I’ve written books where I’ve pushed it very far, far beyond my own experience, and other books where I stayed very, very close to the experience I received, as in The Executioner’s Song, for example. Now in The Naked and the Dead I did something in between the two. To wit: I had a lot of experience in the war, but it was not as intense as the experience of the people who were the characters in my book. Nonetheless, it was close enough so I could extrapolate a bit. I could exaggerate to a degree, because I had a sense of what the outer possibilities were, as you do when you get a little bit of combat. You get a very good idea of what a lot of combat might be like. Not necessarily a true idea, but a bigger idea. I came late to my outfit in the Philippines, and most of those guys went over for a couple of years already. They had been in other campaigns, so I picked up all the stories of battles that they had been in before I ever joined them. So you could say The Naked and the Dead was on the one hand realistic, and on the other hand it was an exaggeration of experiences I had.