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 could relate with the characters. At one point I cheered on Charles. I thought the author did a great job moving the story along and keeping the reader wondering what's going to happen next. On to book 2.
I really enjoyed listening to this novel and feel I have a much better understanding of the events leading up to the Civil War. Jake's characters are likeable or despicable, and all are interesting in one way or another. I am eagerly waiting to hear part 2.
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 listen to books as I work. It's a beautiful life.
First of all, I love Grover Gardner. He is an excellent narrator and makes the characters come to life. This is also my first John Jakes book and I was pleasantly surprised and hooked. I'm looking forward to checking out his other books. His ability to weave characters together, create drama, and bring in historical accuracy was wonderful.
Make the story line a little more interesting!
All of the stuff about IRON!
I started this book with high hopes but only got to chapter 12. I was so bored with the story, I didn't like theme of the book, and I just couldn't connect with any characters. This really, really could have been a good book if the story line was just a little bit different!
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.
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!
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