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That Dark and Bloody River: Chronicles of…

That Dark and Bloody River: Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley

by Allan Eckert

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Though this book is often described as an historical novel it is not. What Eckert has done (For the seventh time!), is place words that are reported in the texts consulted as being received in dialogue, as dialogue between quotation marks, as is done in fiction. This narrative technique, no odder than the made-up speeches used by Classical historians to disguise their analysis of the stances evident in the historical actions of their time, lends an immediacy to the text that makes for great reading, and greater retention of the points he advances in his history of the Ohio river valley, than the unrelieved block text of most historical accounts. I'm very fond of his work, and if you check the footnotes that usually take up the last 20% of his volumes, you will see that he has snuck a great deal of research and analysis into your narrative-loving minds.
This work deals with a lot of characters that he researched while creating his more straight forward volumes. There's more autobiography in this book, and many lovable characters, familiar from their novelizing in the pages of Zane grey's Ohio novels. I'm glad Louis Wetzel was a real person, though a great deal more dodgy than Zane Grey's iconic figure. ( )
1 vote DinadansFriend | Jul 6, 2014 |
Should a book be called "fiction" when every fact stated in it is exhaustively documented? Anyone who cares to do so can find the records showing that the people in Eckert's book were exactly where he says they were, doing what he says they were doing, on the day he says they were doing it. Certainly, the book is written in a novel-like fashion, but by the time you're a few pages into it you realize that this is much more than a novel. Don't expect to skim through this book and finish it quickly, no matter how fast a reader you are, for it is densely packed with people, places, and events. Be warned, also, that there are few heroes here--people on both sides of the conflict committed atrocities that are sickening to read about. "Dark and bloody" is a mild description, and a true one. ( )
  emmelisa | Jan 4, 2008 |
I enjoyed this book much more than A Sorrow In our Hearts. Covering the brutal and interminable war on the Ohio River between settlers and Indians, Eckert introduces the reader to many important historical figures and narrates some of the most important events on that dark and bloody ground. ( )
  ksmyth | Feb 11, 2007 |
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July 16, 1768 - Saturday ... Simon Girty stood silently in the dense cover fringing the area of the hunting camp, his garb blending so well with the underbrush about him that it would have required a keenly traided eye to pick him out and, even then, the eye would have to know exactky where to focus.
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A history of the early settlement of the country along the Ohio River.

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