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    Shopping Cart Soldiers: A Novel (Paperback) By (author) John Mulligan

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    DescriptionMulligan's autobiographical detail is the basis for this story of a Vietnam Vet's agonizing reorganisation of the fragments of his war-torn psyche. Finn survives the nightmares of the jungles, only to be tortured on his return by the horrifying acts he witnessed. Through addiction, homelessness and struggle he slowly begins to rebuild his life.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Shopping Cart Soldiers

    Shopping Cart Soldiers
    A Novel
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) John Mulligan
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 256
    Width: 128 mm
    Height: 198 mm
    Thickness: 18 mm
    Weight: 299 g
    ISBN 13: 9780684856056
    ISBN 10: 0684856050

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    BIC E4L: ADV
    LC subject heading:
    DC21: 813.54
    BIC subject category V2: FJMS
    B&T General Subject: 360
    B&T Book Type: FI
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: F2.7
    DC22: FIC
    LC subject heading:
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 21110
    BIC subject category V2: FJMV
    Ingram Theme: APPR/AWARD, CHRN/1960
    DC22: 813/.54
    Ingram Subject Code: FD
    Ingram Theme: CULT/SEASIN
    LC subject heading: , ,
    Ingram Theme: CULT/NCALIF, LOCL/CASANF, CHRN/1970
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC V2.8: FIC032000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: FIC014000, FIC019000
    LC classification: PS3563.U3976 S56 1998
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: 98036814
    BISAC region code:
    Thema V1.0: FB, FJM
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    20 January 1999
    Publication City/Country
    New York, NY
    Author Information
    John Mulligan was born in Kirkintilloch, Scotland, in 1950, into a home with ten children. After his family emigrated to the U.S., Mulligan enlisted in the Air Force. Within weeks of turning 18 and while still a British citizen, he was on his way to combat in Vietnam. On his return to San Francisco after his tour of duty, he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and was homeless for more than ten years. During his recovery from alcoholism, Mulligan attended a veteran's workshop run by the celebrated author Maxine Hong Kingston, who recognized his extraordinary talent and helped him edit the manuscript of "Shopping Cart Soldiers."
    Review quote
    Gerald Nicosia "The Washington Post Book World" If I had to pick three novels that best embody the American experience in the Vietnam War, they would be Tim O'Brien's "Going After Cacciato, " Larry Heinemann's "Paco's story, " and John Mulligan's "Shopping Cart Soldiers."
    Review text
    Autobiographical detail provides potent fuel for this uncommon saga of a Vietnam vet's long, agonizing reorganization of the fragments of his war-torn psyche - a moving first novel from San Francisco - based Mulligan. The trials of Finn are only beginning when his tour in Vietnam ends and he's dumped back in the States to fend for himself. His family having emigrated from Scotland just in time for him to be drafted, Finn went to war with even less reason for being there than his fellow grunts - and quickly lost his grip after witnessing the senseless slaughter of a magnificent white bull, then having to fulfill a blood pact with his closest friend, who was wounded in an ambush. Soulless, Finn comes home to wife and child, but his alcoholism drives them away, and he spends 12 years homeless, pushing a shopping cart and sleeping in a park along with other vets. His condition deteriorates almost to the point of no return, but his soul/anima (which he calls "Madman") has stuck close in hopes of making him whole again; in a series of magical transformations set in motion by his strong sense of Celtic identity - and aided by the unlikely figure of Robert Louis Stevenson - Finn slowly accepts Madman, along with the more unsavory part of himself he calls "Redeyes." His friends who died in Vietnam, and whose bloody ghosts have long tormented him, are finally laid to rest along with his addiction, allowing him to return to Scotland to prove himself worthy of his heritage. The heroic recovery here is as much personal triumph as reminder of a national shame. Mulligan's fine telling of the story ought to help open a door of hope for others who may have been destroyed like Finn and are still left behind. (Kirkus Reviews)