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The Periwinkle Assault

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I hate it when I get a good book and it ends on a cliffhanger. Especially if I may never find the final part.
During a rather unproductive research period at school, I passed by the war section and spotted this book:


Sadly, the only thing that caught me was the "Gay Title Alarm" that went off in my mind. I pulled the book off the shelf and tried to guess what was going on. The sky is yellow with several planes going 270 degrees downward, Boobilla and some guy grinning like a maniac and holding up a long, ridged, wooden stick (Freud...?) and some blond guy throwing Two-Face in a Nazi uniform over his shoulder. But really, my first throught was...
"Geez, that woman looks a lot like..."

By standing on that X

Interested and confused, I turned to the back of the book and read. Turned out it was about two guys named John J. MacDonald (a young Canadian guy) and Major Ruper Knickerson (a phony British general) that have escaped from a Frohlichezit P-O-W camp and end up trying to get a priceless chalice from a Sicilian monastery before the mafia or the Nazis get it.
The thing was that Periwinkle Assault was part two in a series of four. And the last copy in the school library. And the library doesn't have the remaining books.
Neither do the old book shops. This is what happens:
"I'm, uh, looking for this book by Charles Dennis. It's called 'This War Is Closed Until Next Spring'."
"Okay, which genre is it?"
"Well, it's war, fiction, comedy, adventure..."
",,,And Canadian."
"Okay, let's try in this section..."
(Five sections later)
"We don't have it, I'm afraid."
Basically, I had to scrape along on the characters' brief flashbacks. A quarter of the time, I just went "Now who the hell is that?"
I just couldn't put the book away. For one thing, the main character is a lot like Lupin, and being a fan of the Lupin III series, I had to take it. There's a French guy somewhat like Goemon, but that's not the point. There are two women like Fujiko, Giovanna (seen on the cover with Knickerson) is similar in appearance, and Pepper Van de Kamp gets Fuji's personality. Strangely, both women get vivid - and frequent - descriptions about their breasts.Yes, kids, in order to be a leading female you must have C's, at least. And be in a physical relationship with one of the main characters. Then again, this WAS written by a man 25 years ago.
What amazes me is how this book has everything. There are Nazis, Sudanese soldiers who sing old-time songs while beating up said Nazis, Fujiko-esque movie starlets, spies, World War Two, treasure hunts...even the freakin' mafia. This book was practically waiting for me. But I'm only the third person to take it out of the library ever since it was bought in '84!
These are the books in the Broken Sabre Quartet...
This War is Closed Until Next Spring
The Periwinkle Assault
The Malibu Cricket Club Murders
...and then I don't know the final one. It seems nobody owns it, or at least mentions it on the online book shops.
Just like in Lupin, the book contains random, dirty scenarios that I'd suspect to be in a hentai or Robot Chicken. Take this part where J.J. and the Major discover a woman named Gerda (I figure she's from the first book) in a strange position with the unwilling and barely-awake Raoul Fontaine (I still imagine him as Goemon for no reason):
The Major unclasped the holster flap shielding his trusty Browning and withdrew his pistol. Then, stepping with an incredibly agile gait, he made his way across the room without one floorboard creaking,
"Cheeka-ya-ya!" He roared and pulled back the hammer on the gun.
Gerda's head had snapped back in a moment of ecstasy as she was seconds away from her climax. She now found herself staring into the barrel of the upside-down Major's gun.
Fraulein Zaftiger began to scream hysterically.
Macdonald had been a good ten minutes behind Knickerson all the way. So while the Major was in stunned shock watching Gerda having a good time, Macdonald was making a furious and fruitless search of the Red Cross corridors to try and bail the Major out before he got himself shot or thrust into a straightjacket.
Then he heard the scream.
Oh, no! What's he done! Macdonald galloped up the stairs, led on by the deafening female caterwauling. He burst into the bedroom to discover a nude Gerda Zaftiger mounted on a now conscious and confused Raoul Fontaine with a frantic Rupert Knickerson attempting to silence her.
"Ahem. No reason to carry on like this, Fraulein Zaftiger. I've captured you fair and square. Now give up your prisoner!"
"Rupert, for Chrissake, she can't hear you. She's hysterical!"
"Oh! Is that what it is? Good thing you arrived, Macdonald. I've been having the devil of a time trying to silence her. Can't you do anything?"
Macdonald did do something. He belted Gerda across the face with the palm of his hand, silencing her hysterical fit.
