Playing Many Parts

Book Review – The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood

As I was sitting in my office at work Friday afternoon, contemplating a weekend full of hangman1housework and errand running, I got a yucky gurgling feeling in my stomach and a dull ache began in my fingers.  By 5 pm, I was flat on my back with the flu, and feeling pretty darn miserable.  That was the only excuse I needed to put everything else on hold and have a mini reading marathon of my own.

One of the books I read this weekend was recommended to me by DD.  It was Gary Blackwood’s book which she had to read for her English class a few years back.  I had never read an alternate history book before (let alone heard of what the author called uchronia), but since I love historical fiction it seemed like a good choice.

The Year of the Hangman is a thought provoking book that dares to imagine how things may have progressed had the colonists not won the Revolutionary War.  George Washington is captured and most of the famous founding fathers are in hiding when the story opens.  There were many things I liked about this book, most of them where the characters.  I think for such a short book the author did a great job of creating characters that were real and that I cared for.  I especially liked both Ben Franklin and Benedict Arnold, but the fictional characters were also well done.  What I didn’t care for so much was the tone at the end of the book and the preachy feeling it took on.  I disagree with the author’s sentiment about war so I am sure that biased me a bit.

My favorite quote from the book is this:

I’ve learned that honor is not measured by words; it’s measured by deeds.

Overall, I did enjoy the book and read the whole thing in one sitting.  For those of you who are putting together lists for long challenges, I would recommend adding this one to that list.


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