’t have to hear him screaming?” says a medical officer. “He probably feels better screaming”). Hooper is an engaging protagonist, a prototypical innocent young man dealing with the loss of his illusions and the demands of a new role (“The worst words in the English language to me had become ‘What should we do, Lieutenant?’ ”).

    Van Buren doesn’t provide simple answers, and readers are left with the understanding that decisions made in battle can be both right and wrong at the same time. An afterword provides context for the book’s alternate version of the war.

    A complex portrayal of a counterfactual invasion.

    Buy Hooper’s War: A Novel of Japan today from Amazon!

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      Peter- your hero has now come out as a fetching female. You wanted to make him a hero. Boy do we disagree there. He was one fucked up guy who fucked up even more once he was in the fucked up Army. I doubt many on your site see him as a courageous hero. He was just a loser who joined because he needed the money.

      05/18/17 2:43 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...



      Will buy a copy when i get back to the good ol USA. I need you to autograph all 3 books.

      Working on a book too. It is about a conspiracy involving an FBI director everybody says is so honest but whose actions affect the outcome of an election and then force the resignation of the wildly unpopular presidense when he tricks him into firing the fbi director, opening him to obstruction of justice charge and the WH for the deep state’s candidate. Character assassination works just as well. The FBI Director made him, he can destroy him.

      05/18/17 3:06 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      I am a prophet and dont know it:

      “It’s New York vs New York this year as Hillarious “Destiny” Clinton battles Donald “the Exaggerator” Trump. Was the New York Belmont horse race a harbinger of things to come?

      Creator closed with a rush and caught Destin at the wire, who was foolishly chasing Gettysburg most of the race, to win the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, with Preakness winner Exaggerator finishing 11th, well back in the field. The jockey for Exaggerator said his horse tripped on his tongue. Just after Creator, the son of the great white horse Tapit. crossed the wire, rains began to fall over the Belmont oval, drenching the connections in the winner’s circle and leaving a rainbow over the emotional scene.

      Creator was named by WINSTAR CEO Elliott Walden, a very religious man. “We liked this horse an awful lot as a 2-year-old, and I don’t know, God might have given me a sign,” said Walden. “We are a Christian farm, and the Troutts are Christians, and faith is very important to them, and their relationship with Christ is very important to them.”

      Don’t give up hope, America. The race ain’t over till it’s over. Let US hope for some divine intervention to save US from these two losers.”

      Moral of the story : Comey created Trump when he made the Hillary emails a big nothingburger. Trump taped his own conversation to be used against him. Comey can destroy him.

      05/18/17 3:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      And I just said nice things about you.

      :- p


      Send me an address.. I will get a couple copies for you..


      05/18/17 11:43 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      When Pence takes Trump’s place, the only job Jared will have is cleaning the john.

      05/19/17 7:39 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Mueller started 3 days before 911, and had his ten year term extended to 12. It is so pleasant that Comey worked with him. Have a nice day.

      05/19/17 8:13 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...


      Ok… Rich….

      Which one do you work for…. Your a badddddd man…..



      05/19/17 8:45 AM | Comment Link

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