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Theory Of War [Paperback]

Joan Brady
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Feb 1994
The story of a young boy sold into white slavery in post-Civil War America, who suffers at the hands of a cruel master. He escapes to a new life as a railroadman, then an itinerant preacher, but within him lies the need for revenge against his former master's son - the object of an enduring hatred.

Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New edition edition (3 Feb 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349104573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349104577
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 627,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I would have to describe this as probably the best fiction book I have read. Why I read it in the first place, I don't know. It doesn't sound particularly appealing - a boy sold into slavery post American Civil War, but it grips and involves like no other story. Written in a beatifully accesible fashion by the author this deservedly won the Whitbread prize and deserves a bigger audience. If you're looking for a great page turner, turn your back on Stephen King, say goodbye to Catherine Cookson and say hello to Joan Brady - you won't be disapponited.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping and compelling read. 13 April 2000
By A Customer
The snyopsis does not do this book justice. This is a historical novel that leaves the reader feeling, hearing, and smelling the settings of the American West. It is also a fierce and textured novel of the nature of childhhood development and family dynamics passed down through generations. This book is almost impossible to put down. Read it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 2 July 2004
This is probably the best book I have ever read - and one of the few books I have read more than once. I read a copy from the library and thought it was so good I had to buy a copy.

It is so well written and looks at an aspect of US life that I had never even considered before. It is filled with lots of dark emotion but that is partly what makes it such a great read.

Well worth reading - again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've never read a book like it 11 Oct 2013
By Four Violets VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I actually read the hardback version which was ordered from America but I can't find a link to review it.
There is an author's note at the end of the book which explains that "her grandfather was a slave", in other words as a four year old (white) child he was sold to a mid-Western tobacco farmer in America for fifteen dollars. This was apparently common in the hard times after the American Civil War. He ran away at 16 and never recovered from his bitter experiences: and this passed down the generations: Four of his seven children,including the author's father, committed suicide. Theory of War is a book of fiction but is an attempt to recreate what his life might have been like, and how impossible it was to escape the rage and trauma of such a life. It's a totally brilliant book the like of which I have never read before. If only the title were different, with its potential to put off readers who might misunderstand the content of the book.
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