This is one of those books you just have to say "well written, but..." about. A warning: Doctorow doesn't use quotation marks, and he writes in run-on sentences regularly. The first sentence takes up almost the entire first page. He employed the style well, but as a reader, I still miss punctuation. Other than that, the book is well written, but really brings nothing new to the Civil War genre. The real star of this story is Sherman's march, not the individual characters (there are so many narrators you may find you have a hard time sorting them out). So don't plan to get too attached. I'd recommend this to someone with a particularly strong interest in historical fiction about the Civil War.
"In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops est through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces and lived off the land, pillaging the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, demolishing cities, and accumulating a borne-along population of freed blacks and white refugees until all that remained was the dangerous transient life of the uprooted, the dispossessed, and the triumphant. Only a master novelist could so powerfully and compassionately render the lives of those who marched.
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 are 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 countelss 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." (jacket copy)
This is the first of Doctorow's books I've read. I understand he specializes in bringing order out of chaos. He did a very good job of painting a verbal picture ofthe miasmic horde marching through the south.
Great historical fiction about General Sherman's March through the South at the end of the Civil War.
A most unusual angle to historical fiction. I was captivated by the prose and the plot.
I liked the insight into Sherman's character and the other character plots; didn't like such detail about battles. As a whole, didn't enjoy as much as "Ragtime", my all time Doctorow favorite
great book. historical fiction of the civil war.
Gripping, historically accurate but never boring - the characters and their stories jump off the page. I could not put it down - truly a work by a master at the top of his game.
Pure Doctorow using characters to hold one's interest as he incorporates them in a historical event which melds together into a well written book holding the interest of even those not historically oriented. I was particularly interested in the Georgia part of Sherman's march and found enough info to say well done. I can and have recommend it to others.
This is a protrayal of life within the lines during the Civil War. It picks up several characters, but doesn't follow any one of them beyond their time on "the March". I was wishing for more about some of them.
I really liked this book. Written in Doctorow's usual style of isolating his individual characters' story lines by chapter throughout the book, showing how their activities intersect and diverge from one another. A historical account of Sherman's march Georgia and the Carolinas with insights into the life of one of history's more enigmatic charaters. The action as seen through the eyes of various individuals involved at different levels of participation is brisk and riveting. Highly recommended.
Really loved this book. One I thought would be hard to get into but was so interesting I didn't want to put it down. If you like books about war this is a must read in my opinion.
Very authentically written for what could best be described as speculative fiction. Doctorow really captures what I perceive to be the ambience of the losing South as General Sherman plowed his way through it to break the spirit of the Southern citizens. Incidentally, Sherman is not cast as an evil man at all. Instead he's depicted as a military strategist doing a necessary evil.
Once again Doctorow intertwines history with fiction in depicting Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas during the Civil War. His characters become unforgettable.
Audio well read by Joe Mason who does a good job with the various accents. The book is engaging and presents many of the individuals, both historical and fictional associated with Sherman's march. Several of the characters die in warfare. However, a few of the most interesting characters simply disappear in the middle of the book.
Very good. Found it a little slow to get in to. But great after that.
Probably useful for people who are not acquainted with Sherman's March, but for me the Ship Of Narrative foundered on the Rocky Shoals of Unlikely Dialogue.
I really enjoyed this fictionalized telling of Sherman's march. The characters were engaging and the descriptive details brought history to life.
Excellent novel about Sherman's march from Atlanta to Savannah during the Civil War. E.L. Doctorow always writes a fascinating book.
Great story! Weaves civil war history around dramatic characters and an intriguing plot.
I have read better Civil War novels...
General Sherman and his troops march eastward through Georgia and then into the Carolinas, wreaking havoc and dispensing their own brand of violence upon the rich and the poor alike.
This novel dramatizes Sherman's March across Georgia, and the Carolinas, as seen by slaves, common soldiers, and plantation families. War is Hell, as Sherman said later, everything changes for many of these Southerners. This book and Killer Angels are the two best novels about the Civil War at the front of the armies I have seen.