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Hagridden

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  43 reviews
As the Civil War winds violently down, fears of the South's uncertain future fuse with its unraveling traditions. Against the backdrop of this post-apocalyptic landscape, so littered with corpses and mythology and desperation, two women, stranded and alone in the Louisiana bayou, fight to survive.
Paperback, 252 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Columbus Press (first published August 11th 2014)
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  43 reviews


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Jason Arias
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brutal and beautiful and haunting. This story will stay with me for a long time.
David
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm not always a big fan of historical fiction because so many books like that don't do much more than fictionalize a narrative life around a historical account. Yeah, it might give me a different picture of what life was like during a particular time, but if I want just the history I'll read a historical account. From a novel I want more. However, I was excited about this one because after reading "Box Cutters" I knew Snoek-Brown would give me more. The historical time and place come alive for ...more
Stephanie
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was keen to read this, since I love historical fiction. I don't read a lot that is set in the Civil War-era United States (either North or South), so it was a pleasure to read in this era and about a place that I know next to little about (the salt marshes of southeastern Louisiana). This is a story about the people left behind during the war, and how they get by. The women already had a hardscrabble existence -- houses flattened multiple times by hurricanes, for example, and the war just made ...more
Kurt Stevens
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A truly excellent book. I don't consider myself a historical fiction buff, I like my books raw, gritty and in the now. But this had all of those components, simply complimented by a truly unique situation and historical setting. I was engaged. This is the kind of book that college students will be writing papers about in 10 years.
Dan Cooper
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hagridden, a novel of Samuel Snoek-Brown

For disclosure purposes, Sam is a friend of mine from a few years back. But I must try to assure you that even if he were a total stranger to me this critique would be essentially the same. Objectivity may, indeed, be difficult. But our acquaintance cannot alter the fact that Sam's writing is superb. And let it be known that I do not like this site's star-category descriptions, and hence have given five stars only twice, so far. But Sam's book is one of th
...more
April Peregoy
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Talk about unique! This book is so different from anything else I have ever read. I read it based on a recommendation from a friend (and the fact that I could download it for free from Amazon that day), without knowing what to expect, and it blew me away.

First of all, this is not your typical historical fiction novel - nor is it for the faint of heart. The characters and the setting are unlike any I have encountered in any genre previously. Particularly for a novel in which the two main charact
...more
Nathaniel Tower
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In Hagridden, Samuel Snoek-Brown drops the reader directly into a darkly crafted Civil War setting that captivates and terrifies. Often brutal and always brilliant, this novel moves quickly as it follows the lives and hardships of characters entrenched in a war-torn society. Don't mistake historical fiction for a boring history lesson. This is a character and plot-driven novel that is sure to thrill any reader. Snoek-Brown has obviously done his homework. This is well-researched with deep roots ...more
Brad
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I'm the publisher of this book. But that should tell you something. I not only loved this book enough to read it and give it 5 stars, I loved it enough to invest time, resources and capital into it.

My company receives hundreds of unsolicited submissions each year, and we publish one, maybe two of them. And for this year, this is the one. This is truly the cream of the crop, a magnificent book that I was privileged to read and produce with the author, Samuel Snoek-Brown.

If you li
...more
Emily Hitchcock
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's not often that you come across an author who's brave enough to unflinchingly illustrate the depraved, desperate side of the human condition. Samuel Snoek-Brown has created characters so genuine I couldn't wait to read more about their fantastically deplorable troubles.

The dialogue is peppered with authentic Creole diction, and combined with compelling descriptions, Snoek-Brown transports his readers straight to the swampy Louisiana Bayou.

Hagridden hooked me in the first couple pages. Dark
...more
Ray
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hagridden is a dark tale about three folks eking out a desperate living in Louisiana bayou country during the American Civil War. Author Sam Snoek-Brown is a supremely capable wordsmith. His themes, evocative descriptions, colorful/realistic dialog, and highly flawed characters will undoubtedly appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy, Tom Franklin, William Gay, and Larry Brown. Hagridden is not only beautifully written, but a page-turner as well. Highly recommended.
Ed Gaydos
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic book. Great writing, good pacing, fascinating setting and historical details. Don't miss out on Hagridden by Samuel Snoek-Brown, highly recommended.
Emily Diesburg
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Civil War literary thriller of the first order steeped in the myths, culture and history of the Louisiana bayou.
Katie
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-5-stars
Hagridden is a fascinating book. The novel takes place on a Louisiana bayou with only a few characters, but it manages to act as a microcosm, fully representative of the U.S. during the Civil War. Their poverty and starvation, the necessity of violence in order to survive, the marginalizing of black people even in this equalizing environment, loss of family--all while deftly mixing in elements of Creole mythology and culture and creating familial relationships and friendships the reader cares ab ...more
530 Book Club
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I meant to write this review back when I first read the book while it was fresh in my mind, but ran into a deadline. Luckily, it's impossible to forget.

If you read Hagridden, you might want to grab a Pez despenser full of Paxil, and your favorite episodes of Care Bears to follow because, damn, it's dark. It grabs you by the feelings and kicks you in the sunshine--that's not a bad thing. Go dark, blot out the stars, by all means.

