Publisher: Presidio Press
Language: English | Number of Pages: 416 | Format: Paperback
Isbn-10: 0345482379 | Isbn-13: 9780345482372 | Publish date: 01/04/2006
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1862: another title in the recent genre of alternative historical fiction. In the year of the title, the United States is in the midst of the Civil War/War between the States, and the British decide to enter the war in association with the South and against the Union.
The concept of the novel is intriguing and the plot is certainly fast-paced and entertaining. The characters, however, are poorly drawn, stereotypical, and sometimes embodiments of the authors prejudice. The female characters, for example, seem to only be interested and engaged in sex, despite their repeated insistence that they adore their lovers because they value their minds. Apparently the author didn't. Another example is the depiction of black slaves as only interested in killing white southerners. Yet another example are British politicians, who are depicted as cartoon-like cynical, pompous, and overreaching imperialists.
Along with that, the dialogue is atrocious. The political motivations of the British political elite that bring Great Britain into the war are also less than believable.
Finally, the plot itself becames less convincing as the book goes on. It is hard to believe that the Union would have as many lucky breaks in technological advantage as the author interjects. Even more incredible is that apparently, according to the author, Robert E. Lee and the other great military leaders of the south would have been LESS of a threat to the north WITH British support. In fact, in the novel, the south hardly contribute to the war at all; it ends up being a contest between the Union and the Union Jack.
If Robert Conroy is going to put such sub-par writing to print, he should at least avoid the crowded field of Civil War military fiction. Anyone who has read the Shaara trilogy will find reading Conroy's book a disappointment.
Verdict: Only recommended if you just want some cheap, quick entertainment and don't have any better book to try.
Josh Herr said on Dec 29, 2007, 04:55