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Comments

Caroline

Thanks for this great review, Danielle.
I agree on the character of Nebo. He was one of those I liked best and his love for Anna is so touching.
I've never seen an account of the civil war quite like this one. It's stripped of all the glory and heroism.
The writing was good and bizarre at the same time. A bit confusing too but I still enjoyed it.
Why would you not read it again? Was it too patchy or too gruesome? I've already read the introduction to Killer Angels and I'm glad I did. I answered a few questions.

Kailana

I haven't finished my review yet, but I did read the book! I couldn't find the book ANYWHERE and had to listen to the audio. A bit funny that was the only way it was available in Canada. I liked it but wouldn't mind reading it in print should it ever cross my path. I am going to listen to The Killer Angels on audio, too. While that one is available to buy, the library actually had it... Just only on audio! It's an audio challenge for me apparently. :)

iliana

I haven't read many books set around the time of the Civil War. The only I can think of Cold Mountain and that was a struggle for me to get through. Will look forward to hear what you think of Killer Angels.

Danielle

I should never say never--this is one that would do well with a rereading I think. For me, it has been more satisfying after the fact as it has time to settle in my mind--the actual reading was somewhat uneven, I guess. I loved parts and really would fall into the story and find that the world had drifted away, but then at other times it felt a little uphill in the going. There were some gruesome parts, though nothing excessively or offensively so. I expect this is a pretty good view of what it must have been like---unpleasant in many ways and I guess from the earliest of times women are just chattel and there to be taken/raped which I always find so disturbing. I guess it doesn't take a war to bring out the worst in people sometimes, but it always feels a little heightened when there is so much violence all around and then it is thrust on women, too. But maybe it's just an extra excuse for badness? It did, as you say in your post, begin quite straightforwardly, but then the telling got quite creative--not that I didn't like it--it just took some re-orienting! I have pulled out my copy of The Killer Angels and was happy to see there is an introduction in my edition, too! I am a little embarrassed that I have remembered so little about the war--but maybe I never did study all those battles in much detail anyway. Good choice of books to start with!

Danielle

I like listening to audio books, but I tend to listen when walking outside and it has been far too cold to use my MP3 player--I need my ear muffs more! :) This would have been a really interesting book to listen to--was the narrator good? It's funny that it was available more readily as an audio book--I would have thought the opposite--go figure. I look forward to reading your post! I have my copy of Killer Angels all ready--so glad you are reading along with it, too!

Danielle

Okay, I have read Cold Mountain, too, so I guess I have read two Civil War books in the last decade or so! How could I have forgotten that one? It was quite a vivid story! I think Killer Angels should go much faster--if only because the print was so dense and tiny in the other book! :)

Liz F

I know so little about the American Civil War that it is embarrassing (although not quite as embarrassing as how little I know about the English Civil War - though that might have more to do with the History syllabus in the 1970's which didn't go anywhere near the subject)
I can't remember reading much about it (the US Civil War I mean) other than Gone With the Wind and North and South (only got halfway through Cold Mountain before giving up I'm afraid)so it is another subject on my list of 'things I need to find out about'.
I do know though that Morley, a former mill town which is now part of Leeds, provided cloth for the uniforms of both sides of the conflict - possibly part of why it was such a prosperous place in the Victorian era! Talk about hedging your bets on the outcome!

Stefanie

Your description of the book as a quilt is remarkable and tragic sounding. Such a terrible time in the country's history.

litlove

I do admire the War and Literature group because you really do get through some harrowing-sounding books. I don't think I could read this, so I'm glad to have read your wonderful review, Danielle.

Danielle

How interesting about Leeds--I had no idea but it is not surprising. The war was obviously prosperous for some--and likely here in the US, too. I guess war is not always a 'bad' thing for everyone. I know shocking little about the US Civil War--I think I have only read the Shaara and Cold Mountain--I would like to read more--of course with a slant towards how it effected women. Too many things I want to read and read about and not enough time, as you know! How are you getting on with the Barker? I need to spend a nice chunk of time with it as I am not far--just haven't had a chance to sit down with it properly yet.

Danielle

It was really very bloody--not just the battles but oh dear, how many limbless men must have been walking around after the war ended!! The book is really good--not always an easy or pleasant read but a worthy one.

Danielle

I didn't do so very well last year, but I hope to read all the books this year. Readalongs weren't very successful for me last year unfortunately. It is a little hard reading war stories in the cold dark months of winter, I'm afraid.

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