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Publisher's Summary

January 1864: General Robert E. Lee faces defeat. The Army of Northern Virginia is ragged and ill-equipped. Gettysburg has broken the back of the Confederacy and decimated its manpower. Then, Andries Rhoodie, a strange man with an unplaceable accent, approaches Lee with an extraordinary offer. Rhoodie demonstrates an amazing rifle: its rate of fire is incredible, its lethal efficiency breathtaking - and Rhoodie guarantees unlimited quantities to the Confederates. The name of the weapon is the AK-47.

©1992 Harry Turtledove (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An exceptionally riveting and innovative narrative that successfully straddles the gulf between fact and fantasy." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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Loved the book but...

This has been a favourite of mine since I bought my first copy in 1992. I love the storyline and how the author works out the plot lines. I also love how Lee deals with the oddity of time travel with the greatest of ease. It might've been interesting to see how he would've marveled at the modern world had he had the chance to see it.

I did NOT care much for the performance. While he did make effort to have the characters speak with the proper enthusiasm, he mispronounced simple words, all the characters sounded the same, and the reading of the story outside of the characters speaking was very dull and monotonous. Many times during long spells of just story, I found myself nodding off. I would not recommend this for listening to while driving.
I WOULD listen to it again, as it's a favourite of mine but please let me know if you ever get someone who knows how to read and make a book come alive for the listener to perform this title.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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One of Turtledove's very best...

If you like his alternate histories, this is a must buy. Give up that Audible credit!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Loved It!

Can't wait to get my hands on another, I think I found a new favorite genre.

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Great stpry

great book sorta wish there where more in the time line. good storyline and characters

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Lived up to my memories

I read this repeatedly as a teenager 20 years ago and loved it. I was concerned it might not hold up today, but it did. Excellent book, satisfying ending.

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One of Turtledove's best.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Guns of the South to be better than the print version?

I would, despite not being a huge fan of the narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Guns of the South?

Lee turning on the AWB men after learning their true colors

Which scene was your favorite?

The election

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried some when Confederates were killed by the AWB men.

Any additional comments?

A must-have for Turtledove fans, and much better then his later Southern Victory series.

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Fascinating

Very well written and thoroughly thought out, this book takes historical context and the lives of General Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and several other figures of the time to create a likely portrayal of what might have happened had the Confederacy won. Could have done without the attempted romance on the side, however. Highly recommended for anyone, though my fellow history buffs will have a much greater appreciation for it.

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Good

The narrator was good, his southern accents were convincing, albeit his Afrikaner accents not so much (in fairness that's a tough accent for most).

I liked the storyline but couldn't understand why the AWB didn't just travel to the Transvaal. The South African Republic existed at the time, and they would've made more logical allies. Anyway a good and enthralling story nonetheless.

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Really enjoyed this one.

Any additional comments?

The narration was not nearly as bad as folks made it out to be. Paul Costanzo may not be the best, but didn't deserve some of the reviews. I think a bit of piling on.

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Narrator is just awful

I loved this book when I was a kid. I saw the other reviews about people complaining about the narration being bad. They are all correct. It was like listening to an audio book when audio books first came out. Ironically near the end of the book, like the last freakin chapter, they started doing different voices for characters. I really struggled to finish this and won't ever try to listen to it again.

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  • Steve Downing
  • 09-30-17

Guns of the South

The title and cover of this book tells you exactly 'what-if' scenario you're getting. Harry Turtledove clearly put a lot of research into this book. The level of detail is high and informs the greater narrative the story follows. Some of the characters we follow are historical heavy-hitters and it's fascinating to follow this speculation on how they might have reacted to the balance of the American Civil War falling in favour decisively for the Confederacy.

I've heard better narrators; I've heard worse. This one interprets - what I suspect are - commas in the text too heavily, so that some sentences are read in a peculiarly stop-start style. Also the narrator's sole voicing for the characters in the book strays dangerously close to Elmer Fudd.

Still, a competent reading of a very interesting idea. Worth a punt.