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Rebel without a thrill......
Rebel - Bernard Cornwell
Member Name: sparkymarky1973
Rebel - Bernard Cornwell
Date: 28/06/11, updated on 29/06/11 (34 review reads)
Advantages: Reads as a very authentic account of the early days of the American Civil War.
Disadvantages: A bit dull, not a lot happens until right near the end, 2-dimensional characterisation
Rebel is another of Bernard Cornwell's Historical novels, this time set in America during the time of the American Civil War, and is the first part of a new series.
The year is 1861 and Nathaniel Starbuck falls in love with the wrong woman and abandons his family in the North to follow a band of travelling actors to whom she is attached. When he is bitterly rejected by this woman, he finds himself at odds with his family and so travels to seek work with the father of a friend he met at Seminary. Unfortunately trouble is brewing in these uncertain times and eccentric Confederate supporter, Wayne Faulconeer is gathering an army to help figt oppression from The North. And it is not long before Nathaniel finds himself on the wrong side of the war, fighting his own kin in the war that split America in two and had severe ramifications for its future....
I seem to have real problems with Cornwell. I always want to like his books but find it increasingly difficult to do so on most occasions! I really enjoyed his GrailQuest series but everything else by him I have read just leaves me cold. This is no exception.
Much like when I attempted to read Gone With The Wind, I find this novel to be largely hot air! There is far too much preamble for me before we get anywhere near any fighting and I found the characters, without exception, to be dull and uninspiring! They came across, to me, to be very two-dimensional and without much depth and I find it a hard slog to want to continue. I certainly could not invest in reading any more of the series!
I really wanted to enjoy this but found my way hampered at every turn. Explanations for why war erupted in the first place are here very vague and I think unless you have a greater knowledge than me of even ts which pre-empted this American crisis, then, like me, you may feel a little lost. There is no doubt that Cornwell has done his research and the book is very authentic in its approach and its manner but it just didn't do a lot for me!
Overall, I found this to be a very dull book that takes too long to get going. I almost abandoned this novel half-way through but persevered through pure stubborness. I really wished at its end that I hadn't have bothered!
Summary: One man goes to war...on the opposite side to his family!