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Topic: HF no one talks about...

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Bruce -
Subject: HF no one talks about...
Date Posted: 3/10/2011 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
Posts: 3,412
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Every read one of those HF books that just blew you away but you'd never heard of the book or author before you picked it up? I'm talking a 5* book you couldn't wait to tell someone about or put in someone's hand. We hear a lot about SKP and Bernard Cornwell in the HF forum but do you know of a great author/book that you haven't seen mentioned?

I gotta tell  you about "Paradise Alley" be Kevin Baker. I've never seen anyone other than myself ever refer to this book and I've been talking about it for years; it is a nugget of HF gold. "Paradise Alley" is set in 19th New York during the little remembered draft riots of 1863. This book is often dark and brutal about the conditions of poverty, hopelessness, hatred, and violence that was the reality of the time and it may not be for everyone but you won't easily forget "Paradise Alley". I'm not an emotional kind of guy, but for weeks I couldn't forget about the characters and what they endured. It was a kick in the gut. I highly, HIGHLY, recommend this book.

 

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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Thanks for the rec Bruce! I agree, some lesser known works are equally captivating as the well known authors. Sometimes I think one just had a better publicist, publisher, etc. than the other.

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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This has been on my TBR list for about a year or so -- I think I learned about it from another PBS member -- I guess it's time to move it up the stack!

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Thanks for mentioning it Bruce and starting the thread. There are so many wonderful books languishing on library shelves/UBS just waiting to be rediscovered.

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,178
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Yes thanks Bruce, I am not as intrepid as other on this form when it comes to striking out and trying new authors, that is one of the reasons I came to PBS in the first place.

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann did that to me. I read it 2 years ago and I felt moved for months afterward. To this day, I still think about it.

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,133
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Flanagan's Run by Tom McNab - the only book he wrote.  It's awesome!



Last Edited on: 3/10/11 3:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/10/2011 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann did that to me. I read it 2 years ago and I felt moved for months afterward. To this day, I still think about it.

 

^^This.

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I have mentioned Kevin Baker lots of times...Here's the proof.. It looks like I was mentioning him every single time anyone said anything about American H/F, lol.

http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/search.php?q=Kevin+Baker&s_type=st&fid=107&action=search

 

I agree, Bruce, it is a fabulous book!! Sometimes, I stop mentioning books because I am afraid that I start to sound like a broken record, lol!

 

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Does anyone hear an echo?

devil

Bruce -
Date Posted: 3/10/2011 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
Posts: 3,412
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Valli, it's good to know there's another Kevin Baker fan in the PBS house.

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 1,869
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I picked up that book at a sale awhile back and it's on a shelf to be read.  I'll definitely have to look at that one again sooner rather than later.  Thanks for the reminder!

Date Posted: 3/10/2011 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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What a great idea for a thread, Bruce! I can't think of any particular book that I have read that would fit, but this is definitely a thread we need to keep "bumped" ... I expect lotsof great, but little known, recommendations.

Hey ... good idea for next year's HF challenge ... read a book from this thread ???

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 3/11/2011 7:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,727
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Bruce, that sounds good!  

I felt that way about the Owen Parry series featuring the Welsh soldier Abel Jones.  (I think Linda liked that series too.)  I just couldn't gush about it enough.  And no one would publish Book 7!  I was heartbroken.

Date Posted: 3/11/2011 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Hello..oo..oo...oo...o

 

Bruce, are you going to read the whole Dreamland series? You've made me want to read it again!

  • Dreamland
  • Paradise Alley
  • Striver's Row

 

Date Posted: 3/11/2011 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,900
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I have Dreamland on my shelf and didn't even realize it was part of a trilogy.  Now I'm going to have to get the other 2....

Subject: older authors of HF adventure
Date Posted: 3/18/2011 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,647
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I've only been a member since September 2010, but it seems to me that many of the older HF authors are not as popular, or are not as frequently mentioned in forums, as I would have expected.