"Good show, Macdonald."
"Oh, terrific," replied the Canadian, staring at Gerda's still open but glassy eyes. "She's gone from hysteria to catatonia. What the hell did you do to her, Rupert?"
"Nothing, dammit!" the Major snapped back defensively, reaching for a towel on the bed to wipe the rivers of persperation from his forehead.
"Don't wipe your face with that towel," intoned the archangel Menquist. "They must have just used it for intercourse."
"Aaagh!" And Knickerson dropped the towel back onto the bed.
"What the hell's he doing here?" asked JJ, pointing at Menquist.
"The man's been of immeasurable assistance--"
"Terrific! Maybe he can give us a cover story for when the Swiss police turn up and--"
"Ohhh, Macdonald! Do you take me for an amateur? The first thing I did when I arrived was post a sentry."
"Okay. Okay. Let's get out of here then. Come on, Raoul. Allons! Vite!"
"Je ne peux pas, Macdonald," moaned Fontaine.
"C'est assez, Raoul. Nous devons nous depecher. Les gendarmes suisses arrivent--"
"Je suis coince!" wailed Fontaine and pointed to the problem.
"Oh, Jesus!" gasped Macdonald. "He's stuck in her snootch."
"How's that, Macdonald?"
"Well, take a look, Rupert!"
"I'm not looking down there," retorted Knickerson, quitting the bed area abruptly.
Yeah. So the Major takes Gerda's shoulders and JJ takes Raoul's and they try to pull. And when they can't, uh, detatch Gerda from Raoul, the cops show up outside (chp. 4, pg. 32):
They had been conducting their human tug-of-war for two minutes when the stillness of the night was shattered by the sound of police sirens.
"Come on, Rupert, that's blow. If they catch us up here--"
"But we can't leave Fontaine!"
"We have to!"
"Ne me laissez pas ici," wailed Fontaine.
"I'm sorry," shrugged JJ helplessly. Then he lit a cigarette and placed it between the Frenchman's lips. "Just stay calm till the cops get here."
Yeah, that was disturbing. Fun, though. I can totally imagine Lupin J.J. sticking a cigarette in temporarily-immobile Raoul's mouth before jumping out the window.
Aside from all this wild, casual sex and  jovial violence, the two are sent on a USS tour boat where JJ meets Pepper (he spends all day trying to find her by the scent of her perfume, and when he finally finds her, a strong wind blows off her halter top and the top hits him in the face) and even more stuff happens. Then, the two are sent to a Sudanese village where they lose sight of the Major, get seperated and once JJ meets back up with the Major, a big soldier named Ahmed joins their party and likes to "bash dem Germans" as he says. Then they get to Sicily, meet Giovanna, the Major falls for her REALLY quickly, then the mafia takes over the church that JJ was told had the chalice, and then...you'll have to read the rest. It's at least $2.50 on Biblio.com, so check it out. Hey, maybe if the odds are on your side, one of your local used book shops had a copy.
Rating: ****/*****
(One star docked for two penis jokes, a bit of female stereotyping and resorting to using the pronoun "cocksucker" to describe a German officer)
But really, please don't think that the entire book is filthy. I mean, there's quite a few bits of WHOA, but there's still plenty of action and adventure.
Edit: April 14 2008
Some time after posting this review, I got my own copy of the book at a local shop. It was the original British edition, for one dollar, in the "war & historical" section. The only problem was the cover...

It puts the "ass" in "Assault". You wouldn't BELIEVE how awkward it was buying this. I'd hate to be the woman modelling, though...
Edit: A couple weeks after that
There was a huge book sale in Confederation Mall, and I found a copy of the Canadian edition, for only a dollar. I...I guess that this book is the easiest in the series to find. Or something.
Final Edit: November 20, 2008
Earlier this week, I went back into the war section of the library, looking for a book that wasn't lame manga. I looked in the exact same spot that Periwinkle Assault was in before.
It was gone.
So, I went to the library catalog computer to see if the book had been checked out, and I searched 'Charles Dennis' (then 'Dennis, Charles').
Absolutely nothing. And that's a pretty bad sign, knowing that the last time I checked (in March or April), the same search would bring up a record of his name and Periwinkle, the only book of his that the library ever had.
Call me crazy, but...either it's been lost in the library and removed from the records...or...the book's been pulled from the library!
I guess the day I returned it, one of the librarians was curious as to what this book was about, and A) read it for herself, or B) googled the title, found this article and realized how crazy and inappropriate some of the stuff in this book was.
Or, it just got destroyed or lost. Either way, it's disappeared. :(
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