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This title in other editions

The Judas Field: A Novel of the Civil War

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The Judas Field: A Novel of the Civil War Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this epic novel of violence and redemption by the author of The Black Flower, a Civil War veteran travels back over old battlefields toward a reckoning with the past.

It's been twenty years since Cass Wakefield returned from the Civil War to his hometown in Mississippi, but he is still haunted by battlefield memories. Now, one afternoon in 1885, he is presented with a chance to literally retrace his steps from the past and face the truth behind the events that led to the loss of so many friends and comrades.

The opportunity arrives in the form of Cass's childhood friend Alison, a dying woman who urges Cass to accompany her on a trip to Franklin, Tennessee, to recover the bodies of her father and brother. As they make their way north over the battlefields, they are joined by two of Cass’s former brothers-in-arms, and his memories reemerge with overwhelming vividness. Before long the group has assembled on the haunted ground of Franklin, where past and present —the legacy of the war and the narrow hope of redemption — will draw each of them toward a painful confrontation.

Moving between harrowing scenes of battle and the novel's present-day quest, Howard Bahr re-creates this era with devastating authority, proving himself once again to be the preeminent contemporary novelist of the Civil War.

Review:

"A middle-aged salesman in 1885 Mississippi, Cass Wakefield is a Civil War veteran of the Army of Tennessee, which saw action far from the leadership of Robert E. Lee, and ended, badly, at the battle of Franklin in 1864. Cass agrees to accompany a neighbor, 54-year-old terminally ill widow Alison Sansing, to Tennessee to recover the bodies of her father and brother, killed at Franklin. As they travel north, Cass's memories return with painful vividness, culminating as he walks over the scene of his army's disastrous defeat. Bahr (The Black Flower) moves back and forth between the tattered post-Reconstruction South and the war. He describes the effect of weapons on flesh in gruesome detail and brings to life a long-gone era with its strange smells, foods, fashions and principles. Though his uneducated characters often seem a little too articulate, their insights are excellent. Author of other well-regarded novels on the same period, Bahr treats the war as a natural disaster not unlike a hurricane." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'It is well that war is so terrible — we should grow too fond of it.' — Robert E. Lee, 1863

'Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.' — Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson, 1863

Located somewhere between these quotes, Lee's at the battle of Fredericksburg and Jackson's last words after being (accidentally) shot by his own men at Chancellorsville, lies... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"By tying together elements from the earlier novels...Bahr creates what has become a moving, elegiac trilogy on the meaning of war that goes beyond victory or defeat." Boston Globe

Review:

"Bahr knows how to turn a phrase and tug on the emotions, visceral feelings that we try to keep buried....He also has the eyes and ears of an artist....His is a rare talent." Denver Post

Review:

"This is a mature work of fiction by a gifted writer — affectingly eloquent and fearless of complexity and ambiguity....[A] beautifully wrought novel that deserves a wide audience." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Bahr masterfully portrays ordinary men called to war whose belief in courage, honor, pride, and comrades sustains them but leaves them empty but for their terrible memories and grief. A beautifully written portrayal of the price that war exacts." Booklist

Review:

"Carefully written and nuanced." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"This beautiful novel turns the tables on our view of war; the combatants we meet are witty and wry, and we can't help but be charmed by the descriptions of their dusty, dreary, less than honorable and unheroic routine." Library Journal

Synopsis:

After returning from the Civil War, Cass Wakefield means to live out the rest of his days in his hometown in Mississippi. But when a childhood friend asks him to accompany her to Franklin, Tennessee, to recover the bodies of her father and brother from the battlefield where they died, Cass cannot refuse. As they make their way north in the company of two of Cass's brothers-in-arms, memories of the war emerge with overwhelming vividness. Before long the group has assembled on the haunted ground of Franklin, where past and present--the legacy of war and the narrow hope of redemption--will draw each of them to a painful reckoning.

About the Author

Howard Bahr teaches English at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee. His first novel, The Black Flower, was a New York Times Notable Book and received the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second novel, The Year of Jubilo, was also a New York Times Notable Book. He lives in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312426934
Author:
Bahr, Howard
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
War & Military
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 0.682 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military

The Judas Field: A Novel of the Civil War New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.00 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Picador USA - English 9780312426934 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A middle-aged salesman in 1885 Mississippi, Cass Wakefield is a Civil War veteran of the Army of Tennessee, which saw action far from the leadership of Robert E. Lee, and ended, badly, at the battle of Franklin in 1864. Cass agrees to accompany a neighbor, 54-year-old terminally ill widow Alison Sansing, to Tennessee to recover the bodies of her father and brother, killed at Franklin. As they travel north, Cass's memories return with painful vividness, culminating as he walks over the scene of his army's disastrous defeat. Bahr (The Black Flower) moves back and forth between the tattered post-Reconstruction South and the war. He describes the effect of weapons on flesh in gruesome detail and brings to life a long-gone era with its strange smells, foods, fashions and principles. Though his uneducated characters often seem a little too articulate, their insights are excellent. Author of other well-regarded novels on the same period, Bahr treats the war as a natural disaster not unlike a hurricane." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "By tying together elements from the earlier novels...Bahr creates what has become a moving, elegiac trilogy on the meaning of war that goes beyond victory or defeat."
"Review" by , "Bahr knows how to turn a phrase and tug on the emotions, visceral feelings that we try to keep buried....He also has the eyes and ears of an artist....His is a rare talent."
"Review" by , "This is a mature work of fiction by a gifted writer — affectingly eloquent and fearless of complexity and ambiguity....[A] beautifully wrought novel that deserves a wide audience."
"Review" by , "Bahr masterfully portrays ordinary men called to war whose belief in courage, honor, pride, and comrades sustains them but leaves them empty but for their terrible memories and grief. A beautifully written portrayal of the price that war exacts."
"Review" by , "Carefully written and nuanced."
"Review" by , "This beautiful novel turns the tables on our view of war; the combatants we meet are witty and wry, and we can't help but be charmed by the descriptions of their dusty, dreary, less than honorable and unheroic routine."
"Synopsis" by ,
After returning from the Civil War, Cass Wakefield means to live out the rest of his days in his hometown in Mississippi. But when a childhood friend asks him to accompany her to Franklin, Tennessee, to recover the bodies of her father and brother from the battlefield where they died, Cass cannot refuse. As they make their way north in the company of two of Cass's brothers-in-arms, memories of the war emerge with overwhelming vividness. Before long the group has assembled on the haunted ground of Franklin, where past and present--the legacy of war and the narrow hope of redemption--will draw each of them to a painful reckoning.
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