Two Brothers: One North, One South – Book Review

ER BirdTwo Brothers CoverI gave up on my April ER book “Two Brothers: One North, One South” by David H. Jones. I simply do not understand the audience. It seemed that the author was using big words just for the sake of using them, yet the dialog was almost insulting in its assumption of the reader’s intelligence. Minus the unnecessary vocabulary, which made the dialog in particular stilted and wooden, the writing seemed more appropriate for a book geared towards middle school audience as a way to teach them the basics of the Civil War. I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but I couldn’t stand to continue reading a book that was so silly and yet insulting to my intelligence when I have so many good books in my TBR pile.

Do not read this book. Don’t even think about it. See an example of why below.

The excerpt that made me give up. Really? This is really written for adults?

“You know, son, Sarah was right. The election of Abraham Lincoln last November practically guaranteed that our country would face this terrible predicament.”
“Clearly, South Carolina seceded from the Union in December for that very reason,” Clifton replied. “Sadly, they were soon followed by the other cotton states of the Deep South.”
“And how quickly thing deteriorated from that point!” exclaimed his father. “In no time at all, the Confederate States of America was formed in Montgomery, Alabama, and Jefferson Davis elected president, all before Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated in early March.”

This exchange was completely typical and the last straw.

However, if you’re a bit of a sadist, or if you don’t believe me, you can buy this book from Amazon – Two Brothers – One North, One South

11 comments to Two Brothers: One North, One South – Book Review

  • Girlfriend, you are a reading machine!!!! Too bad not all books can be enjoyable. I really appreciate you taking the hit on this one, though. :)

  • The secret is to only read 45 pages ;). Actually, the secret is to postpone some reviews to get the most notice, and have other reviews that get held back a bit in order to post them after book club, then you can have 5 straight days of reviews.

  • My husband tried to read this and hated it – and he loves to read stuff about the civil war. He thought it was very boring.

  • It was really, truly terrible.

  • Based on the quote and everything, this is your equivalent to my Through Tempest Forged…

  • Well then I finally understand how much you suffered with that book!

  • rantsandreads

    I believe Nancy Pear’s Rule of 50 comes into play here:

    “If you still don’t like a book after slogging through the first 50 pages, set it aside. If you’re more than 50 years old, subtract your age from 100 and only grant it that many pages.”

  • I don’t alway stick to her rule. I think it is important to differentiate between those books that really do only deserve 50 pages and those that deserve between 100 and 150. There are books that are difficult to get through at the beginning but end up being worth it if you slog through. Those books get more pages (depending on length). Then there are the books that are just BAD. Those get 50 pages, just in case you are wrong. Or, in this case, 45 pages when you come to a passage so egregious you can’t go on.

  • lindymc

    Thanks for your honesty. I love Civil War novels, but I’ll steer clear of this one.

  • […] ridiculous, or just plain stupid. I believe that I was getting cold feet due to the fiasco that was the last Civil War historical fiction book I reviewed. I thought that one looked interesting too. How wrong I […]

  • […] My confidence in my ability to separate the wheat from the chaff broke down a bit last year with one of my picks from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.  The book, “Two Brothers: One North, One South” sounded so promising: Civil War historical fiction with two brothers on opposite sides of the battle, their story narrated by Walt Whitman.  The only problem is that the book – at least the first 45 page, because that was as long as I could manage to submit myself to the dreck, was horrid.  The dialog was completely boring and stilted, and I really couldn’t understand the audience.  The concepts of the Civil War seemed on about a 4th grader’s level, but the author was using million dollar words (seemingly just to show off, because they did not flow with the writing).  For the passage that made me give up the book in disgust, see my review. […]