Two strangers, young men from Pennsylvania and South Carolina, meet on the way to West Point.... Thus begins this brilliant novel of antebellum America, spanning three generations and chronicling the lives and loves of two great family dynasties. The Hazards and the Mains are brought together in bonds of friendship and affection that neither jealousy nor violence can shatter - until a storm of events sunders the nation and brings the cataclysm of war!
©1982 John Jakes (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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.
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This book kept popping up in my recommendations list - in both Audible and Goodreads so when it came on sale for 5$ I took the plunge.
Sale aside, the reason I didn’t read it sooner is because I am not really all that interested in the American Civil War, but since epic family sagas tend to be engaging - I dove in.
As I suspected, the war parts bored me and the family drama entertained me.
I have books 2 and 3 in my wish list so I can be advised if ever they too come on sale for 5$. At that price it’s worth the diversion
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 will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
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.
I love historical fiction when it is done right. This novel was great in that way. True historical events happen to and around the fictional characters. I hear a deep and complex story of interwoven families; live and grow with them. All the while, they are impacted by the current events around them. The impending Civil War. I like to learn a little bit while I am being entertained!! I only left off a star because there was no one particular character that I fell in love with.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
I've not read the printed version but I definitely enjoyed the audio edition.
How the story was written through the eyes of two friends. One from the North and the other from the South.
When Charles was introduced as a character.
The Saga of the Civil War
Grover Gardener's narration was excellent. The novel helped me to have a better understanding of the cause of the Civil War. The novel being told through the eyes of two families was a great way to read about the Civil War. I don't enjoy reading a novel that doesn't have characters, only narration explaining the hows and whys, makes for boring listening.
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 am really enjoying this book, but I love this period in history. Interesting characters. Every so often it gets a bit slow, but it always picks up again.
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