Does Arnott’s blend of history and fiction remind you of any other authors you have read?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 06/18/12
I have read several historical novels that blend history and fiction. Books by E.L. Doctorow, Herman Wouk, Jeff Shaara, and Matthew Pearl to name a few. All of these novels focus on smaller time frames. Jake Arnott has done an amazing job of blending fact and fiction over the course of a 60 or 70 year period leaving the reader to wonder exactly how much is real and how much is fiction. I think part of the strength of this extremely ambitious novel, is that it keeps making you want to put the book down to check facts, and to learn all that you can about some of the key events and people depicted in the book.
Join Date: 04/22/11
Join Date: 06/05/12
It reminded me of "The Ground Beneath her Feet" by Salman Rushdie. That novel focuses more on popular culture than on political history, but it has the same feeling of throwing a little bit of everything into a stew pot and shaking it up to create a whole new reality
Join Date: 07/18/11
Not really. Authors use historical fiction to enhance our understanding of a particular period or frame the story they want to tell or, even, to help readers understand a particular event, such as the holocaust. Arnott 's structure makes us see recent history in a fresh way that causes us to question what happened. Connie Willis in Doomday Book and her two WW II books pulls us into those specific times as a way to actually feel what the main characters feel while Julie Otsuko uses a collective first person of Japanese mail brides to help readers understand their lives in "the Buddha in the Attic."
Join Date: 01/12/12
I purposely read little historical fiction but I read 'Z,' the story of Zelda and F.Scott Fitzgerald, which is another book discussion ongoing here. It lead me to want to know more about the two of them, and the period in general. That's one big positive I can now see about historical fiction.
Join Date: 06/16/11
It actually reminds me in, that sense, of a lot of historical fiction I have read. Off the top of my head I can think of two books by Tatiania de Rossney and, a new one by Jodi Picoult and a recent one by Barbara Quick that blend history and fiction totally. All of those do it in an easier to read fashion though. Like jeffs I did sort of want to check facts frequently and in fact did on several occasions. Good in the sense that I like things that really make me think a bit.
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