The author of Ragtime, City of God, and The Book of Daniel has given us a magisterial work with an enormous cast of unforgettable characters: white and black, men, women, and children, unionists and rebels, generals and privates, freed slaves and slave owners. At the center is General Sherman himself; a beautiful freed slave girl named Pearl; a Union regimental surgeon, Colonel Sartorius; Emily Thompson, the dispossessed daughter of a Southern judge; and Arly and Will, two misfit soldiers.
Almost hypnotic in its narrative drive, The March stunningly renders the countless lives swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself. The great march in E.L. Doctorow's hands becomes something more, a floating world, a nomadic consciousness, and an unforgettable reading experience with awesome relevance to our own times.
Enjoy The March? Listen to an interview with E.L. Doctorow on The Bob Edwards Show.
©2005 E.L. Doctorow; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"In this powerful novel, Doctorow gets deep inside the pillage, cruelty and destruction, as well as the care and burgeoning love that sprung up in their wake....On reaching the novel's last pages, the reader feels wonder that this nation was ever able to heal after so brutal, and personal, a conflict." (Publishers Weekly)
Doctorow is a wonderful story teller. The paths of the characters flow, and his language is very satisfying. One of my favorite purchases so far.
This audiobook is simply amazing in its ability to bring history to vivid, compelling life. The narrators do an excellent job, and the writing is Doctorow's best since Ragtime. I highly recommend this audiobook.
Positive features: A gripping description of how war affected individuals.
Negative: Feeble attempt to blend fictional characters with historic events. I've read better.
Not unentertaining; mostly average.
I listened to the March on a 5 hour drive to Charleston And couldn't wait to get back into my car to continue with this moving, powerful and insightful novel. The narrator fit the book to a T. I likened the experience to watching a Ken Burns' documentary and was sorry to see it end.
This is a very good book but it is long and I am exhausted after marching, burning, and plundering across the South; I am ready to end the war as soon as possible but the characters are fascinating and they are hard to let go.
I agree with another reviewer that although the book is pretty good entertainment as a listen, I could never have gotten through it as a read. I found the historical aspects interesting, but the characters and plot line were not compelling. It reminded me a little of a made-for-TV miniseries.
I scoff up every historical novel about the civil war I can get my hands on, but this is the absolute creme of the crop. It's about the civil war, but its more about the people who fought it, from the drummer boy up to the generals. Don't miss this one. It is a wonderful experience.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Doctorow turns his masterful writing ability to the 1864 March of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman. Sherman burned Atlanta and then marched his Union Army of sixty thousand through Georgia and up the Carolinas. The troops lived off the land, pillaging and demolishing cities along the way.
Doctorow has provided the reader with an enormous caste of unforgettable characters, white, black, men, women and children. The key cast is Sherman, Colonel Sartorius a Union regimental surgeon, Emily Thompson, the dispossessed daughter of a George Supreme Court Judge, the two misfit soldiers Arty and Will, and last but not least, Pearl the beautiful freed slave girl. The author provides a stunning description of the countless victims swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself.
My mind wanders from Doctorow’s descriptions of the families displaced by civil war to what I was watching daily on T.V. of the civil war refugees fleeing Syria to Europe. The book won the National Book Critics Award and the 2005 PEN/Faulkner award and was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. Joe Morton did a good job narrating the book.
A difficult subject to tackle because of the geographic spread of the action and the constraints of audio in following the action. Built into this genre is the uncertainty over who is an historic personage and who is a purely fictional character. I like Doctorow and thought City of God, Billy Bathgate wonderful novels. The writing in The March was not as rich as in City of God, but it was more than adequate to render the characters and the action. A problem was the absence of historic context - just what was happening elsewhere in the war, what was Grant doing, how important was Sherman's victories, etc.
One final caveat: Joe Morton's narration was not good enough. When de does the characters he's fine; but when he reads the narrator's voice it was dull and not properly inflected in too many places.
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