An Eye for Glory: the Civil War Chronicles of a Citizen Soldier  -     By: Karl Bacon
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An Eye for Glory: the Civil War Chronicles of a Citizen Soldier

Zondervan / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

Michael Palmer is a good man, a family man. But honor and duty push him to leave his comfortable life and answer the call from Abraham Lincoln to fight for his country.

This "citizen soldier" learns quickly that war is more than the battle on the field. Long marches under extreme conditions, illness, and disillusionment challenge at every turn.

Faith seems lost in a blur of smoke and blood . and death. Michael's only desire is to kill as many Confederate soldiers as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets. Until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible.

It's in the heat of battle at Gettysburg and the solemn aftermath that Michael begins to understand the grave cost of the war upon his soul. Here the journey really begins as he searches for the man he was and the faith he once held so dearly. With the help of his beloved wife, Jesse Ann, he takes the final steps towards redemption and reconciliation.

Using first-hand accounts of the 14th Connecticut Infantry, Karl Bacon has crafted a detailed, genuine and compelling novel on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0310322022
ISBN-13: 9780310322023
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Michael Palmer has grown accustomed to the comforts of prosperity and a happy home. Yet, believing he has been created for some nobler calling, he enlists in the Union Army. He leaves all to take up a life of toil, hardship, and danger in the battlefields of America’s Civil War, changing him forever.

Author Bio

Karl Bacon is a first time novelist, but long time student of the Civil War. He and his wife, Jackie live in Naugatuck, Connecticut.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Karl Bacon breaks into the world of fiction with his novel, An Eye for Glory. The story is a first-person account of the Civil War told by Union soldier Michael Palmer. He details his journey of war and his actions at some of the most famous battlegrounds, including Antietam and Gettysburg. Bloody war, deep loss, and near impossible obstacles challenge Michael’s faith and his resolve to live.

Bacon's training as a student of the Civil War comes through in great clarity. Michael's character is very real. Bacon shows what soldiers in that time and situation could be thinking. Every complaint, every fear, and every goal seems like it comes from the heart of a real Union soldier. His descriptions and detailed accounts of military life sink the reader into the mud right next to the soldiers. The decrepit shelters, the grueling marches, the vile food, all are shown in believable detail and clarity. Bacon's historical sense is also impressive. He depicts important Civil War locations all over the United States, each clearly described. Bacon also mentions the constantly changing leadership. This is a strong point, as it helps shape the soldier’s views and expectations. The amount of detail is satisfyingly abundant. A final bonus is the addition of Bible verses at the beginning of each unit. They set a tone for the following section.

Bacon's historical accounts are great, but parts of his novel are stylistically bland. Michael is more interesting when he is interacting with his friends, but as the book progresses, he becomes more and more secluded. His time in the beginning, when he is surrounded by other soldiers, provides entertaining, as well as thoughtful experiences. Michael becomes more depressing and uninteresting. Another problem with Bacon’s characters comes from how predictable they are. It is pretty easy to guess who will die and around what time they will. Most characters either don’t stay around long enough to get really fleshed out, or they stay static through most of the book. Michael also seems to be incredibly lucky. Every battle has him fighting valiantly, hardly every sustaining anything more than a bruise. There are a number of times when Michael notices how close bullets came to killing him. This makes him seem like a super hero, untouchable until it is plot convenient. A small complaint about the verses in the beginning is that they reveal some important parts of the chapter and spoil some of the mystery.

Despite a predictable plot, Bacon’s novel is a good work. Impressive depth of detail and believable events help make the story interesting and engaging. There is a strong spiritual side to this book as well. Bacon explores men under pressure and how they react to the struggles they face. I would recommend this book to those interested in war, regardless of age. Bacon is never gory or obscene in his work, and the realities of war are shown without gruesome imagery. An Eye for Glory is definitely a good beginning for Bacon. It is a solid war novel that should interest a wide audience. – Todd Naevestad, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

For his first novel, Bacon has crafted the memoir of a Union Army veteran. Idealistic Michael Palmer enlists to fight slavery in 1862, but the brutality and senseless slaughter he witnesses produce disillusionment, rage, and guilt. After the war he manifests what today is called post-traumatic stress disorder. Evocative narrative writing is filled with accurate details of such battles as Antietam and Gettysburg and of the daily lives of ordinary soldiers. Dialogue and characterization is weaker. But the writing gathers force, and the novel ends with an emotionally gripping encounter that brings the book's evangelical Christian beliefs to the forefront. The depiction of 19th-century Christianity, however, is less authentic to the era than the military details; in an age when denominations mattered, the hero and clergy appear to belong to none. Rituals and reports of "a good death" that were crucial to soldiers and families during the Civil War are absent. But overall, the novel offers an engaging introduction to Civil War history as the 150th anniversary of the conflict unfolds over the next four years. (Apr.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

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