What is the Stars Author:Arthur J. Roth Private Patrick John McGurk and his "butties" of the Eighth Garrison Company, Ordnance Corps, Irish Army, are the heroes of this comic novel. "Heroes" is scarcely the word Lt. Percival Pettigo, their commanding officer, would use for them. He can't even get them to make a showing in the inter-company boxing tournament (th... more »e poor man doesn't realize they'd rather get knocked out than win him any credit).
Nor is "heroes" a word they would think of applying to themselves. Cut off for the duration from the main threatres of action, they direct their own private war against officers in general, and Lt. Pettigo in particular, led by the resourceful and at time inspired "Knave" O'Hanlon. If "Machine Gun" Feeny takes a pot shot at an unidentified aircraft that turns out to be British, it's mainly because their barracks like is "so shocking dull."« less
If you enjoy books spoofing the military, you'll enjoy this one. The book centers on a number of men in an Irish Free State army's ordnance company during World War II. They may have joined the army to serve their country, but that doesn't mean they enjoy the rules, regulations and the jerk of an adjutant who tries hard but makes life miserable for the enlisted men.
The novel covers the men and a number of the civilians they interact with. As they are Irish, and there's no fighting, unless you include one of the men machine gunning a British plane overflying Irish soil, there is also a lot of drinking.
Think of this book as the Irish version of the German novel "The Revolt of Gunner Asch" by Hans Kirst.