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The Ha-Ha by Dave King

In The Ha-Ha, Howard Kapostash is a middle-aged Vietnam veteran who suffered a near-fatal injury during the war that damaged his brain so he cannot speak, read, or write. Other than that, he has normal intelligence and physical abilities. He's stubbornly refused to learn any real communication skills, doggedly carving out a quiet life that believes he can control. He's still in love with his high school sweetheart, who is now a single mother with a mixed-race son. When she goes into drug rehab, she asks Howard to watch her son for a few days and he agrees, willing to help her in any way. Unfortunately, the few days stretch out to an unanticipated longer period, forcing Howard to step in as surrogate parent and upsetting the precarious balance in his life. This boy in his life creates anew emotions and struggles that Howard has suppressed, including the anger and bitterness of what happened during the war. Dave King's novel has received high praise with the Christian Science Monitor saying, "But this is ultimately a story of smothered tenderness coaxed back to flame. In the poetic voice of a silent man, King has created a strangely lovable hero whose chance for happiness will matter to you deeply."
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Christian Science Monitor
review by Ron Charles

New York Times review
by Mark Kamine

San Diego Union-Tribune
review by Debra Ginsberg

Boston Globe review
by Caroline Leavitt review
by Hilary Williamson

BookPage review
by Ian Schwartz

Austin Chronicle review
by Marrit Ingman

Seattle Times review
by Jake Batsell

San Francisco Chronicle
review by Malena Watrous

Dave King
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