The Beardless Warriors
A Novel of World War II
By Richard Matheson
(Forge Books, Paperback, 9780312878313, 320pp.)
Publication Date: May 2001
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In 1944, long before he wrote such classic novels as I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come, author Richard Matheson served as an eighteen-year-old replacement in the 87th Division during the latter part of the war in Europe. His tour of duty there inspired this acclaimed novel about a group of equally young and inexperienced soldiers thrown into the fury of combat.
The Beardless Warriors are a squad of teenage U.S. infantrymen fighting their way across Germany during the final weeks of the war. Under fire and in over their heads, the fresh-faced young men must grow up fast if they ever hope to see home again.
Everett Hackermeyer is the latest soldier to join the squad, "Hack," a troubled youth from a hellish family background, faces a new kind of inferno on the front lines, only to discover hidden reserves he never knew he possessed. Ironically, he doesn't come to value his own life until he runs the very real chance of losing it.
Richard Matheson was The New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It…, and What Dreams May Come, among others. He was named a Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention, and received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also won the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In addition to his novels Matheson wrote several screenplays for movies and TV, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” based on his short story, along with several other Twilight Zone episodes. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, and fought in the infantry in World War II. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Matheson died in June, 2013, at the age of eighty-seven.
"Not just another war novel; it is one of the finest books that has come out of World War II or any other."--The Detroit News
"One of the most shocking accounts of war ever written . . . reminiscent of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage."--Miami News