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Thread: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    58

    Default The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

    It has been many years since I read this book. It was a wonderful read and I plan to read it again. I felt that this was a well researched book and a great piece of fiction for teaching the history of a pivotal American event.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Cypress, Texas
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    34

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    Anything by Michael or his son Jeff Shaara are great books. Jeff Shaara took over his Father's writing style when he died.
    A particularly good one by Jeff is "Gone For Soldiers". It is about the Mexican War but it has numerous young officers that fought in the Civil War. You can really get some insight into Captain Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant Ulysses Grant, Lieutenant Beauregard, and many others.
    Shaara's wrighting style gets you into the minds of his characters.
    Highly recommended!
    Michael Elledge

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Near Hanover, PA
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    1,174

    Default

    Just remember, these are all novels, based on history. Not history books.
    Eli Heagy
    187th PV

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  4. #4

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    "The Last Full Measure" is almost as good as "Gone for Soldiers." "The Killer Angels" is head and shoulders away the best of the lot, but that doesn't mean the other Shaara books aren't worth a read. If you like this stuff, look up John Brick's 2 Civil War novels: "The Richmond Raid" and "Jubilee."
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,700

    Default Novel = Fiction

    Even historical novels, which can have a shred of truth mixed in, are essentially fiction. Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?
    Craig L Barry

    Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy

  6. #6

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    Historical fiction is important. No, you can't use it for documentation, but properly done, it make you feel like you're there. It also lets you explore important human themes in the historical context. "Red Badge of Courage" anyone? When I finished "War and Peace," I felt like I'd met Napoleon. I like when an author demonstrates that he's used his sources, but doesn't add extraneous details just so that those in the know will know what sources he used. I call that "showing your homework." In the case of "The Killer Angels," Shaara is so successful in creating his characters, that the line between the real persons and the fictional recreation gets blurry.
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Weaver View Post
    Historical fiction is important...
    Well stated Rob! Of course I know that I am reading fiction but my expectations are high that the author has done his homework and sticks with the overall facts. Fleshing out the historically based characters is the challenge but if executed correctly can bring fresh insight into what might have been said or thought during these critical moments of crisis.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley
    Posts
    410

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    Maybe Jeff has finally learned to write but Last Full Measure was quite pedestrian as far as writing goes. He clearly traded on his Father's rep to get published. He started to get better about half way through but he is by no means the writer his Father was.

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