A Merry Prankster Evening: KEN BABBS / Who Shot the Water Buffalo?
WHO SHOT THE WATER BUFFALO?
Who Shot the Water Buffalo?, the long-awaited first novel from the famous Merry Prankster Ken Babbs, is an unforgettable story tale of friendship, honor, and survival in the Vietnam era.
Set in 1961-62, this powerful novel offers a startling account of two young men just as the Vietnam War was underway. Major Tom Huckelbee, “leathery as any Texican come crawling out of the sage,” and Major Mike Cochran, a “loquacious, Ohio gangster”, make an unlikely pair of Marine chopper pilots on their way to Vietnam. From their training squadron in Southern California to the darkest regions of Vietnam in 1962, Huckelbee and Cochran valiantly struggle to find themselves in the middle of something they don’t fully understand.
Caught up in an ill-defined war, not always sure what roles to assume, and knowing they can die in country, these young pilots not only test the limits of friendship, but the limits of courage. This is the story of men away from their homes and families in a far away tropical, exotic country, kept mostly isolated from the locals and locales -- situations that are current and meaningful no matter what time in history, and still resonating strongly for the world today. Tough and comical with a razor-sharp eye for detail, Ken Babbs pulls out all the stops in his debut novel.
Ken Babbs attended Stanford University – and is the last member of the legendary Wallace Stegner Stanford writing class (Ken Kesey, Wendell Berry, Ernest Gaines, Larry McMurtry, Robert Stone) to write a novel. Babbs served in the USMC from 1959 to 1964, and was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. A famous Merry Prankster who became one of the psychedelic leaders of the 1960s, he, along with best friend and Prankster leader, Ken Kesey, wrote Last Go Round (1994) about the oldest and largest rodeos in America. He lives in Dexter, Oregon and is the founder of the Sky Pilot Club. And, yes, you can follow him on Twitter! @KenBabbs