Picks and Pans Review: The Complete Book of M*a*s*h

updated 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Suzy Kalter

The M*A*S*H series has been discussed and analyzed nearly as much as the war that provided its setting. This volume includes plot summaries for all 251 episodes of the series' 11 seasons, some 200 photographs and interviews with all of the show's major personalities except McLean Stevenson, David Ogden Stiers and Alan Alda (who refused to talk because he was doing his own book). M*A*S*H fans probably know that Dr. Richard Hornberger, the Korea vet who wrote the book that inspired Robert Altman's movie and the series, considered the Hawkeye Pierce character to be himself and never liked Alda's portrayal. But does everyone know that William Christopher always thought his part as Father Mulcahy was too restricted? Or that Jamie Farr had to bring his lunch to the set the first couple of years he played Klinger because he had so many bills that he couldn't afford to eat in the commissary? The book may be sheer trivia, but the series had some special qualities—warmth, intelligence, compassion—and Kalter's work reflects them admirably. (Abrams, $27.50)

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