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No Heaven for Gunga Din:  Consisting of the British and American Officers' Book
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Last updated by: Engelbrecht

No Heaven for Gunga Din: Consisting of the British and American Officers' Book

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Author: Ali Mirdrekvandi
Publisher: Dutton, 1965
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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
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Synopsis

The story is told in somewhat broken English with an often curious choice of words (such as "steepy" for a steep place). Mirdrekvandi's English has been described as "often very comic, ... almost always felicitous." The story lacks the sophisticated style of modern writing, being more like the narrative style of ancient ballads.

The story has been described as "a kind of Pilgrim's Progress" as the 82 officers trek across the Milky Way seeking Heaven "with General Burke their commander in their front and Gunga Din their servant in their behind." Along the way various stories are told, such as the traveler who, wanting to see how blind people walk, closed his eyes for a section, and so missed some money certain angels had left on the side of the road for him.

When they reach the gate of Heaven they find it is guarded by M.P.s (Military Police), who prevent them from entering without Freedom Passes. For these they must go to the Judgement-Field and be judged. Fearing they will be condemned to Hell they become outlaws in a forest on the border of Heaven, giving the Heaven M.P.s much trouble for eight years. Eventually Adam is asked to deal with his children, and he arranges for them to be judged.

At the Judgement Field the officers' sins are forgiven on the condition of spending 14 minutes in purgatory. Gunga Din, however, is condemned to Hell for forty earthly years. After suffering bad dreams the officers appeal on his behalf. The story ends with the Children of Man agitating for changes in how Heaven and Hell are run.


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