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The Followers - A Short Tale of the Civil War Undead [Kindle Edition]

William Van Winkle
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

In July 1863, Confederate General James Longstreet may hold the key to turning General Lee's potentially catastrophic strategy at Gettysburg into war-deciding victory. One man's horrible tragedy can place ranks of the undead at Longstreet's disposal and turn the fate of the Confederate cause...if he dares. This dark novelette will hold you mesmerized until the wrenching end.

"A nice little read that skillfully intertwines the supernatural horror of zombies with the all-too-real horror of the Civil War."

"Honestly, this story is worthy of being converted to a short film or even a full feature, and I hope that happens."

"Incoporating zombies with a time-piece setting was cleverly done. The ending threw me for a loop and was executed perfectly."

Word count: ~ 13,500 + complete bonus story, "The Sound of Autumn Night"

Note that this story is also contained in William Van Winkle's "Specula One" collection.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1672 KB
  • Print Length: 55 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Enwritenment Publishing (February 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1465966838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1465966834
  • ASIN: B0079VB6YM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,892 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Short Story! February 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like reading short stories because I only have to invest a short amount of time for a potential payoff. If the story isn't engaging, at least I've only lost an hour of my life. However, if it is written well and keeps my attention the time is well spent, and I appreciate that.
Fortunately, William Van Winkle's "The Followers" falls firmly in the latter. The story is set during the Civil War, and knowing that I expected that the mixture of the two genres would be superficial; I thought Van Winkle was just going to take zombies and insert them into a Civil War battle and let the carnage ensue. Instead, the introduction of the zombies is efficiently explained and then eventually cleverly injected into the historical element of the story. The details that lead up to an epic face-off between the Union and Confederate armies are captivating and create an excellent mental image and great dramatic build up all the way to the end. It's clear that Van Winkle exhaustively researched the topic and carefully crafted the plot. Honestly, this story is worthy of being converted to a short film or even a full feature, and I hope that happens. I look forward to reading more stories from this author! Excellent!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let zombie fatigue scare you away February 22, 2012
By jdbizz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A nice little read that skillfully intertwines the supernatural horror of zombies with the all-too-real horror of the Civil War. Yes, zombies are everywhere now, but don't let that "scare" you away; This piece is a lot of fun, regardless if you are a history buff, a horror fan, both, or neither.

The author provides enough nods to both genres to keep the die-hards interested, but never strays too deep as to chase away folks just looking for a good little yarn.

Well worth the price tag.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fright Fiction At Its Finest! February 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
If you're looking for something new and unique in a sea of generic zombie stories, try William Van Winkle's short but powerful Civil War zombie novella, The Followers. It's rich in history and lore, full of twists and turns that give new meaning to the term "poetic justice" and with just enough gore to satisfy the true zombie lover without alienating the rest of us!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok, I can not believe it either; I read a zombie story. "The Followers - A Short Tale of the Civil War Undead" by William Van Winkle caught my eye as a Kindle special; it combined a story about the Civil War with the undead. Since retiring, I am trying to read from many different genres, so I decided to give it a try. I honestly expected that the mixture of the two genres would become superficial and stereotypical; I was pleasantly surprised. The story is set during the Civil War, in July 1863, right before the Battle of Gettysburg. Confederate General Longstreet may hold the key to a war-deciding victory, but what a horrific key it is.

