I Survived Gettysburg

I Survived Gettysburg

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Prepare yourself to take a haunting journey through history, blending the horror of the American Civil War with a gripping tale of mystery and the supernatural. “I Survived Gettysburg”, by Mark Pieper, is an incredibly captivating exploration of the past, offering a unique perspective on one of America’s most defining conflicts.

Jack, a Civil War enthusiast seeking relief from the monotony of his empty nest life he finds himself once his children have all left home, embarks on a camping trip to Gettysburg, unaware of the eerie events that await him. The house he lives in has always been a little haunted, so he’s no stranger to the supernatural, but what awaits him on the battlefields is nothing he could expect.

He unwittingly stumbles upon a world where the lines between past and present blur, and the ghosts of history come alive. What starts out like early-warning foreshocks before the main earthquake, Jack slips into a different stream of time where he briefly glimpses the past. Windows rattle from the booming canon fire, and people run for safety.

At its core, the novel grapples with themes of the futility of war and the passage of time. Jack’s own philosophical musings on the meaning of history and his own place within it add an interesting depth to the story.

For parts of the book, I wasn’t sure if it was written from a purely confederate sympathiser point of view, as there was a lot of “Monday-morning quarterbacking” on how General Lee should have done x or someone else should have done y and the war could have played out much differently. Indeed, early parts of the book talk of General Lee with a form of reverence for how well he did early on.

As the book goes on though, while Jack does feel sympathy for the confederate soldiers, it’s clearer that it’s sympathy for the poor souls forced into fighting rather than sympathy for the cause behind them. As the battle rages on, Jack forms a close bond with a couple of the doomed soldiers, and Pieper skilfully treads the line between loving the solider but hating the war.

As expected in events set during the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, there is frequent descriptions of horrific injuries, blood and gore, and battlefield surgery of the 1860s, so be warned if you’re a little squeamish.

The production value and narration of the audiobook was top-notch. The narrator, David Allen Vargo, has one of those voices that is both gravelly yet refined that is easy to listen to and suits the story well.

The audiobook draws you in for an immersive experience with added sound effects which make you feel as if you’re right there beside Jack. Thunderous canon booms and the crack-crack-crack of rifles, and the misery of men dying on the battlefield. None of it overpowering the narration though, only adding to the experience.

Overall, a hauntingly good tale. When you dive into the murky waters of history and the supernatural, you may find some moments in time are destined to linger long after the battle has finished.

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Mystery, Thriller, Time Travel, Paranormal, Fiction, Male Narrator, Civil War, Ghosts
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