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Red Rain

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Following his acclaimed debut, Waterborne, Bruce Murkoff gives us another American panorama with a Civil War novel unlike any other.

Born near Rondout, New York, to a family steeped in wars both before and after independence, Will Harp returns home in 1864 for the first time in a decade, disconsolate over the campaigns being waged against Indians in the West even as the nat
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Knopf (first published 2010)
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Jonathan Briggs
Apr 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Holy crap, I thought as I read the synopsis on the inside cover flap of "Red Rain," how is all this gonna fit in 300 pages?!! No one's ever going to fault author Bruce Murkoff for a lack of ambition. His second novel tells the tale of the summer and fall of 1864 in the port town of Rondout, N.Y., and Murkoff has a little something to say about pretty much every single resident. Harry Grieves runs the place, and he's gonna get paid one way or the other, so cough it up. Mickey Blessing, an Irish ...more
John Filson
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers of literary fiction
Recommended to John by: Washington Post review
I was shocked at how good this book is (and I should not have been, his first was great). The history of America at war has been told, but not this way, and not by these people-the ones left behind during the battles of the Civil War. The Hudson River town is so perfectly realized you can smell it. Murkoff is a very literary writer-his words can be fists or raindrops, and no matter who he's writing about, or what he's showing you you find yourself holding your breath. It's like no time at all ha ...more
Grace
No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't like Bruce Murkoff's "Red Rain." The story was well written and his attention to detail was magnificent. His descriptions are better than just about any author's I've read. The story had everything a good story should - intrigue, espionage, romance, hidden motives, not so hidden motives, and it is a coming of age story to boot (one of my favorites). But I just didn't like it.
Laura
Aug 23, 2011 rated it liked it
There lotsa good things about this book. Plot isn't one of them. Author is masterly writer, but every event was predictable and none of it amounted to much in the end. I want to read his first novel, Waterbourne, however, so that says something.
Nick
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Some of the more negative reviews I read for Murkoff's debut, Waterborne, some of the reviews I found myself defending against--that it was overwritten, that Murkoff reveled in his prose too much rather than allowing the narrative to develop more naturally--unfortunately, can all be applied to Red Rain.
I'll admit that I didn't finish this book, that it's possible it gets better. But i struggled to get a third of the way through it; it became turgid, too much character study not enough developmen
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Mark
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Astoundingly well written, with great characters and an excellent sense of place. Not sure why he's only written 2 books.
Marvin
Apr 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Set in a town on the Hudson River during the Civil War, this novel addresses a number of issues one would expect in a Civil War-era novel-- grief for the loss of loved ones, especially--and a number one might not expect (the thrill of scientific discovery, for example). The author is a master at placing the reader in a scene, vividly recreating sights, sounds, & smells; and he has created a bevy of vivid characters, as well. Some readers might wish for more sustained action, but the threat o ...more
Teresa
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I thoroughly enjoyed Red Rain. Some reviewers seemed to feel that the story moved too slowly, that there was too much description of life in these Hudson River communities and out west during the final years of the Civil War, but that, plus the well-developed characters, is precisely why I enjoyed the book. Extremely well researched and with compelling characters and a story that kept me curious until the end.
Susan
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bruce Murkoff's Waterborne, a sprawling saga about the building of the Boulder Dam, is one of my all time favorite books. In his second novel, Murkoff delivers another compelling tale this one set in the Hudson River Valley in the waning days of the Civil War. Definitely a master at evoking another time and place, Murkoff is also a terrific storyteller. In Red Rain he has created an especially memorable cast of characters who keep you turning the pages.
Lisa
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-fiction
I really enjoyed this one. Lots of character development so if you don't like that, it may not be for you. A couple of the reviews on amazon indicated some of the occurrences that come up are too far fetched but each time I checked on something (mastodon bones and mountain lions in NY), found this to be valid for the time period. I'm ordering Murkoff's other book b/c I enjoyed this one so much. He weaves a good yarn!
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