I don't have any complaints, but if you're from California, like me,
...more
Lynn
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down and read it in two days. Its historical and tells about the end days of the Civil War, also tells the story about two women living in the Bayou and what they had to do to survive, it's very brutal and dark and the descriptions of living out in the Bayou was breathtaking, made you feel like you were right there. Also liked how they told about the legend of the rougarou which was scary..... I definitely recommend this book and would love to see a movie made from it.. ...more
Hannah
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be a great insight into the intense strength and courage needed to survive in the Louisiana bayou at the end of the civil war. The two women on this journey in time are both remarkable and revolting to me, but I certainly enjoyed their story. It's clear that this book is very well researched and carefully constructed. I absolutely look forward to reading more works from this author!
Sally Lehman
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This novel is right up there with All Quiet on the Western Front, The Red Badge of Courage, and Slaughter-House Five when it comes to books about people in war. It is a completely compelling story about how things unravel as war tears apart the lives of the people living on the sidelines and trying to simply survive long enough for the fighting to be done.

I had a hard time putting this book down.
Rusty McClure
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brutal, but compelling...
Daniel  Dahlman
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Alan
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The unflinching eye
Recommended to Alan by: The author
Dusk shadowed the reed bed and the sky gloomed red like fired iron, and while the cicadas set in and far off the frogs began a song, a spectral figure emerged hat and shoulders from the rippled surface of the backwaters.
—p.16
Once you start hearing that studied, melancholy drawl in your head, it's addictive... you can't avoid hearing everything that way, even starting to talk that way yourself. Or at least I couldn't.

Samuel Snoek-Brown's auctorial voice is already noticeably self-assured in Hagri
...more
Julie
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Hagridden by Samuel Snoek- Brown is a 2014 Columbus Press publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Without a doubt this one of the strangest novels I've read. Historical Fiction is the category this book is mentioned in the most, and technically it is. The setting is in the past, and it's fiction. So, it qualifies. But, this novel is unlike any other I've read in this category. Seeing the mostly glowing reviews on the book, I'm wondering if I have missed s
...more
Mirella
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hagridden means “Afflicted by nightmares of anxieties” and this novel really hits hard in the full context of its meaning.

It's the end of the Civil War. Many men have been killed in action, many have deserted, others have gone rogue, maddened by bloodlust. The orderliness of both sides of the military have disappeared and chaos reigns. The south is devastated, its people hungry, suffering, and poor. This is the backdrop of this very dark, haunting story.

There are two women at the heart of the
...more
Marisa
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
“Hagridden”: /’hag, ridn/ (adj) “Afflicted by nightmares of anxieties”

I found “Hagridden” a bit like a haunting song – reading it was vivid, detailed and an unsettling experience. The book is set in rural Louisiana as the Civil War is winding down. From the beginning, Snoek-Brown had fantastic skill of bringing the time and place alive for. It provides a unique perspective on the Civil War that I hadn’t read before. Though the history books and historical fiction often focus on the north or the
...more
Alec Clayton
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A cover blurb for Hagridden compared this debut novel by Samuel Snoek-Brown to Cormac McCarthy. I can see that. There are a number of similarities: the grittiness, the descriptive phases, the shocking violence, and some of the dialogue. For example, this two-sentence exchange: “You hard on a man.” “Then get comfortable, cause I don’t get no easier.”
The author’s use of simile and metaphor is also striking, such as in this spot-on metaphor: “They held their weapons perpendicular like circus artist
...more
Hosho
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For my particular tastes, historical fiction should do two things: illuminate some vivid realities of the time period in question while never letting the simple fact that the story is from another time distract it from entertaining. And Hagridden by Sam Snoek-Brown does both -- really well.

The flowing, cinematic prose delves deep in to the near-apocalyptic daily struggle of the post Civil War Louisiana -- primarily following two hard-scrabble, tough-as-hand-forged-nails women as they scratch, c
...more
Joey
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Part Civil War period drama and part bayou gothic, Hagridden is a dirty little fever-dream of a novel. The plot follows a woman and her daughter-in-law who turn to robbery and murder to survive after being left to fend for themselves during the war. Things take a turn for the worse when a Confederate deserter from their past returns home, pursued by a crazed, very human rougarou, the werewolf-like creature from Cajun folklore.

The bayou, depicted here as a fetid wasteland as bleak and unforgiving
...more
D.L. Fowler
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hagridden is a rare gem in the vein of an Ancient Greek tragedy written by a talented modern author. This book won't make you feel good, but it will challenge your soul -- like any honest portrayal of the tragic historical period the story covers. And on the score of accuracy, Snoek-Brown gets high marks. So if you're looking for a happy story with soaring moral victories, you won't find either.

Snoek-Brown is an exceptionally skilled writer as evidenced by his spellbinding imagery and command of
...more
Brian Tibbetts
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hagridden is one of those books that stays with you. Snoek-Brown's use of imagery, language, and metaphor combine to paint a stark, painfully realistic picture of life during wartime and what the struggle for survival brings some people to. I don't believe I've ever enjoyed a werewolf book more. At times the text resembles Cold Mountain as retold by Cormac McCarthy. That comparison cuts both ways, but what is clear is that Snoek-Brown has a gift for language, character, plot, and setting that is ...more
Melissa B
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book through GoodReads First Reads.
A truly unusual book. Taking place in the Civil War era, this book takes the reader into the world of two women, a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law, living in rural Louisiana, whose son/husband was off fighting for the South. Left with nothing, they do all the chores, obtain/grow all their food, sustain their own existences.
The culture of that time and area was fascinating. The characters were well-developed, the story flows rapidly. A well
...more
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Samuel Snoek-Brown is the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them (Blue Cactus Press, 2018) as well as the fiction chapbooks Where There Is Ruin (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016) and Box Cutters (sunnyoutside press, 2013), and the novel Hagridden (Columbus Press, 2014), for which he received a 2013 Oregon Literary Fellowship. When he's not teaching college or writing fiction, ...more
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“I offer you your life, friend, and recommend you take it.” 3 likes
“Bullets is worth more than food, the girl said, and we can’t eat gunstock.” 2 likes
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