Audio is in Al's name but it's MaryJane who listens to the books.
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.
Jakes weaves fact anc fiction and makes it come alive. After reading and listening to Gone With the Wind several times, I was pleasantly surprised to see names and characters in both books. Reality meets fiction in a wonderful mix. Can't wait to finish part 2 and get started on part 3. Well worth the time to listen.
But after listening to them, I really don't know why, other than the gratuitous sex. I finished book 1 and have tried to finish book 2, but can't. I'll stick to Gone With the Wind.
This is my first experience with John Jakes. At first I found the story difficult to relate to. As I became more familiar with the characters I grew to appreciate and strongly enjoy the book. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the writing style of the author is not the kind of bland narrative of some contemporary creative writers, who are sometimes compelled to let the power of the story compensate for the quality of the words chosen. Instead, Jakes appears to have meticulously selected his words to craft a deliberate and flowing narrative. Though I found the story engaging and well written, I gave it 4 stars, for I am ranking this book on the basis of literature as a whole, and books such as 20,000 leagues under the sea are stiff competition. Don't let 4 stars dissuade you from considering this book, I rather meant the ranking as a complement against the greatest books of all time.
Listener of music in words as I roll along, either in the car, or on the subway, or on my exercise bike.
I found the characters too black and white (and by this I don't mean their skin colors). They were either heroic or cowardly; upright or depraved; lovesick or hate-filled... etc. There's no depth in the characters, nor subtleties in their feelings or thinking. The villains (female and male) are not believable.
There is also far too much stereotyping. The public voices in the South are negro haters; the public voices in the North are Southerners haters...
Overall it's not well-crafted storytelling. After the first quarter of the book, I forced myself through the rest just so I could go on to other more worthy books. I don't plan to listen to Parts 2 & 3.
No I love historic fiction, but the characters need to be more real and less naïve or crazy
By the end I was hoping the characters would be killed just to put them and us out of their misery. I think the Civil War was vicious enough without having to make every antagonist crazy and a sadist. It goes on and on with even the writer having to explain why someone could hold a grudge for two generations. The characters also seem too stupid; one minute knowing the person is crazy and wants to kill them and then thinking, “But a Gentleman wouldn't stoop to such a level.”
The "evil" male characters are homosexual, and the "evil" female characters have intercourse with whoever is around. It is very one dimensional and poorly written, the author has no fantasy as to the characters in the story.
I read the book years ago. And I watched the tv mini series. The pictures in my mind may have been influenced by the mini series. But I found listening very enjoyable. I loved the narration. Played it in the car on a long trip with my spouse and we both enjoyed the tale.
I really have a hard time picking a favorite. I think Ory would be the best choice. He had to change his attitude about so many things during the book. I felt I had a much better appreciation for the real people who lived through our civil war.
Hearing the story read aloud just makes it so much more personal. I loved the narration.
I am not good at this sort of question.
This is not great literature. North and South is a great yarn set in a real period of conflict in our nation. Many people have their own personal stories of relatives who lived through the time. I think this book helps to flesh out those stories. It is interesting how quickly the pulse of a nation can change.
The original publication of North and South was in the early 1980s, during an era of epic and sweeping novels by authors such as James Clavell, James Michener, and a collective clamor for this type of story. The popularity extended to the television mini-series, i.e., Roots, The Thorn Birds. In my humble opinion, the abandonment of this type of writing is a shame, a narrow minded view on the part of modern day publishers. There seems to be a belief that readers are only interested in the immediate gratification of a 50,000 word novel chopped into a 2-hour television movie with over thirty minutes of commercials. I think they are wrong.
I read North and South shortly after the initial publication and loved it, as I do today. Not much I can contribute to other reviews, so will only say that although a fictional story about two families caught up in the war, North and South is an accurate portrayal of the emotions and fears that lead up to the conflict. It is not a history book, but few latitudes of creative license are taken, it is pretty authentic. This is the first book in the trilogy and ends with the secession of South Carolina and the firing on Ft. Sumter. The American Civil War begins.
The audiobook is long, over thirty hours of listening. Released in 2012, read by Grover Gardner, a pleasant read albeit a distressing period of American history. Worth the credits, I look forward to the sequels.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
BUT NOT THE FACTS.
I listened to all 30 + hours of this, which says a lot. I rarely listened to something this long unless it can hold my attention. I have to admit that it started out a little slow and after about three hours, I just about gave up on it. The first five chapters reads a lot like a history book. I love historical fiction, I hate dry history. I really got into it in chapter six and it was pretty good the rest of the way, with just an occasional flat spot.
THE RACE IS TO THE DRIVEN, NOT THE SWIFT
I enjoyed learning about life at West Point and about troopers stationed in the Wild West. I did not realize that Indians were made slaves as well as blacks. I did not realize just how much the South and North hated each other. I was shocked to her about a girl of the 1800's pulling a train. There are several sex scenes in this.
THERE IS JUST ONE THING NECESSARY FOR THE TRIUMPH OF WICKED MEN AND THAT IS FOR GOOD MEN TO REMAIN QUIET.
Another reviewer mentioned the four evil characters. I will admit they spiced up the book, but they were very one dimensional. They were all evil, no gray. As much as I liked the book, I do not believe Jakes to be as good a story teller as Michael Shaara or Conn Iggulden. He might be a little better then Jeff Shaara or Newt Gingrich. Since it was not a five star book, I will most likely not continue the series.
The narrator was excellent and made listening better then reading.