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How Can A Man Die Better

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  13 reviews
"A searing, swashbuckling Civil War historical novel... Brutal, eloquent, impeccably researched... immediately immersive... "

On the eve of the Civil War, a sadistic slave trader brutally murders a beautiful young woman.

Devastated and desperate for vengeance, Cage Carew volunteers for an elite company of scouts and snipers assigned to wipe out the Confederate bushwhackers,
Paperback, 292 pages
Published May 2019 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Very interesting and well developed characters in this book, from England, India, the Louisiana swamps, and Ohio. It took a while for the story to come together, but it finally did, embedded loosely in the Civil War battles in Kentucky and Tennessee. I have read a lot of Civil War history, so was gratified that the story stayed true to history in the broad strokes of events. I enjoyed the writing about the battles (from Mr. Carew's perspective) and the (sometimes very) graphic descriptions of ...more
Liz Phillips
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debra Brigman
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How Can a Man Die Better weaves through time from (about) 1840 to 1870 by snippets of the lives of a VERY diverse bunch. They're real people. Even the ones who aren't real are real people. Some are so totally lovable that you gasp when...well, I don't want to spoil it for you. Others are so despicable that you cheer when they get theirs! A few you HOPE will "get theirs" live to fight another day! It isn't all written in language you'd hear in Sunday School. But, then, neither is life. The first ...more
Corrine Cassels
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whoa! I was not expecting this! What a well written compelling story. I've read quite a few war and military themed novels, and this book stood out from them all. If you have a weak stomach or are not a fan of violence, you may need to white knuckle through some scenes, but it really is worth it. This book made me see the Civil War in a whole different light. And despite its heavy subject matter, it's a pretty quick read. I really loved this one. Bravo, Gaston!
K Mullett
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and this novel beautifully uses fictional characters to bring to life true-life stories from the Civil War. As a Brit, I'm woefully ignorant on this subject, so, for me, this book was not only entertaining but also educational. I particularly enjoyed how the character's lives intertwined and crossed over, and the helpful prologue at the beginning that tells you which characters were real-life people.
Mary Hlavacka
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
The beginning of the book introduced several different characters from different backgrounds and places around the world. At first I was confused and wasn’t sure how they were connected but as the book went on all the different characters’ paths started to cross. Once it was clear to see the connection between Carew and Ardent and Devol among other characters, it was very interesting to see the journey that Carew went on in order to avenge the death of Ardent in the midst of the Civil War. I ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is immediately immersive, and once I started reading I did not want to put it down. All of the characters were well written, and when the stories come together they blend almost effortlessly into one another.
I liked all of the Victorian slang and colloquialisms. Most of them were easy enough to figure out from context clues, but there were a few that I had to look up.
I also liked that this book begins with a list of historical people, places, and events. I am adding them to my list of
Ed Malaker
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once I started reading, I could not put the book down, and I wouldn't have minded if it was longer.

In this book, you are taken back in time on a blood-soaked adventure that spans the entire world and contains many historical events with a large part of the story taking place during the civil war.

The characters are as diverse as the environments, and many of them are real historical figures. We get a good look at these people and get a real sense of what it was like to live in each location
Avid Reader
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How Can a Man Die Better is filled with unforgettable characters, some heroic, others utterly demonic. Gaston is a compelling story teller who spends considerable time on character development, creating a very strong sense of place. The novel is not for the squeamish. It is graphic. The early scenes of Francois Devol's depravities and brutally realistic British Colonial combat - against real life warlords Wazir Akbar Khan of Afghanistan 1842 in and Nana Sahib in The Indian Rebellion of 1857 - ...more
Ronda Wian
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Lots of action hard to put down. A good read on the civil war. But the West and South parts of the wat.
The story starts off in London where a former apprentice named Lyman has possibly killed his employer and also stolen a good size treasure. This allows him to join the military where he has a successful career, albeit one that’s fraught with him surviving unlikely situations. Readers are next introduced to an unsavory character named Devol in Louisiana who begins his story by murdering two of his family members. He then apprentices himself to a quack doctor and befriends a local slave owner. The ...more
Kelly McDonough
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
For those who like a tale of murder, revenge and historic battles of the American Civil War, this storyline would make for an interesting read. This story is fairly well-written. I found the slang a bit tedious at times, and I also found a lot of typos. Despite that -- I think this read is one filled with unforgettable characters. It's built on emotions, and it is filled with the good and bad in this world. There are some despicable characters you love to hate and then see them get their just ...more
Heather Bennett
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
How Can A Man Die Better is a good book that is well written. I enjoyed reading this book and would read more by this author.
Melissa Cheresnick
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Dec 19, 2018
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Mike Mayle
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Nov 05, 2019
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Jul 08, 2019
Kelley Richard Davis
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Feb 14, 2020
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How Can A Man Die Better is Roy V. Gaston's first novel, written after he retired from a career supervising housing units in Ohio prisons. Gaston has had a fascination with the American Civil War since his early elementary school days, after discovering Bruce Catton's American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War and David Greenspan's wonderful battlefield map illustrations. A native of ...more