A Soldier’s Story


Check out Honest Jim’s review of Dennis Rogers’ SPIT SHINE: MUD, SWEAT, AND COMING OF AGE. It’s a marvelous book by my old journalism buddy, one of the finest storytellers I know.

“Dennis Rogers is a masterful storyteller who uses simple eloquence, an eye for the detail that brings people and places to life and deftly applied dollops of humor to tell his tales.

Those skills were honed during 32 years as a columnist and editorial writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. But Rogers, born in Wilson, N.C. and raised by his grandmother, is such a natural that there is little doubt his talent is inherited from his ancestors.

Rogers’ considerable abilities are on full display in Spit Shine: Mud, Sweat and Coming of Age. The title lets you know what the story will be about — a 19-year-old poor boy’s transformation during Army basic training at Fort Jackson in 1962.

But it would be a fatal mistake to dismiss this book as a nostalgic memoir. If you do that, you miss a marvelous opportunity to invite Rogers to sit a spell on the front porch of your mind and tell this marvelous story of young men being forced to grow up fast, forge the soldier’s bond with his buddies and discover steel and grit they never knew they had.

Rogers’ distinct, conversational voice makes this book a fast read that will cause you to hope that his next book will be written and published very soon.”

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