Come Along and See: What Some Young Men Did in '48, '49, '50, '51, '52
by Dan Rasmussen Jr.
PageTurner Press and Media LLC

"I carried that small Bible for a year in Korea. I still have it. It was wet so many times that the binding is broken, the ink is smeared, and mildew blot the covers."

This book tells the story of a young man from a small town in Nebraska. When his sister calls from California with a job opportunity just as he graduates from high school, he heads out the town he has lived in his entire life. And just like that, the author goes from tornadoes, old trucks, and school friends to beaches, swanky stores, and beautiful people. But then, when he is 21, the notice comes: he has been drafted for the Korean War. The story continues with his time in Korea, and he details the horrors of war alongside the camaraderie of his platoon.

Rasmussen wrote these stories in his first book, but this new and revised version reads much more like a novel. Specifically, the chapters that cover the war are written with such detail that a vivid picture is painted. The dialogue and descriptions do not feel forced or contrived but natural. The author includes brief historical information as well, such as a history of the symbolism of snakes, to complement his own memories. However, some stories seem a bit out of place, such as his history of voodoo in the United States and its connection to a suspected murderer in Korea.

The prose flows well, and the photos sprinkled throughout add nicely to the reality of his narrative. He even includes pictures from the war, of his friends, the landscapes, and himself while also including detailed commentary. For instance, “Outdoor kitchen for Korean labor gang. That’s rice in the big bowl and some kind of fish stew in the steaming one.” The book is an interesting and thoughtful first-hand account of the Korean War.

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