M*A*S*H - Richard Hooker
This is the book that inspired the movie that inspired the television show. Some of the characters are the same. Some are totally different. Hawkeye, Trapper John, Col. Blake, Radar, Father Mulcahy, "Hot Lips" Hoolihan, Frank Burns, and many others...though many of them are very different from what was on the screen. Then there are totally "new" characters. Spearchucker Jones, Duke Forrest (the third MAJOR character), Captain Waldowski (The Painless Pole and The Pride of Hamtramck), nurse "Knocko" McCarthy, and so many more I never heard of before.
It only took two days to read this one because I was having so much fun. It is hilarious and serious at the same time. Just like the movie and the television show. The antics made me laugh. The war and the reason these doctors are in Korea to begin with is sad. The pranks and wise-assed comments made me chuckle while knowing that these were coping mechanisms used in a highly stressful situation made me feel for the characters.
The book made me laugh a lot, but also made me feel reflective and melancholy at moments. I guess that is exactly why this story was such a hit in all three types of media.
Read it. It was excellent.