Civil War fiction books like or dislike or mehh?

Jagsdomain

Cadet
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
I am wonding what everyone thinks about historical fiction books. Whether its say the killer angles or North and South.
Or Historical fiction like Turtledove books.
I read one of the book by Nwet Gingrish (yes its spelled terribly) and it was mehhh. Tryed reading a Turtledove book about the British attacking the north during the war then South steping in to take out the British.
For the most part I find them mehhh or just boring. One exception was a fiction book about Shiloh and I think it was by Shelby Foot called Shiloh.
I stay with non-fiction but does anyone have book recommendations, or has anyone writen a book?
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I am wonding what everyone thinks about historical fiction books. Whether its say the killer angles or North and South.
Or Historical fiction like Turtledove books.
I read one of the book by Nwet Gingrish (yes its spelled terribly) and it was mehhh. Tryed reading a Turtledove book about the British attacking the north during the war then South steping in to take out the British.
For the most part I find them mehhh or just boring. One exception was a fiction book about Shiloh and I think it was by Shelby Foot called Shiloh.
I stay with non-fiction but does anyone have book recommendations, or has anyone writen a book?

I loved the series by Colonel Ralph Peters.

 

Zella

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 23, 2018
I like a good historical fiction book, though most of my reading is nonfiction. I'll always have a soft spot for The Killer Angels. Have been meaning to read Shelby Foote's Civil War fiction. Just purely from a storytelling standpoint, Gone with the Wind is one of the most compelling novels I've ever read, though I didn't like the main characters.

A couple of years ago I read a really interesting book about the Missouri Ozarks during the war called Enemy Women. I liked the author's writing so much that I keep out for her other stuff, though most of her books seem to be about Texas during Reconstruction. Her name is Paulette Jiles, and I have liked the other books of hers I've read too.

I don't like alternative histories. They bore me to tears. LOL
 

7thWisconsin

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
You can't beat "The Killer Angels;" there's a reason it was award-winning. "The Red Badge of Courage" is the most literary American novel on a Civil War subject that I know. "Gone with the Wind" is the great American novel of the Civil War. It can be studied endlessly, argued over and dissed for Lost Cause philosophy but it can't be ignored because it is extremely well-written. "The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston is quite a good read for an old book, and can be acquired free at Gutenberg. John Brick wrote a couple excellent novels which are, unfortunately no longer in print, but "yea! Amazon!" are available. "The Richmond Raid" is a realistic and grim retelling of the Dahlgren raid, and "Jubilee" is the story of a Federal officer's rise through the ranks. These 2 are particular favorites of mine. "Ride, Proud Rebel" by Andre Norton is quite a good little western, with good historical data (also free at Gutenberg). I actually liked Newt Gingrich's "Battle of the Crater." It's a well-written, accurate, vivid and respectful piece, although you may feel like you need to put it in a brown wrapper to read it in public. Those 8 should keep you for a while.
 

Peace Society

Corporal
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Location
Ark Mo line
Captured - the story of John W Ables, impressed at 14 by 4 MS to haul wood and ended up in prison in Indianapolis. Though meticulously researched, it has to bear the name Historical Novel because the author wanted to make it come alive. My personal preference is memoirs by people who were actually there, or well-researched history. I like Reality better than fiction.
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Lincoln by Gore Vidal
Confederates by Thomas Keneally (also wrote Schindler's List)
Gray Victory by Robert Skimin
1876 by Gore Vidal (Grant's Presidency)
Woe to Live On by Daniel Woodrell (movie version: Ride With the Devil)

An excerpt from the last one:

"The Yankee is this cut of man, Holt. He is the cut of man who if you say the sun is high, he will say, no, your are low. That is nothing in itself to war over. But then he will say, I believe my way and my life and person have more loft to them than yours do, so be like me. The rebel is not the man you want to say that to. He don't care for it."
 

damYankee

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
One of the best tools of drawing young people into the study of history is historical fiction. I have no problem with it from that respect. What I don't like is historical fiction that seeks to create a false narrative about historical events.
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
I like both. Sometimes I'll read good fiction first and then research (that's been the pattern on a lot of stuff in my life), or the other way around--I learn about something and then happen across a fictional book. The way I taught English Lit was to teach the history and then have the kids read the literature--it's a contextual clue and who's to say an author's take on a time/place/event isn't worded so eloquently that it has an important place in our concept of the event and people involved. Lots of my favorites have been listed already--but I haven't noticed Woe to Live On by Daniell Woodrell (the film was Ride With the Devil), nor The Black Flower and The Judas Field, by Howard Bahr, which both focus on Franklin (contemporaneously and post-war).

I remember my mentor teacher, a long-time reenactor and football coach, reading Killer Angels during lunch, probably for the umpteenth time, and seeing tears come to his eyes. Good prose'll do that to ya.
 
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