London: Neville Spearman, 1963. 223p., yellow boards titled black in pictorial dj, translated from the Spanish by Christopher Martin. First British edition, good copy. "Virulently" anti-Franco novel, set in the dictator's conscript military. Author Ortas at age 17 "joined Franco's Republican Air Force. From 1939 he spent several years in French concentration camps, was imprisoned for five years in Spain on political grounds, is at present living in London having sought political asylum." He has also published a novel in Mexico based on these experiences (different title in English namely Soldier and a Half). The dedication softens Ortas' "virulence," which dedication is to "the best infantry in the world" [sic; in context none other than his old outfit], likewise in acknowledgements Ortas cites as reprehensible the Spanish Army's "rickety structure, rigid internal hierarchy, lack of money and supplies, and the corruption of a few [sic] officers." Period. To further gild this mildness odd in a political exile, he grinds his teeth most about "the miserable sum which the Spanish Army receives fortnightly under the comic title of 'extras' (Inventory #: 41633)
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