Code Name Excalibur
by Jonathan Wright

"'You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no middle ground.'"

Most of the time, Jonathan Wright flies by the seat of his pants. Fortunately for him, he can usually extricate himself from dangerous or embarrassing situations using his silver tongue and incisively analytical brain. How else could he pass tenth-grade algebra or evade a pack of schoolyard bullies? Fortunately for everyone around him, he uses his astounding powers of manipulation for good instead of evil. His pure motives and devilish penchant for instigating mayhem combine oddly but effectively to propel the devoted young soldier through the ranks of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. The friendship of his congressman prevents Wright's deployment overseas. Still, when a recruit is beaten during hazing or when a G.I.'s suicidal wife is denied adequate psychiatric care, Wright channels his indignation at the Army's mistreatment of its own into quests for solutions—just as his late grandmother always told him he should.

Author Wright penned this largely autobiographical work as the first in a series. It ends when Wright, spying for the United States in East Germany under the codename Excalibur, arrives in Berlin. Wright's breezy retelling of back-to-back exploits and his tendency to cite examples of his own apparently irresistible charm might come across to some as boastful. However, Wright is as ready to self-deprecate as he is to self-aggrandize. He frankly discusses his lifelong struggle with dyslexia and the academic and practical challenges that this has always presented. He is also acutely sensitive to injustices perpetrated against those he loves and is not slow to disclose his agony at his best friend's death. Readers who enjoy a well-rounded leading character will delight in the great variety of Wright's interests, whether sports, the arts, or the finer points of military tactical strategy.

Return to USR Home