MASH books in Chronological Order
By all accounts MASH was one of the most popular TV shows ever. It’s reported that 125 million people watched the 1983 finale of the eleven season series, even though there were only 82.5 million TVs in the US at the time. But before the TV series, there was an award winning Movie, and a less popular series of books. The first book did well enough to spark the entire MASH franchise, but after that the popularity dwindled despite twelve sequels. Worse, the books were not printed in chronological story order, instead they tended to jump around which makes for a confusing story.
But we do meet a host of great characters, and find out more about the lives of our two (technically four,) favorite Doctors. There are a host of great jokes, some of which need a bit of setup. Other jokes run over several books, which can be confusing if you haven’t read all the books. There is also the occasional tear jerker scene in almost every book, most of which involve actual surgery instead of the regular hi-jinks.
Likely the books didn’t do quite as well because they tended to be slightly sexist. Even in the 1970s that was starting to become a little forbidden. Then there is the racist jokes, most of which are “OK” 1970’s racist jokes that try to be somewhat apologetic while managing to still be offensive.
Of course there is the fact that the “After MASH” sequels just didn’t do as good as the TV show anyways. By the end of the series it’s obvious that the author was trying to milk the cash cow for us much as he could. Considering most of these books are now on Amazon for under a buck, that was obviously a futile gesture. But, the books remain a bit of a guilty pleasure just like Dean Kootnz, Charlaine Harris, or Laurell K. Hamilton.
So here is the MASH Book series in chronological story order. Enjoy!
Before the movie, this is the novel that gave life to Hawkeye Pierce, Trapper John, Hot Lips Houlihan, Frank Burns, Radar O’Reilly, and the rest of the gang that made the 4077th MASH like no other place in Korea or on earth.
The doctors who worked in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) during the Korean War were well trained but, like most soldiers sent to fight a war, too young for the job. In the words of the author, “a few flipped their lids, but most of them just raised hell, in a variety of ways and degrees.”
“M*A*S*H Goes to Maine” is Richard Hooker’s hilarious sequel to his classic book “MASH” and, for once, the sequel is better! Living a quiet life in Maine after the Korean War, doctors “Hawkeye” Pierce, “Duke” Forrest and “Trapper John” McIntyre are at it again, trying to establish a medical hospital while fighting the snobbiest doctors in America. Funny and very relaxing, you’ll love “M*A*S*H Goes to Maine”.
The whole M*A*S*H gang-Hawkeye, Trapper John, Hot Lips and the rest-hit New Orleans to attend the American Tonsil, Adenoid and Vas Deferens Society convention. But that’s just the beginning….. It may take years for Crescent City to recover from the gang’s outrageous brand of medical madness-and their boozing, cruising and cutting up all the way from Basin Street to the Louisiana bayous.
At this point in the series William E Butterworth took over writing. And things go downhill. The racist jokes increase and include pretty much everyone the characters come across. The characters all arrive in rather contrived ways at their destination. And there is ample descriptions of drinking, golfing, and even some about surgery. At this point you’re wondering why the original author was letting these books through. It had to be “I get a check? And I don’t have to do anything? Where do I sign?”
Finally, Hooker takes back over as the author. This last book is sort of a “sorry for the last ten books, here are the guys back again. But this time they’re middle aged Republicans. But it’s still funny! I swear!” And it is actually.