Kenneth Roberts wrote very good HF about revolutionary America (both sides) through the 1820s. I first got hooked on his Arundel series and then went on to all his others.

Then I don't see Hans Hellmut Kirst mentioned. His 4-book "Gunner Asch" series is a treasure for anyone with an interest in the German military from pre-WW II through after the war.  His hero constantly pulls the German military's leg and gets away with it.

Then Douglas Reeman writes great naval history, some based on his experience as an officer on British torpedo boats. I love the fact that I am just really getting started on his numerous books, as I have plenty of wonderful reading ahead.

Don't forget Alistair MacLean, whose adventure stories are second to none.  Many of his novels were made into movies because they were so thrilling and often left you in the dark as to what was going to happen and who was the good guy (or who the good guy was) until the end of the book.. We're talking The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, Ice Station Zebra, and many others. His H.M.S. Ulysses is one of the finest naval war stories I have ever read and I've read all of Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forester.

And then there is R.F. Delderfield who wrote many novels, but the ones I liked the best were To Serve Them All My Days and Seven Men of Gascony.

All of these authors wrote for intelligent people, unlike many of the New York Times best selling authors of today who write in short sentences with short chapters with sex in every other chapter and are geared to those who don't want to think too hard about what they read.

Speaking of the Times Best Seller list, have you read Captain Newman, M.D. by Leo Rosten? This was made into a great movie wih Gregory Peck in the title role, and Bobby Darin doing a great job as a tortured aerial gunner with nightmares. The book was on the Times list for 24 weeks in 1956. If you liked Mr. Roberts, you will also enjoy this book.



Last Edited on: 3/20/11 1:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/18/2011 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,178
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Excellent list Thomas

Date Posted: 3/19/2011 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I second Thomas' recommendation for Kenneth Roberts. It's been more years than I'll admit since I read him, but I loved each and every one of his books.

Date Posted: 3/19/2011 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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That is a good list, Thomas -- though I don't know whether to thank you or curse you cuz I REALLY don't need any more authors to search for!

ETA: But today, while shopping with Genie, I bought Lydia Bailey by Kenneth Roberts -- so I now have 3 of his books on my TBR stacks.



Last Edited on: 3/19/11 9:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/20/2011 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2010
Posts: 284
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I'm not sure it belongs, but The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Yeah, technically it's SciFi, but since 80% of the book takes place in Medieval england, I think it should count. And it's an amazing book. About the plague and what it did to Britain.

 

Robin

Date Posted: 3/20/2011 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,727
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Robin, I am a huge Connie Willis fan!  I agree...Doomsday is excellent.

Subject: two Kenneth Roberts' novel in one book
Date Posted: 3/20/2011 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,647
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Deb,

I often say that real wealth is a shelf (or shelves)  of books waiting to be read. I currently have three such shelves and a large listing of books (not all on this site's Wish List) that I hope to find.

Meanwhile, on my Bookshelf here is a book with two of Roberts' novels. The Lively Lady and Captain Caution.

Date Posted: 3/21/2011 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2005
Posts: 226
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Thank you for the rec. for Paradise Alley.  I found it especially interesting since I grew up in Brooklyn, went to school in Manhattan and have Irish immigrant ancestors who I hope did not participate in the riot!

Subject: Brooklyn, New York and history
Date Posted: 3/24/2011 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,647
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Susan C.

I was born in Brooklyn and lived for a while on 14th Street, just across from the Armory. My folks moved to Maryland when I was two but I used to go up there to spend most of the summer with my grandparents.

Have you read The Great Bridge by David McCullough? This real history book about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge really covers Brooklyn and New York in the latter part of the 19th Century. Well written and one of the best books I read last year.

I also finished The Gangs of New York last year. Although it was a movie, which I did not see, this was a real history book that made you wonder who was really running New York in the early and mid-19th century. 

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