The Big Schnitzel is the final installment of Steve Smith’s 3-part autobiography of his 22 months “in” the U.S. Army in the late 1950s. I put that first “in” in quotes because, as I’ve noted in my reviews of the first two books, while Smith was in the Army, he was never really a part of it, a reality he wore with more than a little pride.
But Book 3 is lacking something that Book 1 (Single Striper) and Book 2 (Close Enough for Jazz) had. That something is conflict, specifically conflict that involves Smith.
Let’s step back for a minute. In Book 1, Smith resists and avoids the Army’s best efforts to turn him into a soldier and then into a radio operator. He and his fellow junior enlistees then face and largely frustrate petty tyrant Staff Sergeant Billie C...Read More