The Odd Angry Shot is the seminal account of Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War. Brief and bracing, tragic yet darkly funny, it portrays a close-knit group of kckabout SAS fighters: their mateship, homesickness and fears; their practical jokes, drinking and fighting. The enemy is t just the Vietcong they've been sent to fight, but their superiors, the mud and torrential rain, and boredom. In 1975 it won the National Book Council Award and was made into an iconic Australian film starring Graham Kennedy, Bryan Brown, John Jarrett, John Hargreaves and Graeme Blundell. This edition comes with a new introduction by the rewned military historian Paul Ham, who writes: `The Odd Angry Shot reveals...how war damages and destroys t only life and limb, but also the brains, hopes and dreams of everyone involved...It is an Australian Dispatches and-like Michael Herr's classic, which came out two years later-it rips the scales from our eyes.'
William Nagle was born in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, in 1947. Educated at St Joseph's College in Geelong, he left school at seventeen and enlisted in the army. He trained as a cook and in 1966 was deployed with the SAS to Saigon. There he was disciplined for refusing to cook egg custard and later was transferred to the infantry in Australia. Nagle was discharged from the army in 1968, and went on to work in television, and on stage with the Melbourne Theatre Company. The Odd Angry Shot, his debut novel, fictionalised his experiences-and those of his SAS mates-in Vietnam. Nagle completed the first draft in one sitting, working around the clock for six days. Published in 1975, the novel won the National Book Council Award and became an instant classic. In 1979 it was made into a film starring Graham Kennedy, John Hargreaves, John Jarratt and Bryan Brown. `It was a risky commercial venture,' said director Tom Jeffrey. `The Vietnam War was a dirty subject. Few people wanted to be reminded of our involvement.' Nagle wrote the screenplay for Death of a Soldier (1986) and co-wrote the screenplay for The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989), both about the Vietnam War. He worked in film and television for many years in the United States before his death, in 2002.
Winner of National Book Council Award 1975 (Australia).