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Sweetsmoke (2008)

by David Fuller(Favorite Author)
3.72 of 5 Votes: 3
1401323316 (ISBN13: 9781401323318)
review 1: With an abundance of excellent books about the Civil War south and slavery there is no need to read Sweetsmoke. David Fuller's book is part murder mystery, part description of plantation life, and part war novel. Unfortunately because it tries to to fulfill so many roles it fulfills none of them well. By the time the murder mystery was finally solved, I had become distracted by so many other plot lines that I no longer cared who the murderer was. Additionally, with the exception of the main character, the slave Cassius, the characters were undeveloped and uninteresting. For instance, I never could figure out the allure of Emoline, the former slave murdered in the early chapters of the book. I also found it completely unrealistic that Cassius, a previously uneducated man, c... moreould learn to read and write so well in such a short period of time. Because much of the plot hinges on this development, I had a hard time appreciating and believing most of the story. The one positive aspect of this book is that it presented the complex relationship between slaves and owners without resorting to stereotypes. Still, this one positive does not compensate for the books many other flaws.
review 2: I enjoyed this story of a slave pursuing the murderer of a friend in 1862 Virginia. While Cassius was a fully developed character and this is a well written novel, I found myself having a hard time buying the scenario. Much is made of the difficulties of slaves being able to move freely about the countryside within the pages, and indeed with the Civil War fully engaged it is easy to imagine the levels of paranoia that must have existed amoung the slave holders and their white minions. That said, Cassius has little difficulty coming and going as the story line requires. The novel also includes an interesting take on the battle of Antietim. less
Reviews (see all)
This novel is vivid and touching and will remain with you long after you read the last page.
Excellent book with deep characters and beautiful scenes - Best that I have read for awhile
tried and couldn't get into it. maybe some other time.
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