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A Night of Horrors:  A Historical Thriller about the 24 Hours of Lincoln's Assassination by [Berry, John C.]
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A Night of Horrors: A Historical Thriller about the 24 Hours of Lincoln's Assassination Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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Length: 292 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 812 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Telemachus Press, LLC (July 15, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005D1SWUQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,564 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I'm always dubious when I see 5 star ratings on Amazon, from a short list of readers. Too many new authors have 'friends' promoting their books. In this case I'm only sorry that it is a short list, and sincerely hope that many readers will download this excellent novel and enjoy it as much as I have. I'm English and my American history education centred on the Founding Fathers of America and stopped with the War of Independence. We had a brief introduction to the Civil War and obviously I knew that President Lincoln was assassinated while attending the theatre. Apart from that modern novels and trips to America have widened my knowledge of your history, but this book certainly taught me a great deal. The story is riveting, the characters all well defined and as others have stated here, yes, you feel as if you are living every moment of this tragedy. I have recommended this book to English friends and family, which for me is quite unusual, as I am sure they will enjoy it as there is a definite lack of historical novels by authors of this calibre. The whole concept of teaching history in the UK has changed over the last years. Now students are given information from newspapers,letters, journals etc., which relate to a paricular period or historical event. This makes the subject far more interesting and also allows the student to form their own opinions. This is what made this novel such an excellent read, well researched historical facts mixed with snippets of a personal nature attached to the characters. Loved it Mr Berry, please keep writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There have been numerous books written about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This was one of those instances which has been seared into our national consciousness. Some books have been academic, some more to the fictional account. But in A Night of Horrors, John C. Berry has perhaps bridged the two as has no one else.

One thing to point out though, is that this is fiction. The author had to re-create dialogues and choose what actually happened from various theories offered by all those historians and academics. With controversial events such as if Booth really did break his leg jumping to the stage, Berry chose one version (the more widely accepted one, in this case.)

Regardless, even as fiction, the book was fascinating. The author's prodigious research gave him a very broad foundation from which to weave his tale. And although we all know the outcome, I, at least, felt the literary tension continue to rise as the narrative approached that fateful encounter in Ford's theater.

Although I am fairly well versed in the events surrounding the assassination, I picked up many details about which I wasn't previously aware. All these details, coupled with the human face given them, created a much more engrossing narrative than the typical academic study.

Without a doubt, the content presented in this book was simply amazing. So why only four stars? While the content was top-notch, the mechanical aspect of the writing, unfortunately, was not. Paragraphs ran on and on, with 500 words being common. A long paragraph is not, in and of itself, a problem if it follows a particular train of thought or action. But in this book, the flow often jumped from one aspect to another, yet there were no paragraph breaks.
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This book was recommended to me by a long time friend who knew that I would be interested in this "novel" approach to a (the?) defining moment of the 19th century.

The book is a page turner, and gave me insight (real or imagined by the novelist) into the thoughts, fears, and emotions of those involved. It is also a great window to the period, less than 150 years ago. The speech patterns, the mannerisms were well caught by Berry.

My only complaint was the occasion overuse of a word or phrase, but that is easily overlooked by the high quality of the narrative.

I want more.
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I really wanted to like this book. And I tried. But the author insists on getting in his own way. I do not cast aspersions on his research--that appears excellent, and I plan to raid his bibliography.

However, the research may be one of the problems. Every time the story would start to pick up steam, we would plow into a museum diorama with a chunk of exposition on a plaque. I've done this myself, where I did research and gathered facts and by all the gods of storytelling I was going to *relate* those facts.

Repetition was also a problem. For example, I believe on no fewer than four occasions it was revealed to us as if it were the first time that the Secretary of State was laid up in bed at home, as he had been victim of a traffic accident, and his jaw was in a wire frame.

There's lots of good information here, and I read all the way through (as research for a role playing game), but if I want excitement and an engaging story, I'll probably go back to the Lincoln section of Assassination Vacation.
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I have been an avid history buff for many years and have come to enjoy novels with a solid historical background. When I was referred to John Berry's novel of the day of Lincoln's assassination, I thought there little likelihood a novelist could do justice to this terrible but extremely important historical event. I was wrong. John Berry is not only a great novelist, but a serious student of history and the Civil War. He has a doctorate in the subject and has been meticulous in his factual presentation, all while weaving a great story within its boundaries. It must have taken him years to put all this together, and I am in awe of his talent. I give this a solid five star rating and wait anxiously for his next work.
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