This Scorched Earth

A Novel of the Civil War
Narrated by: Alex Hyde-White
Length: 25 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (123 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This Scorched Earth is an amazing tour de force depicting a family’s journey from devastation to rebirth following the American Civil War, from New York Times best-selling author William Gear. 

The American Civil War tore at the very roots of our nation and destroyed most of a generation. To truly understand the madness and despair of such a horrendous conflict, one needs to pick a moment. Or see that war through one family’s eyes. In rural Arkansas, such were the Hancocks. Devastated by a cruel war, they faced down their personal hells and, in spite of it all, survived. Their survival is a testament to the power of love...and the American spirit. This is their story. And ours.

©2018 W. Michael Gear (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • 06-22-18

Wow!

I wish I could give 10s!!!! This book is an incredible story. I was enthralled from page one and actually didn't want the book to end. The characters were believable and became so real. The narration was excellent. The storyline was not the usual and because it was unpredictable it is unforgettable! Please do yourself a favor and read this book!! You surely won't forget it.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good read. I liked the story but..

Could have done without all the cursing and sexual content . I some times wonder about the mindset an author has when they get soooo graphic about things that drag your mind through gutter. I can see the details in war but not sexual deviance.. I am glad I could FF 10 seconds at a time to get through areas I just didn’t want to have dwell on. That being said well told story of the civil war and its aftermath . I wish I could recommend it to the people in my sphere of influence

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Must Listen

Alex Hyde-White does a masterful job conveying the emotions William Gear so skillfully renders in this American Civil War epic. The Hancock family of Northwest Arkansas was experiences the gammet of Civil War trauma from major battles, caring for the wounded, prison camp, partisan raiding, lawlessness, and other, more personal atrocities. The story is a study in human ability to cope (successfully and unsuccessfully) with the trauma the characters experience. Human traits from hate to love, greed to sacfrifice, murder to healing are demonstrated through intricately woven descriptions of environments and human interplay. Alex Hyde-White brings William Michael Gear's tale to life in a manner that makes the listener a first-person witness to the action. The work is a Must Listen!

4 people found this helpful

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too graphic

I'm sure this is true to life during the civil war. Good story but too descriptive and rauncy at times. but I felt like I was there.

3 people found this helpful

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A remarkable tale of war, family, and the struggle of living.

Mr. Gear has written a masterpiece of the horrors of the U.S. Civil War. It’s destruction of families and the struggle to survive and live in the aftermath of the war. I loved the Hancock family, both the loving and the hating they endured. The reader was remarkable causing me to dwell in this story. This is a story for all to enjoy. I will miss the characters in this book with their battles for life after the war. Thank you, W. Michael Gear for sharing this story with us.

3 people found this helpful

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Please fill in the gap between Coyote Summer and This Scorched Earth!

Excellent story! Well researched.
Loved the connection with Richard Hamilton and Travis Hartman. Please fill in the gap between Coyote Summer and This Scorched Earth. Take Willow, Travis, Batiste, and little Caroline back to Boston with Richard for a visit to meet his father. Tell us about Laura Templeton in St. Louis. Lay out the saga of the opening of the west through their lives.

2 people found this helpful

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Shrug.

This started out being an enjoyable historical story and then about halfway through the author must have had the urge to write some soft porn. I’m not opposed to sexual content but in this case it just didn’t jive. It seemed so forced and incongruous. It really left me shaking my head.

1 person found this helpful

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WOW!!

this novel takes no time at all to immerse you in the world in which it takes place. you are there, instantly. and from that moment forward, it's very difficult to leave. It was for me. This is an excellent book and it is made more excellent by the narrator who is incredible. if I could give him a 10 stars for performance I would. I have narrator anxieties everytime I start a new book because I always hate them and then learn to love them. Doesn't matter how great they are, it always takes me a minute to get used to them and this guy was the exception.

1 person found this helpful

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Best read ever!!

This was a great story. Honestly, one of the best I’ve ever read. The story is convoluted and hard to take at some points in the book but this author sure knows how to make the story real. Highly recommend. Not for the squeamish though.

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One of the best HF novels I’ve read in a long time

I have read so many different histories of the civil war- all the big names: Foote, Catton, McPherson, plus nearly every book about the major battles, multiple biographies of Lincoln, and at least one bio of every major player in the war.
I’ve always loved historical fiction, but somehow, Ive never thought to try any Civil War HF novels. Last week I read Michael Shaara’s book “Killer Angels” about Gettysburg and enjoyed it very much. So I gave this book a chance. This Scorched Earth is completely different than Killer Angels, though both are absolutely excellent. Killer Angels was about Gettysburg, while This Scorched Earth takes place throughout the war, and continues the story well into the reconstruction years. It’s not what I expected when I started listening, but I loved every second of this novel.
The book tells the story of a southern family and describes how the war changed their lives and devastated the south. In the end, what was the point? So much devastation and nothing to show for the half decade of fighting. It was incredibly moving and gave me a glimpse of s world I truly never could have imagined. Sadly I should know more of the legacy of the war on the south, as I’m from New Orleans.

I desperately did not want this book to end. It’s truly remarkable and left me very sad when it ended.