Gustav Hasford's picture

Gustav Hasford

USA flag (1947 - 1993)

Gustav Hasford was one of the most accomplished writers of Vietnam War fiction, yet today all three of his novels are out of print. He collaborated with Stanley Kubrick for three years on Full Metal Jacket, yet they met in person only once, where Kubrick leaned over to Michael Herr during dinner and said, "I can't deal with this man." Gustav Hasford was a voracious reader and history buff who could talk at length on any number of subjects, yet he did not even graduate high school because he refused to take his graduation exams. He was a true lover of books and despised those who did not properly care for them, yet in 1988 he was sentenced to six months in jail for stealing 748 books from nine libraries throughout the country. He maintained lifelong friendships with his fellow combat correspondents of the First Marine Division, the self-proclaimed Snuffies. As a struggling writer, he associated with various 1970s sci-fi scribes, even living with famed novelist Harlan Ellison for a time. Yet he died alone, living in a cheap motel on the island of Aegina in Greece.