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.
I had never read North and South but had seen the TV mini series when I was a kid. It was much better then I remembered from the series. Well worth the credit!
I wish I hadn't started and now I'm hooked. I harbor doubts about s number of anachronisms that detracted from my enjoyment. It gave me the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with the rise of political machines along with the rise of corporate monopolies. I also feel the characters are poorly developed.
This is a fantastic story of values, beliefs, and habits of several generations of American families (both North and South) during the darkest period of our history. The author makes me feel as if I'm immersed in the period.
There were so many horribly, small, mean-spirited, vicious characters, and so much time spent on them instead of on the characters I wanted to like, that it was painful to read.
Jakes also insults the reader by TELLING us the character's motivation after he's SHOWN us, as if he doesn't trust the reader to have a mind.
The narrator was good. He made the book bearable.
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.
Excellent story line and the narrator is very good. It is fiction based on facts and was very enjoyable.
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.”
there is a great deal of redundancy....and unfortunately when developing a story around facts, the creativity is sometime lacking. as it was in this novel. Jakes used the same devices to create friction in the text over and over again, which made it sometimes boring and unimaginative.
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.
"Interesting characters in interesting times"
A thought provoking characterisation of two families fighting to keep their friendships alive while their country tears itself apart. Looking forward to the next 2 books.
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