G. J. Berger
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About G. J. Berger
When G. J. was eight, his mom told him the story of Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants and a great army. He asked her what happened to Hannibal after that. Mom didn't know, but he was hooked, had to find out, had to write about it.
G. J. spent much of his young life on the road and at sea, even working as a crew member on a tramp steamer. Wherever his travels took him, old walls, canals, storage holes deep in the ground, made him wonder about how they got there, about the people who built them, how they lived and got along. The award-winning "South of Burnt Rocks West of The Moon" and the just released "Four Nails" bring to modern readers the lives and times of Hannibal, his elephants, and much more.
When not writing, G. J. tries to roam around the places he writes about, likes to sit and soak up the times back then and bring them to life in his stories. G. J. is convinced that for all the changes in last 2000 years, people loved and hated, suffered and rejoiced, destroyed and built our of the same urges then as today.
G. J. says, "I write historical fiction because the genre gives the reader an added 'take away' as only historical fiction can. Nothing else sweeps the reader into great tides of the past, into the lives of people who lived and loved, fought and suffered, laughed and rejoiced just as we do today--but differently too."
"South Of Burnt Rocks" is the winner of best published historical fiction of 2012 by the San Diego Book Awards.
Awesome Indies posted a review of "South of Burnt Rocks" that stated in part, "Written with an engrossing breadth of detail about the Celts and the Romans, with a sympathetic slant towards the people on both sides of the conflict, and with a depth of knowledge that he imparts effortlessly to the reader, G J Berger has written a compelling story of adventure, fortitude, revenge and love. The main characters stand out against a supporting cast of well-drawn minor characters. Pacing is superb, driving the reader onwards. G J Berger's writing style is direct and pared down, as befits a book of this nature. Descriptive passages are moving and show very well how the landscape is used in Lavena's fight against the invaders, and the animals - horses and dogs, add an extra dimension to the story. For any reader who loves to sink into the distant past, this is a story that will not disappoint."
G. J. lives in San Diego with his favorite grammarian and English Professor and tango dancing partner. They visit their two sons and grandsons as often as the kids will have them.
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Titles By G. J. Berger
In ancient India, tragedy leads a young elephant trainer, Ashoka, to perilous adventures in distant lands.
On the way, he befriends a special elephant. He and that elephant lead mighty Hannibal's elephant army over the Alps and down the back of Rome. Though a time of constant danger and uncertainty, Ashoka finds beauty and kindness while helping others enslaved for the pleasure of ruthless rulers.
To survive this remarkable journey, the elephant trainer calls upon his unique ways with the great greys and a strength known only to those with nothing left to lose.
Can Ashoka find freedom, or will he and his elephants come to the same bitter end as Hannibal?
The hero elephant is real and was ridden by Hannibal himself. The journey was real and reconstructed from ancient writings. The emotion-filled ending is mostly true too.
From Kirkus Review....
"A young Iberian-Celtic she-warrior makes a stand against the invading Roman army. In Hispania, 184 B.C., 11-year-old Lavena, daughter of the village leader, witnesses the brutal murder of an old farmer by a Roman soldier. The villagers’ worst fears are confirmed: Hungry for gold, mighty Rome has broken the peace treaty and is preparing to invade and conquer. A proud, determined people, Lavena’s clan decides to train and fight against the overwhelming invaders. Lavena, now 15, has learned the ways of the she-warrior—women who use their strength and intelligence to outwit and kill their male counterparts.
"When the village is consumed by the crushing army, Lavena’s father urges her to take the family gold and escape; his dying wish is for her to warn surrounding villages and unify the people to take a stand against Rome. Smartly written, the novel moves quickly, building prose with quiet strength unencumbered by the heavy style. Its bare-bones flow seems to fit the time period.
"The simple yet powerful narrative relies on a commanding cast of characters, many of whom are indeed women, celebrated for their resiliency and constitution. These women are the leaders of the resistance and they rely on no man for guidance. Berger beautifully crafts them as more than one-dimensional warriors bent on revenge. They’re strong yet vulnerable, desperate to protect their land and people.
"A wonderfully crafted balance of Roman-era drama and the fierceness of battle." - Kirkus Reviews