Civil War fiction books like or dislike or mehh?

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
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?
Charles Frazier'' Varina'',It is a historical novel concerning Jefferson Davis's second wife.Suggest that before one reads this that they do research on Mrs.Davis.Doing this helps in enjoying this novel.Also research into Thomas Davis.JD's older brother.would be helpful.Varina came from North Ms.,Davis was from the Delta region.There is a little black boy whom history has overlooked as to Varina and he who plays a interesting part in the novel.
 

Belfoured

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
@Belfoured Thank you for the recommendation! I will give Peters a try.

John
I think you'll find them to be well-researched and well-written "historical ficton" which is more realistic/"gritty" than the Shaara books. He also wrote some very good "fictional history" about the ACW centered around a character named Abel Jones under the pen name Owen Parry. Well-done "mystery-type" stuff which is different from the books done under his real name..
 

Jagsdomain

Cadet
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Charles Frazier'' Varina'',It is a historical novel concerning Jefferson Davis's second wife.Suggest that before one reads this that they do research on Mrs.Davis.Doing this helps in enjoying this novel.Also research into Thomas Davis.JD's older brother.would be helpful.Varina came from North Ms.,Davis was from the Delta region.There is a little black boy whom history has overlooked as to Varina and he who plays a interesting part in the novel.
Sounds intersting. Do you thinking having to read facts about the fictional story works ?
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Location
Talladega, Alabama
I find when reading a fictional Civil War book it’s not to find little nuggets of real history, it’s the enjoyment of reading a novel of a fictional story.
With the three Civil War novels Jeff Sharra wrote, I found the Vicksburg, Chattanooga stories to be entertaining as comparing it to watching a movie. I wasn’t looking for an historical blow by blow account.
Too be honest, after reading Jeff story on Vicksburg, I did go back and re-read some books I’ve read years ago that were non fictional because my interest in certain things were peaked.
As I posted earlier, I’ve read non fictional books that were full of bias, terrible dates and full of mistakes concerning what the book was about. Those books were about as fictional as any fictional book I have ever opened the pages on. How they got printed is beyond me. I won’t name some of those authors because it serves no purpose here now or later. I will say it’s not anyone here at this site to just make myself clear of that notion.
Everyone has their pleasure in reading and I just find reading anything that relaxes me for an evening or two is time well spent.
 

Zella

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 23, 2018
I wasn't impressed enough by Jeff Sharra's to even attempt the last of the trilogy, though I would recommend the Foote to anyone wanting a short, novelistic treatment of that particular battle.
I tried to read a Jeff Shaara book, and I couldn't make it past the first page. Just bad, amateurish prose and technique. I really did like his dad's work, though, as literature, though one can certainly quibble with some of the history.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Charles Frazier'' Varina'',It is a historical novel concerning Jefferson Davis's second wife.Suggest that before one reads this that they do research on Mrs.Davis.Doing this helps in enjoying this novel.Also research into Thomas Davis.JD's older brother.would be helpful.Varina came from North Ms.,Davis was from the Delta region.There is a little black boy whom history has overlooked as to Varina and he who plays a interesting part in the novel.
I want to read "Varina."
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Red Badge of Courage, of course.

Gore Vidal's Lincoln, although its been so long since I read it, I don't know if it holds up.

To Play for a Kingdom A platoon from the 14th Brooklyn and a Confederate outfit meet to play a series of baseball games during the Wilderness campaign. Quite good.

Miss Ravenal's Conversion. Written shortly after the war by a Union officer, it begs to be made into a mini-series. Its got everything: a ambigious protagonist, a young hero, a beautiful Southern heroine, a femme fatale, a wise old Southern Unionist, freed slaves turned fighters, battlescenes(surprisingly brutal for the Victorian era), corrupt state politics, corrupt dealing in cotton with the Confederates.
 

Eric Wittenberg

1st Lieutenant
Keeper of the Scales
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Location
Columbus, OH
I tried to read a Jeff Shaara book, and I couldn't make it past the first page. Just bad, amateurish prose and technique. I really did like his dad's work, though, as literature, though one can certainly quibble with some of the history.

My thoughts precisely. Well stated.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Sounds intersting. Do you thinking having to read facts about the fictional story works?
Being a historical fiction .it may aid in the enjoyment of the book if one reads of the person and events surrounding the story.Frazier novel is of a woman who is placed in situations not of her choosing and yet has the courage to endure.As they leave RICHMONDshe is a witness to the destruction of not just the land but of the people and a way of life.
 
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Doc Harmony

Cadet
Joined
Dec 13, 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?

Hi. I love fiction of all kinds, loved Shiloh, loved Killer Angels. I also wrote a book, just released, called Matamoros, about cotton smuggling and gun running between Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico - a part of the Civil War most people don't even know about. You can check it out on Amazon, at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082C1QHST/?tag=civilwartalkc-20 if you're interested.
 

Jagsdomain

Cadet
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Hi. I love fiction of all kinds, loved Shiloh, loved Killer Angels. I also wrote a book, just released, called Matamoros, about cotton smuggling and gun running between Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico - a part of the Civil War most people don't even know about. You can check it out on Amazon, at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082C1QHST/?tag=civilwartalkc-20 if you're interested.
Noce work. Its not easy to write a book. Everyone gets a page or 2 in before stopping.
 

Jagsdomain

Cadet
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Hi. I love fiction of all kinds, loved Shiloh, loved Killer Angels. I also wrote a book, just released, called Matamoros, about cotton smuggling and gun running between Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico - a part of the Civil War most people don't even know about. You can check it out on Amazon, at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082C1QHST/?tag=civilwartalkc-20 if you're interested.
I would love to talk you about writing your book and how long it took. How to keep track of your charictures and so on.
 

Doc Harmony

Cadet
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
I would love to talk you about writing your book and how long it took. How to keep track of your charictures and so on.
Happy to talk about it. It was an idea I'd been percolating for about 30 years, and I finally started researching it about 5 years ago - bookstores, libraries, online, I even went down to Brownsville where my action takes place, and got access to the Historical Association archives, so I could read original journals and letters. Started coming up with characters, and plotlines. After that it took me about 2 years to write... and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. It's been a labor of love, frustration, depression and exhilaration. I'm pretty happy with the final result, and I'm glad it's done.
 

Jagsdomain

Cadet
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Happy to talk about it. It was an idea I'd been percolating for about 30 years, and I finally started researching it about 5 years ago - bookstores, libraries, online, I even went down to Brownsville where my action takes place, and got access to the Historical Association archives, so I could read original journals and letters. Started coming up with characters, and plotlines. After that it took me about 2 years to write... and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. It's been a labor of love, frustration, depression and exhilaration. I'm pretty happy with the final result, and I'm glad it's done.
The rewrites!!! It was perfict the first time..... At leadt thats what we hope.
 
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