Ben Givens, recently widowed, is a retired heart surgeon, once admired for his steadiness of hand, his precision, his endurance. He has terminal colon cancer. While Ben does not readily accept defeat, he is determined to avoid suffering rather than engage it. And so, accompanied by his two hunting dogs, he sets out through the mythic American West - sage deserts, yawning canyons, dusty ranches, vast orchards - on his last hunt.
He went in as a military history buff, a virgin, and a teetotaler. He came out with a war bride, a taste for German beer, and intimate knowledge of one of the darkest parts of history. His name is Dean Joy, and this was his war. For two months in 1945, Joy endured and survived the everyday deprivations and dangers of being a frontline infantryman. His amazingly detailed memoir, self-illustrated with numerous scenes Joy remembers from his time in Europe, brings back the sights, sounds, and smells of the experience as few books ever have.