This anti-war novel is written from the point of view of an injured World War I infantryman (Joe Bonham). As the plot progresses we realize how severe the injuries are (most of his face has been blown away and eventually his arms and legs must be amputated--leaving a faceless torso) and why the story is being told by an interior monologue voice. Interspersed with recollections of Joe Bonham's life is a description of his amazing
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let him out (people would be glad to pay to see a "freak" such as himself). The answer he receives in return, one, which had to be "literally" pounded into his forehead: "What you ask is against regulations." That is when his last glimmer of hope vanished for ever, there was nothing for him to look forward to and keep him alive any longer, nothing to keep him from going mad, its was gone…forever.