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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

In the first novel of a spellbinding new trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara returns to the Civil War terrain he knows best. A Blaze of Glory takes us to the action-packed Western Theater for a vivid re-creation of one of the war’s bloodiest and most iconic engagements—the Battle of Shiloh. It’s the spring of 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeters on the brink of col…

Overall Book Review:

The Battle of Shiloh was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War when it was fought in 1862.  Because of the communication of the time those in the east were only told that there was a victory by the Union forces somewhere in Tennessee.  Jeff Shaara puts together a much more intricate and thorough picture of those two bloody days. 

Shaara stays true to his Pulitzer Prize-winning father’s style and tells the story of Shiloh through the eyes of those who were there.  Intensely graphic at times combined with lethargically interpersonal, the book explores the inner workings and motivation of the characters involved.  In the beginning the story lags with its build-up and back story, but this build-up enhances the intense fighting described later in the book.  Full of interesting historical facts the book could be a history book but reads as intended–a novel of historically fiction.  For history buffs this book is a must read, but may be a little slow in the beginning for the casual reader.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Ballantine Books

Content Analysis:

Language/Profanity: 11 religious exclamations; 106 mild obscenities; 8 religious profanities; 8 derogatory names; 8 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore: Mob violence and rioting; soldier drowns trying to cross river; soldier is captured and beaten; many detailed intense fighting scenes describing the battles at Shiloh, included in the violence is descriptions of soldiers being shot by muskets and cannon fire.  The wounds and carnage is detailed and includes amputation, goring wounds such as head shots, and intense damage done by cannon fire; horses are killed in the same manner and wounded horses are “put down” by soldiers.

Sex/Nudity:  One account of soldiers sneaking off at night to the other camps that followed the army and provided “entertainment” to the troops.  Prostitution is alluded to but not described.

Mature Subject Matter:

War, death, Civil War.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Characters smoke cigars and drink whiskey.  Some drinking is done in excess.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I didn’t like reading at first. It was boring. It took me awhile to find out that great places, amazing people, and fantastic things were found in the pages of books.