Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen: Battle of the Crater, A Novel
As astute, and even not so astute, readers have no doubt noticed, this post is a book review. Book reviews may even become a regular feature on Doug’s Darkworld. Partly because it gets me free books, mostly because it gets me reading, since the Internet my attention span is less than a typical gerbil’s. And I suppose my readers might even appreciate a few book reviews, I’ve become leery of books and movies that weren’t recommended to me by someone. OK, so, Battle of the Crater. This is a great book. Everyone should read it. Go buy it now. See, book reviews are easy, this thing practically writes itself.
I read this book because the Battle of the Crater has always been a battle that fascinates me. I’ve even blogged on it before, though my post does contain spoilers if one is actually planning on reading the book. I knew when I started reading that I would at least be able to tolerate the book as I liked the subject manner. And to my unexpected pleasure, not only did I enjoy the book, about halfway through I couldn’t put it down. I mean, I know how the battle ended, but I still wanted to see how the book ended. The book also contained a wealth of historical detail that I had been unfamiliar with as well. And as far as I can tell, I’m but an amateur Civil War historian at best, the book got the facts right as well as the tone of the times.
Without giving anything away, the book covers the battle itself, from the planning and preparation, to the aftermath. It also covers the politics surrounding the battle, a truly depressing aspect of the whole mess. The characters are believable, as most if not all of them were real people. The protagonist seems like the only exception, but the authors needed someone to tie the narrative together, so one made-up character in a historical novel is acceptable.
What else to say? The book is a fairly light and enjoyable read, not the sort of ponderous historical tome written by Barabara Tuchman for example. It’s fun to read, and not only will the reader enjoy themselves, they will learn a lot about the American Civil War. To summarize, if a reader likes historically based novels, or has an interest in the Civil War, I recommend this book.
And speaking of the American Civil War: The stupidest most disastrous war in American history. A war brought to us by one man and one man only, Abraham Lincoln. Yes, unlike so many Americans, especially Americans of the liberal persuasion, I see nothing good in the Civil War. That’s my next post.
As well as the usual outlets, Battle of the Crater is also available at the Macmillan Audio Book Mart.
(The above illustration is used with the tacit if not explicit permission of the publisher, so I think I’m pretty safe. Battle of the Crater is illustrated with period style illustrations by the way, always a nice touch. Enjoy.)