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A Fine Likeness: A novel in the House Divided series Paperback – April 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: House Divided
  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468004476
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468004472
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,653,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sean McLachlan is a former archaeologist who worked for many years on excavations in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Now a full-time writer, he specializes in history and travel. His main historical research interests are medieval weapons and the Civil War west of the Mississippi. For his travel writing, he focuses on historical destinations and adventure travel. Sean spends much of his time on the road researching and writing. He's traveled to more than 30 countries, interviewing nomads in Somaliland, climbing to clifftop monasteries in Ethiopia, studying Crusader castles in Syria, and exploring caves in his favorite state of Missouri. His website is seanmclachlan.com and he has a blog dedicated to the Civil War and Wild West at civilwarhorror.blogspot.com Sean is always happy to hear from his readers, so drop him a line!

More About the Author

Sean McLachlan is a former archaeologist who has excavated in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Now a full-time writer, he specializes in history, travel, and fiction. He won the 2013 Society of American Travel Writers Award for his Iraq reportage.

Sean is busy working on three fiction series: Toxic World (post-apocalyptic science fiction), House Divided (Civil War horror), and the upcoming Trench Raiders action series set in World War One.

Half of Sean's time is spent on the road researching and writing. He's traveled to more than 30 countries, interviewing nomads in Somaliland, climbing to clifftop monasteries in Ethiopia, studying Crusader castles in Syria, and exploring caves in his favorite state of Missouri.

Sean is always happy to hear from his readers, so drop him a line via his blog!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack Badelaire on October 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Normally, I'm not really that interested in the American Civil War. I understand the basics of the war - the lead-up, the battles, the conclusion and the aftermath - but for one reason or another I've never felt the need to do a deep dive into this time period. Because of this, I've never had a strong interest in reading any fiction relating to the ACW, such as The Killer Angels or Bernard Cornwell's Nathaniel Starbuck chronicles.

Even with an only lukewarm interest in the conflict, I was intrigued by Sean McLachlan's A Fine Likeness when I first heard about the book. A "Civil War Horror" novel written by a seasoned archaeologist, travel writer, and historical reference author sounded peculiar enough to warrant a second glance, and although it took me a while to circle around to reading it, I'm now kicking myself for waiting so long, because it's one hell of a good yarn.

The book starts off near Columbia, Missouri with a skirmish between Captain Addison's militia company and Rawlins' Rangers, a six-man band of "bushwhackers". The term refers to small bands of guerrilla fighters who operated in many states during the war, launching ambushes and raids and falling back into the wilderness, where the men lived off the land and the generosity of sympathizing civilians. Like the guerrilla fighters of the Napoleonic wars and WW2, these "combatants" occupied a weird middle ground between organized military units and simple armed civilians taking action against their enemies.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bookblogger on December 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
A Fine Likeness by Sean McLachlan is a historical horror novel based during the Civil War. Jimmy is a young bushwhacker fighting for the South with his group, the Rawlins Rangers. The group of young men from the same town are a fairly successful ambush troop taking out Union supply caravans and destroying transportation and communication lines. Elijah, one of the members, also has the dubious habit of collecting the souls of the soldiers he kills in a special bottle. When the boys are offered the chance to join up with Bloody Bill Anderson, the most famous bushwhacker, they are eager to strike a meaningful blow for the Confederacy. What they see after joining up however terrifies them all (except Elijah) into second guessing if the South should actually win.

On the side of the Union you follow Captain Richard Addison. He is a good man who only joined the military reluctantly after he realized how badly he was needed. Dealing with his wife seeming to lose her mind after the death of their youngest son and none of his requests for assistance being granted, he has a heavy burden. When his patrol is ambushed by Jimmy he sees his son in the young Southerner's face. As he begins to try to hunt down Bloody Bill he secretly hopes that Jimmy can be redeemed, but the more atrocities he sees committed the more he doubts himself.

Sean has written several books about the Civil War the history of Missouri, so he has a lot of knowledge to share. The book is very well done using actual people (Bloody Bill) who were involved with the War in the area to add a layer of realism to the story. He does such a wonderful job with the weapon descriptions and battle detail that the book really comes alive. I had some interest in this time period in high school so it appealed very much to me. This is the only book like this I have ever read so I don't have anything to compare it to, but if he writes any more like this I will read them.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KayAnn on November 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I generally don't read much long-form prose on my kindle, unless I'm trapped on an airplane but I was at home for this one. That says something about my experience with A FINE LIKENESS. Setting aside my downloaded newspapers and blogs paid off, because reading A FINE LIKENESS -- which must run over 85,000 words -- renewed my faith in both the e-reading experience and my attention span.

McLachlan sets his horror-history story well outside the norm, avoiding the tried-and-true territory from big clashes like Gettsyburg and Shiloh. I would like to see more stories set in places that are often overshadowed by the giant military maneuvers. By sidestepping the stereotypes, McLachlan takes readers smack dab into the guerrilla war of the trans-Missouri theater. This clears out the preconceptions that Hollywood has inserted into our minds and prepares readers for a singular story with hairpin turns.

McLachlan leads on with solid action and an especially deft hand for description. He clearly knows the terrain under his characters' feet and offers sensory impressions of the natural world that anchor the story in place and time. One well-handled account of riders approaching an abandoned camp through smoke and a screen of trees instantly conveys the creepy reality of the tale -- and there is real poetry here as well. Most tellers of swashbuckling tales tend to skip this stuff, and their stories often suffer as a result. McLachlan is at his best with description of this kind and with action -- much more so than with dialogue. One downside: I wish we had seen Bloody Bill sooner in the story, but it's tough to get everyone on stage, and set up the tale, which is braided together while being told from different perspectives.
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