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The Trench Angel

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"In the Somme Valley a British soldier teaches his fellows to hide cigarette coals inside their mouths. Half a world away, a war-ruined photographer drinks in a bar beneath a Colorado butchery, blood dripping from the floorboards into ashtrays. Gutierrez writes with a metaphorical gift and fine hand of an age of war and upheaval where anarchists, coal barons, Pinkertons, c ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Leapfrog Press (first published September 21st 2015)
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Daniel Clausen
4.5 Stars

Trench Angel is a novel of early 1900s mayhem and upheaval -- a lone war photographer struggling with the memories of his past, a twisted family history, and a landscape of hardnosed Pinkerton detectives, class warfare, anarchists, and death.

The author has a talent for using historical details and recreating the mood of the early 1900s. We get each scene in a clear and engaging style. The sentences were beautifully written and a pleasure to read. The tone of the book is at times hard-b
...more
Lynn
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I picked this advanced e-book because I thought it was a WWI story. And, it is. But it is so much more. This splendid debut is about situations black and white, but also gray. Binaries, dualities. Lies which are untruths told; lies which are truths untold. The powerful grip of family. And how concepts of right and wrong can change minute by minute, hour by hour, and a million times in the course of a lifetime.

This is post-war America, depressed. Filled with men wounded and crippled from the endl
...more
Danielle
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club, mystery
This was a mystery/noir masquerading as historical fiction. Lots going on, but hard to follow. Narrators voice was strong and distinct, but overall not my cup of tea.
Ronald Roseborough
This is a hard hitting, gritty novel. The characters have very distinct voices accentuated with vernacular appropriate to the period and setting of the novel. It has plenty of action, yet is also very thought provoking. Neal Stephens was a photographer during the first years of the Great War. He recorded the faces of the soldiers who were about to go over the top into no-mans land. Most would not return. Though he never picked up a weapon, he suffered the same privations as those who did. He end ...more
Debra Jeakins
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
THE TRENCH ANGEL BY MICHAEL KEENAN GUTIERREZ is a story of post WWI where men come home either physically or emotionally damaged by war. Its about one man, Neal Stephens who comes home from France with a secret, and he's being blackmailed for it. In between the covers you walk thru time back to depression, hatred and brutality.

I found,reading this book,having to remind myself this is fiction,the characters so vividly portray what life could be like during that period. The only complaint I have
...more
The Irregular Reader
I won this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.

The Trench Angel is a poetic and beautifully written mystery, set in the tumultuous American West just after the first world war.

Neal Stephens is home from the great war, trying to find his place in his old hometown. When the sheriff is murdered, the violent history between Neal's family and the sheriff's make him one of the prime suspects.

The Trench Angel is a beautiful book about a grim time and place. The prose highlights the blood and terror
...more
Ashley
Feb 09, 2017 added it
Didn't finish....too much language
Laura
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! From the first line, "The men lined up for their pictures before they died." I was pulled into the story. Although the main character trudges through the war trenches with soldiers, he tells his story through the lens of his camera. While there is some of the dark violence of war, the images that have stayed with me are the simple human tragedies.
The novel is both beautiful literary fiction and a fast-paced story.
The colorful characters are unexpected, larger then life and downright
...more
Melissa
Jul 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: historical, mystery
I really wanted to like The Trench Angel, but it just didn't happen for me. As a matter of fact, I couldn't even finish it. At times, I really liked the writing style and felt like the book was picking up. Then it would take a confusing turn. One example is when Gertie Pinkerton popped up in Neal's apartment! I didn't like the characters including Neal, plus the mystery and story line weren't compelling enough to keep me interested.
Judith Yeabsley
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I so rarely ditch a book unless it's badly written or the plot is ridiculous. This was both well written and cogent. However, I just found it so dull and dreary and it just didn't seem to be going anywhere. It started with such promise but became disjointed and pointless for me. Sorry, bailed 60% through ...
Soren
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written and adroitly plotted novel that grabbed my attention from the first page. The characters and are interesting and complex and the setting paints a vivid picture of the old west. There's much to learn from this novel, and even more to enjoy.
Emiley Allen Bowes
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 STARS Seeing the war thru the lenses of his camera. Caught in a corrupt mining town, trying not to become his father's son. Thanks to goodreads for ARC.
Jim Hunter
Meh must be a first novel uses the same template every budding genius uses
Joanna
Apr 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
I can`t finish this....to me its terrible...the story is boring and I just give up....and I don`t do that a lot...no books for me by this author.... ...more
K Lucisano
rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2016
Sara
rated it it was ok
Jul 14, 2016
PJ
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Dec 09, 2015
Joseph Lewis
rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2015
Mary
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Nov 13, 2015
Steven May
rated it it was ok
Mar 21, 2016
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Kayla Runyan
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Dec 25, 2015
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Shane
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Mar 07, 2015
Arcane Reader
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Apr 20, 2015
Tim
rated it it was amazing
Mar 06, 2015
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Jess
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Sep 16, 2015
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Michael Keenan Gutierrez is the author of The Trench Angel and earned degrees from UCLA, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of New Hampshire. His work has been published in The Delmarva Review, The Guardian, The Collagist, Scarab, The Pisgah Review, Untoward, The Boiler, Crossborder, and We're History. His screenplay (co-written with the poet Brian Wilkins), The Granite State, was ...more