Books: Thorns in the Flesh

WAR IS HEAVEN! by D. Keith Mano. 226 pages. Doubleday. $5.95.

At first the title cavorts in the mind, a comical inversion of the cliche. By the end of D. Keith Mano's new novel, though, the resonances and realities of the words have lost all irony. They have become literal, horrifying statement.

The scene is slightly exotic—the imaginary South American republic of Camaguay—but the war is of a kind that is becoming all too familiar. American forces are aiding a local dictator in trying to wipe out a terrorizing Communist guerrilla army. What the book amounts to is an intimate, aghast report by...

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