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A Reputation Restored

The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers by Delia Falconer

Reviewed by Gerry Donaghy

"Unfolding over the course of a single morning, The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers is a meditation on memory and the passage of time. But it's not as ponderous or dense as classics in this vein written by Proust, Joyce or Robert Musil. In the novel, Robert Benteen, a retired cavalry officer and famous in American history as a survivor of the Little Big Horn disaster, reflects on his life, the events leading up to that fateful moment, and its aftermath. His ruminations are set forth after receiving a letter from a young amateur historian who wants to set the record straight about Benteen's role in Custer's strategic fiasco. What transpires is one man's act of reclaiming memories and identities lost to the shifting fortunes of time." Read the entire review.

3 Responses to "A Reputation Restored"

    Lewis Greer August 12th, 2006 at 12:15 am

    Robert Benteen? Perhaps that is part of the fictionalized portion of the book. The real life soldier who was there was Frederick William Benteen, and although his role around Little Big Horn has stirred some controversy, he was a true American hero.

    All that notwithstanding -- as a soldier with some lost thoughts of my own -- I look forward to reading this book.

    gerry August 14th, 2006 at 11:15 am


    I wish that the change in the historical character Benteen was a plot invention of the author rather than my own stupidity, but it wasn't. Even after looking him up on wikipedia and reading other documents on him, I still wrote it down wrong anyway.

    Thank you for your very kind correction. While it's too late for the people who received the review-a-day email to not think I'm a moron, at least readers looking up the book will have a more accurate description of both the book and its central figure.

    Lewis Greer August 15th, 2006 at 12:36 pm


    Glad to have been of some small service, both to you and to the late General Benteen. \(^o^)/

    But no one, I'm confident, will have thought you anything like a moron if they really read your well written review. And even if they did, your reputation (to coin a phrase) is now restored!

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