Combining the historically accurate elements of the Battle of Gettysburg with a truly unique twists on the story of zombies, Van Winkle has created a short novella that moves rapidly from beginning to end. His characters are well thought out and developed; the plot is solid and well crafted with a few clever twists. I was surprised that I enjoyed it, as it is not my normal reading. If you want to try it, I think you will like it! So, bring on the zombies!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey, follow me, not this way - that way! December 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this story quite a lot; not only the Civil War details, but how it tied in to the zombies. Didn't like the usage of the term 'zonbi' (first time I saw it, thought it was a typo); if it's a zombie, just call it a zombi, but that was the only drawback to the story. Sort of knew where the story was going, but the actual finish was a nice little twist.
Good job by Mr Van Winkle, and thought the bonus short-short story was pretty good also. Ending sure took me by surprise.
When I free up some room on my Kindle, have to look for some more by this author, really enjoyed him, surprising for a cold purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Zombie Story October 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like zombies? Then you'll enjoy reading William Van Winkle's The Followers - A Short Tale of the Civil War Undead. The author manages to easily write in a way that is reminiscent of Civil War era authors. This may be difficult for some readers not familiar with the style, but the artistry involved alone makes this worth reading. I also enjoyed how the author blended Night of the Living Dead type zombies with traditional Voodoo zombies. The characters are well defined and the story has a solid plot. Reading the story made me want to read more about the Civil War. I will definitely be reading more by Mr. Van Winkle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tasty Bite of Zombie Historical Fiction February 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a kid I remember jokes about War and Peace as the goto title when referring to devastatingly long book. ("That homework assignment last night was impossible. I bet she assigns War and Peace to read for Monday.") However, these days it seems like 800+ page novels are becoming more commonplace. It's a large commitment for the reader which makes the stakes that much higher. I know authors want to satisfy their readers, but sometimes it's OK to be short and succinct and leave the reader wanting more. This is what we get with the grizzly and pleasing novella The Followers - A Short Tale of the Civil War Undead. This is a quick read, but is worth every penny (if not a few more). Van Winkle ups the bar in this new world of epublishing of short stories and "singles" in the easily accessible book device world. Anyone who has dabbled in the "cheap treats" of stories in this format has surely found a few clunkers. Rest assured, this isn't one of them. Combining the historically accurate Battle of Gettysburg with a truly unique take on the origins and biology of zombies, Van Winkle has created a short and (within the context) believable tale that never drags (it isn't long enough) but also is never rushed. Vital scenes are given their due time to unfold with some harrowing and sometimes sweetly repulsive results.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Who would ever believe so many could stoop to such lows just for their own adulation. A very unexpected ending to an unbelievable attack. Read at your own risk of nightmares!!!!
Published 9 months ago by Gammy
4.0 out of 5 stars The Followers
This short story piqued my interest early in a historical setting with which I am familiar having been to Gettysburg. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Judy B
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Two different zombie tales one was during the civil war where voodoo played a part in the conflict. The other tale was about a makeshift family stuck in a hospital surrounded by... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Josh Hitch
4.0 out of 5 stars Why didn't Meade go after the Confederates after Gettysburg?
General Longstreet knows that Gettysburg is crucial to winning the war. He is offered what appears to be a guarantee to victory zombies, or zonbis. Read more
Published 12 months ago by geobabe54
4.0 out of 5 stars Good short story
This book was good for a short story. Was a twist on the zombie genre including it in with the civil war but was a nice quick read.
Published 14 months ago by Jeri
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been shorter
Oddly enough, the other piece I've read & reviewed by the author needed to be longer...this one needed to be shortened. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ken Zufall
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied my zombie craving!
If you like zombies then this is a MUST READ! Make sure you finished all your chores before you start reading this. The author described everything in details. Read more
Published 15 months ago by asul
1.0 out of 5 stars An interesting concept-seriously under-developed.
It seemed like this was a rough-draft for a book concept. Really undeveloped and just left me wonder what happened to the rest of the story.
Published 17 months ago by RH
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet
This short story was very entertaining. It was well written and the facts surrounding the Battle of Gettysburg were well researched. The surprise ending was great. Read more
Published on July 14, 2012 by Tony P
3.0 out of 5 stars Hardly a unique story
I give the author credit for delivering characters and dialogue that fit to the period. For me, though, it seemed implausible that General Longstreet would endanger himself by even... Read more
Published on May 20, 2012 by azgrad
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More About the Author

William Van Winkle started publishing poetry and short fiction straight out of high school. Seven years later, he suddenly realized that publishing computing articles yielded far more paychecks and so became a full-time freelancer for the likes of PC Magazine, CPU, PC World, Tom's Hardware, and many other outlets.

Roughly two million non-fiction words and one bald spot later, William reached middle age. He realized that he had just as many fiction words stored up in him, and they were not only eating away at his mind but also his folicles. In an effort to keep what hair is left, William is now pounding out fiction as fast as his journalism schedule allows.

He lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with his wife and two sons.

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