Read this book when it first came out many years ago, so this was like brand new to me I really didn't remember much of the story. I enjoyed it then, I loved it now, history, romance, mystery has it all. The characters are wonderful, I lived in the North for many years and now in the South for many years and I can tell you everyone tells a different story about the war depending on where you live - North or South. Just started Book 2 and it's just as good.
Coming form a country outside the US I had little knowledge of the history behind the Civil War. This book is very informative and paints a very good picture of life in the eighteen hundreds in both the North and South.
I first read this book decades ago and enjoyed it immensily. I also watched the mini series and enjoyed that immensly as well. Now finally someone has introduced an unabridged audio version of it, I'm thrilled. Having read the other reviews of this book I have to agree that this book is a classic. Actually it is an epic classic especially when considered with the other two books in this series. Jakes does a fabulous job of fictionalising historical events as this book and the two that follow it so apetly demonstrate. The narrator isn't bad, but he isn't good enough to do these books justice, although to be honest I'm not sure who would be. One of the other reviewers compared this book or series with the Winds of War - War and Rememberance series. He was right on the mark like taht series this series is also epic.
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
YES! I enjoyed these books when they were published. I wanted to re-read them and this was an enjoyable way to review the story. Grover Gardner is exceptional. His voice is smooth and melodious. I really enjoyed this again.
Remembering the characters.
Superb! I love the books he narrates.
Passions regarding slavery.
The story is very long and will require some adjustments to fit in the time. You will not want to get only an hour in each day. Look over your schedule and start this when you can commit some time because it will draw you in, sleep will be pushed to the bottom of the list so you can listen more.
Yes. I had read North and South when it came out years ago, but hearing by audio proved just as enjoyable. The many different family members and the narration by Grover Gardner helped the story about pre-civil war and how it affected families on both sides.
I liked his voice; reminded me of you grandfather telling the story.
I would enjoy taking Cooper out because he seems very perceptive.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
During Jakes research, he read Bruce Catton's civil war studies and came across the above quote and referenced it in his afterword. I was struck by its unusually apt descriptiveness and therefore used it as my review headline.
There are many wonderful things about this book: it's well researched, richly panoramic, excellently narrated and beautifully written. It is very easy to feel you know the main characters as they grow and experience life. They're well rounded and quite human in all aspects. The growing political and civil unrest in this period of our country's development is described such that you also get a quite tasty history lesson along with the characters' storylines.
There are however several characters (4 of whom are primary to the story) that are truly sadistic bullies. Their sheer meanness is predominantly against other whites and not aimed at the slave population. I came to believe that this was true because the slaves were "property" and therefore not seen as a logical target of enmity. These cruel characters were so despicable that I questioned why they were necessary to the overall story arc. I would have understood 1 or 2 ... but 4?? Therefore my 4 star rating for the story.
I will get the other 2 books of this trilogy immediately. The series is well worth your time and credits.
Yes, I would listen to this book again. It is filled with lots of real historical information. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book.
Too many to choose from
The road to the American revolution
Historical fiction is a difficult genre - play too close to Historical fact and people will accuse you of straying from the facts. Play too loose with facts and people will accuse you of not paying attention at all. This book strikes the balance - fictional characters that are period appropriate, that happen to be in some historically significant places at the correct (or incorrect) time. It cannot be an easy balance to strike, but Mr. Jakes has done so and as a result has produced a book that is both entertaining and mostly factual. By using fictional characters, one is liberated from any one particular person and what they said or did not say and can instead set up the possibility of a pair of families that symbolize the struggle of North vs. South in the era leading up to the Civil War. This book is an excellent read and is very well read. For anyone interested in the Civil War, Historical fiction, or just plain good fiction - this book has something for you. I already bought the second one!
I enjoyed this pre-Civil War novel. The stories of the characters are interwoven well with the history of the time. It took me a while before I connected with the characters, but the novel grew on me as it progressed. Love, rivalry, revenge, and slavery are big parts of this story of connections between people in the North and the South. Two families are bound by a deep friendship between West Point cadets, and the drama follows from there. The characters are a little black and white, with the bad people truly despicable and the good people almost all good. But Jakes did successfully get me rooting for the good guys and hating the bad guys. While it felt a bit manipulative at times, I let it happen and enjoyed the listen. The story has a good number of characters and subplots, and is wrapped smartly into a cohesive whole. The history was more believable than the characters. I rarely read or listen to a sequel right away, but I have already bought the sequel to this and will listen to it next. The reader is solid and well suited to this story.
No not again but I am not a listen a second time kind of guy. I will listen to the rest of the Jakes Trilogy though.
I liked the characters as well as the way the book gives the reader (listener) a feel for the times. How the North viewed the South and vice versa
Not that I remember
Already been done