Vintage Contemporaries

Buffalo Soldiers

Publisher: Vintage
Set on a luxuriously appointed and hopelessly corrupt Army base in Mannheim, Germany, where the soldiers prefer real-life race riots to mock combat, Robert O'Connor's viciously funny novel is conclusive proof that peace is hell and the U.S. Army is its ninth circle.

In that hell, Specialist Ray Elwood is the ultimate survivor: a high-stakes drug dealer, bureaucratic con artist, and shrewd collector of other people's secrets. Elwood is contemplating cleaning up his act, although doing so will require one last, epic heroin deal. But of course it's then that his life will careen totally out of control. With its impeccably rendered cast of sycophants, drug burn-outs, and uniformed sociopaths, Buffalo Soldiers give us a scabrous, haunting vision of a military idled by the New World Order—and at all-out war with itself.


"An M-1 tank of a novel, fast and powerful and dangerous...way nasty and blindingly funny." —Jay McInerney

"This book may well find a place on the shelf with Joseph Heller's Catch-22.... It takes a fine novelist to tell such a sordid story so beautifully—and a brave one to hold out no hope for redemption but the jolting effect of a cold-eyed look at the truth." —The New York Times Book Review

"Buffalo Soldiers rips a story of survival from the fearsome realm of the modern Army's barracks, trenches, and gutters. Military jargon becomes in-you-face narrative, punctuated by extremes of horror and humor.... This book is about now, and its present-tense urgency never flags." —Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer