Skip to main content

Cannonball Read #34 (July 5K Book 2): Rise To Rebellion by Jeff Shaara

The field trip I picked for this book involved going to see Boston's old state house and the location where the Boston Massacre took place. I went on my way home from work one day, ignoring the summer's constantly dreary weather to visit the place my country was ostensibly born. Turns out that the marker is on a traffic island. Yes, the location where a momentous event in my nation's history took place is now in the middle of the street, and required me to hop through rush hour traffic to see it. Not sure if that's emblematic, appalling, or a little of both.

The first in a two part series on the Revolutionary War, Rise to Rebellion is relatively good, though I wouldn't put it as high on the list as Shaara's Civil War works. Rise to Rebellion is the story of the events leading up to the Declaration of Independance and the battles of the Revolutionary War. The main characters include Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and George Washington from the Colonial side and General Thomas Gage on the British side.

It was an interesting tale, as it chronicled events (i.e. Franklin's time in London and his relationship with his loyalist son) I knew very little if anything about. However, I think Shaara tried to cover too much ground in one book--the reason The Killer Angels (his father's novelization of Gettysburg) works so well is the amount of detail. Jeff Shaara can't manage that much detail while dealing with 5 years worth of history. The most disappointing thing was that the battles--including the battles of Bunker Hill, Lexington, and Concord--were not very well fleshed out. I felt as though they were a bit glossed over.

I'd definitely recommend this book, since it is a great way of learning some less talked-of U.S. history, but it's not nearly as engrossing as Shaara's Civil War efforts. However, I will be reading the sequal just because it's more good history.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…

CBR9 #3: Missing Wives, Missing Lives by JJ Slate

There's a lot of discussion these days about things that are dangerous to women--is it heart disease? Is it stress? Car accidents? Drugs? Serial killers? Trans women in bathrooms?--but it seems like one of the biggest hazards to women are the men in their lives.

This book details the cases of thirty women who vanished. Stretching back to 1976, and with cases as recent as 2007, the women featured in this book seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. For some, the legal system was able to prove a case against the men in their lives, but for others, the search for justice may never be resolved.

The amazing thing to me was the stories that the husbands gave upon their wives' disappearances. "So, you had a fight, and she just left the house--at 3am. In her pajamas. Barefoot. Without her purse, or her glasses, or her car, or her TEETH? Leaving her small dependent children behind. And you decided to say nothing for three weeks? And while she was gon…