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None Shall Look Back (Southern Classics Series) Paperback – September 15, 1992
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From the Back Cover
"Miss Gordon has done in this book what every novelist would do if he could, and what perhaps one in a hundred does. She has been real."--Mark Van Doren (Southern Review)
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Top Customer Reviews
The central character of the novel is Rives Allard, a scout under General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Gordon follows Rives with skill and eloquence, she writes well of both the physical battles and the internal conflicts that Rives experiences.
Gordon writes with a passion regarding her subject matter, at times however I felt that she has the tendency to over romanticise the idyllic nature of the pre-war south. However this is a small quibble and one that does not detract from the overall power of the book. General Forrest appears throughout None Shall Look Back and as a personal preference I would have liked him to play a larger part the novels structure but again this is not a criticism of the book just a personal observation.
Ultimately None Shall Look Back is an account of what the author saw as the stand of the heroic south, both Rives and Forrest are presented as heroes of the Southern cause and the struggles against deprivation and poverty are presented in an heroic yet believable manner.
Before reading the novel I had some reservations regarding both its age and subject matter. Other accounts of Civil War written during the same period as None Shall Look back have at times been cliched and repetitive. Gordon relies on neither of those qualities with the end result being a well-written, engaging and thoughtful novel.
As a postscript I would suggest saving the Preface and reading it as an Afterword. It is a very fine contemplative piece which serves far better as an after dinner enzyme than a pre-meal appetizer.