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Confederates [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Keneally
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

As the Civil War tears America apart, General Stonewall Jackson leads a troop of confederate soldiers towards the battle they believe will be a conclusive victory. Through their hopes, fears and losses, Keneally searingly conveys both the drama and mundane hardship of war, and brings to life one of the most emotive episodes in American history.

Product Description


'A fine and compelling novel' (Financial Times)

'It compels admiration over and over for its energy and its insight into human character' (Spectator)

'Deserves comparison with the great war novels of the last hundred years' (Observer)

'Such a magnificent book that I count it a privilege to read and keep' (Books and Bookmen)

Book Description

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Keneally's widely acclaimed classic novel of the American Civil War.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2029 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New Ed edition (17 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AJ1ZLZ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #89,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Civil War canvas to rival that of Tolstoy. 14 Oct. 2003
Unlike War and Peace, Confederates spurns all romanticism, employing instead the dignity of ordinary men and women and the mundane details of real life to convey the horrors of warfare with a realism perhaps unmatched in American Civil War literature. With no comic relief, no hints at happy endings, and no escape from the inevitability of this nightmare, the cumulative effect of Keneally's novel is staggering.
The Confederate army we meet here consists of ragged and hungry teachers, musicians, small farmers, orphaned children, men in their 60's, conscripts, and even the sorely ill and walking wounded, who share their stories and simple dreams as they trudge resignedly and painfully across Virginia toward their destiny-the Battle of Harper's Ferry/Antietam. Despite the tactical brilliance of General Tom "Stonewall" Jackson, the battle itself eventuates in the most horrific blood-letting and soul-wrenching trauma I've ever seen described. Homely details, described in a plain, almost offhanded manner, lend great irony and bring the enormity of the carnage into focus: split-rail fences with their "crops of dead," cornfields with human remnants "lying in heaps that must be climbed," young soldiers forced to tread on "a mat of Christian boys," and the very air above the cornfield "flying with bits of the corn crop and with limbs, naked and clothed, and with haversacks and heads and hands."
I cannot imagine any Civil War novel which will affect the reader more profoundly than this one. Exhaustively researched, historically accurate, brilliantly depicted, and absolutely unforgettable, it pulses with the life and echoes with the sacrifices of death. Mary Whipple
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book 3 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
Given the interest in all things Civil War, I am surprised there were no reviews for this book. It is a very entertaining, accurate and insightful look at a period of the rebel army. Focusing on that great , but talented, hypocrite Stonewall Jackson, it captures the bravery and integrity of the rebels, and also the shallowness of their cause.
A minor classic
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fighting for the Cause? 22 Mar. 2004
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
Keneally uses the high point of the Southern Confederacy as the setting for this brilliant historical novel. Reaching through the ranks, he selects a Shenandoah Valley private and his mates - "confederates" - to reveal the horrors of war with vivid reality. Usaph Bumpass moves with Stonewall Jackson's Virginians through the Valley and into the first Confederate invasion of the North. Through it all Usaph carries concerns about his "swamp tramp" Ephaphtha living at the edge of the combat area. Her loyalty, her past, her well-being, all intrude on his thoughts while he's trying to survive. Never once, however, does he question why he's in the war. The Confederacy is a miasma of conflicting values. Even natives of the South have uncertain views of what precisely is the "cause" they're fighting for. Keneally ably presents us with these variations of philosophy and the people holding them.
Equally fluent in passion or pathos, Keneally's describes battles, intrigues and romance conveyed with powerful reality. With a solid research foundation, he fashions images of people and events with superb clarity. From domestic struggles to the clash of battles, we share every emotional upheaval. Keneally portrays the intensity of war with an surprising clarity as it cuts off friend and foe alike. For a man who once trained for the priesthood, he places the reader alongside his people with deceptive ease. A master at conveying people and environment, he deserves full recognition for his talents. This book will remain a classic of Civil War literature. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the rawness of war 16 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
Keneally makes you feel part of the action, he outlines the grimness of life as a civil war soldier without the bravado and pomp associated with other war novels. He doesn't hold back and lets you squirm with the characters as the winter, filth and intensity of war takes over their lives. It's a wonderful history novel and as always you come away with a greater knowledge than when you began. Keneally is addictive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favourite books of all time 27 Jan. 2008
This is one of my all time favorite books. It's years since I read it but it still sits in my imagination. So many memorable passages and one of the best battle scenes I've read. Should be in a list of "great books you have never read" as most people don't seem to have heard of it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars glory and grief 25 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
Thomas Keneally is one of those rare authors who seems to be able to go to almost any point in history and feel at home there. In Blood Red, Sister Rose he brought fifteenth-century France alive in what was almost a contemporary screenplay. In Confederates he writes about the horrors of war (the American Civil war) with such poetic intensity that the reader can almost smell the gunpowder and hear the screams. This is just one of Keneally's books which should have won the Booker Prize (I mean, for goodness sake, Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald won it that year!) and will surely be recognised one day as the masterpiece it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and rewarding novel 11 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book clearly falls into the "war fiction" category, but it will appeal to anyone who enjoys good literature, good narrative and some interesting historical settings and characters. If we should discuss a sub-genre, it is a "literary war novel". Although much of the story takes place within a group of veteran soldiers of the Shenandoah Volunteers - fighting under Stonewall Jackson on the Confederate side in the American Civil War, you are also introduced to an English aristocrat working as a war correspondent, an American woman working to improve conditions in hospitals, a young woman who is the wife of one of the soldiers - so there is plenty of space outside of the confines of the war itself. The characters, fictional and historical, are presented with skill and it is in the small details as well as in the broader historical perspective that the novel works. I loved it, and didn't want it to end. If I must make a criticism, I would say that I was not as deeply moved as I was reading, for example, Life and Fate by Grossman (set in the Second World War). I thoroughly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys good fiction, and particularly to those who enjoy thoughtful historical fiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than The Killer Angels
An excellent book covering a range of characters leading up to the battle of Antietam. For me this puts The Killer Angels into the shade.
Published 6 days ago by Swampo1958
5.0 out of 5 stars American Civil War.
Brings the soldiers of the South to life.
Published 2 months ago by Dw Mallett
1.0 out of 5 stars Like trying to read while wading through mud
I read Hamlet once, and I thought that was hard work. Well this takes the biscuit. Seeing the war from a red necks point of view, relating events in their murderous interpretation... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Albert Power
5.0 out of 5 stars Keneally's epic bears comparison with 'War and Peace'
American Civil War photographs taken by Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardner, George Barnard and Timothy O’Sullivan on the Union side and George S. Cook and Robert M. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dr R
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant is the only way to describe this, almost felt like being there!
Published 7 months ago by Mr. P. Shakespeare
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading.useful
Good read, good writer, good buy if you are interested in the American Civil. War.
Published 7 months ago by Anthony Birmingham
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
as described
Published 7 months ago by brianirving
4.0 out of 5 stars A detailed account
An astonishing level of detail in support of the confederate side. Difficult at first to keep up with the number of characters but it improves as you go on. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Fingers
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and profound
A brilliant introduction for those know little about the American Civil War, and a powerful evocation for those who do.
Published on 26 Dec. 2012 by gavin greenwood
4.0 out of 5 stars good
Everything has been fine and I do not intend to review everything that I buy, if I am unhappy you will soon hear, please do not bother me any more. Thank you
Published on 24 Dec. 2010 by Mr. D. Bunch
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