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By the Hands of Men, Book One: The Old World Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I say "done his homework" because he goes into detail about everything from trench warfare, field hospitals, social mores (and boy do these Edwardians have some scruples) nurses etc. without an anachronism at least as I can tell from the first reading. As to his craft the book although peopled with many characters moves with a delightful pace and all of the character are well-defined and when they are about to break into caricature, the author falls back.
If there are two areas where dangers arise for the next two volumes it are these. The tendency for exposition is a bit too great and gets in the way of the story- telling and at times it seems that the author is piling it on lest he forget a fact or is afraid the reader has no imagination. There is one brief scene where the writer has an officer involved in a communal urination with the enlisted men to clear a cannon of mud. It was concise and effective combining the mundane with the comic without being smug. The only other caveat I have is that too much tragedy is happening to too many people, not of course in the theater of war but in its aftermath and especially in London.
All in all, this is an extremely pleasant work, by a fine writer. Now if only he can develop a platform to announce his next work.
It will save you some reading here if you JUST GET THIS BOOK and then the two following (and the fourth still to come). The story Mr. Griffis has fashioned is fascinating, compelling, heart-warming, heart-breaking and masterfully told. My wife and I (I'm 80-years old; she's at the moment 5 or more years younger) both have developed an engrossing interest in Charlotte and Robert as well as the many other characters who populate their world. The experiences that shape them are so well described that you'll feel yourself at their shoulders being affected right along with them.
I refuse to reveal more; you deserve to rejoice in the privilege Mr. Griffis has extended to us to immerse in this engaging book--and its successors.
I would just like to say in summation that I am a lifelong reader, and I LIVE for novels such as these. This series takes second place to none. Mr Griffis, Thank you for sharing your incredible talent with me and I hope and pray that there are many more of this caliber books awaiting moving from your imagination to the page.
The story as told is compelling. I found myself immersed in the grim surroundings of WW1 France, almost smelling the fetid reek of rotting flesh, human filth, and sour mud. The people working the field hospital were realistic and sympathetic. The sufferings of the soldiers are clearly represented as well as the dedication of the medical staffs tending them.
In all, the developing relationship between the two protagonists is warming.I look forward to the next book in the series.