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BACK IN THE WORLD: A Composite Novel by Joe Lerner and Herman Kaufman

BACK IN THE WORLD: A Composite Novel

by Joe Lerner and Herman Kaufman

264 pages
Joe Lerner is shipped home to an unexpected welcome. He rejoins his buddy at college. Their veterans' dorm outrages the neighbors. Joe fails to fit into his world. Haunted by nightmares, Joe doses himself with booze and pot. Then, a false accusation of murder...What will become of Joe Lerner?

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Category: Fiction:Thriller
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About the Book
When Joe Lerner quits his super secret overseas assignment in Laos, he is shipped back to the world to an unexpected welcome. At loose ends, he returns to school and rejoins his old buddy Kid at college. They are housed in a dormitory ghetto with other veterans. Their staid and influential neighbors are both irritated and angered by the dormitory's presence and by the veterans' activities. Compounding their problem, they are out of step on the Fourth of July and misrepresented to the public.

On his own, a confused Joe bungles his attempts to fit into the student body. Joe's every attempt to find romance or sex is thwarted, as his eccentric behavior appalls his classmates. Joe foolishly trusts a fellow vet, and is gulled into a dubious occupation to earn his tuition. Having attracted police attention, Joe is first suspected of arson...then accused of murdering his friend. Meanwhile, the past plagues Joe nightly as badly as mundane living does daily. To cope with all these stresses, Joe retreats into a stupor of booze, marijuana, and willed amnesia before Kid's eyes.

Kid can only wonder, what will become of Joe Lerner? The shocking answer arrives unexpectedly.


The characters in Lerner and Kaufman’s book are entirely fictional...not intended to portray historic events. Readers who know some history may object to the authors’ twisting of timing, but this is done out of dramatic necessity. The public’s ill treatment of veterans is true in many cases.
- David Willson of The VVA Veteran



About the Author
Joe Lerner was assigned to the American embassy in Laos in an undercover espionage posting before his return to his world. While attending college, he wrote extensively on his readjustment to civilian life.

Herman "Kid" Kaufman was posted to the American embassy in Laos as a communications technician. As he knew Joe Lerner there, he mentored Joe in his college career. He completed Joe’s memoirs with his own recollections.



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