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Publisher's Summary

Two strangers, young men from Pennsylvania and South Carolina, meet on the way to West Point.... Thus begins this brilliant novel of antebellum America, spanning three generations and chronicling the lives and loves of two great family dynasties. The Hazards and the Mains are brought together in bonds of friendship and affection that neither jealousy nor violence can shatter - until a storm of events sunders the nation and brings the cataclysm of war!
©1982 John Jakes (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By 9S on 01-12-13

Captivating novel of the Civil War

North and South is the first novel in John Jakes' trilogy of the American Civil War. This first book tells the story of the close friendship the develops between George Hazard Of Pennsylvania and Orry Main of South Carolina. Hazard belongs to the industrial class of the mighty North, while Main is a member of the Southern caste of slave holding plantation owners. The backgrounds of these two men are fraught with seemingly insurmountable differences. Despite this, Main and Hazard become close friends during their time at West Point, as well during their service in the Mexican American war. After that conflict the two friends are followed throughout the tumultuous 1850's, right up to the firing on Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War. The tragedy of the Civil War is magnified as these two intimate companions choose sides, wish each other luck, and go to war.

Over the last 25 years I have read this trilogy three times and I have been waiting very impatiently for an audio version. And it has arrived in all it's glory. Having the superb Grover Gardner narrate is simply icing on a three layer cake.

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56 of 59 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 03-22-14


I listened to all 30 + hours of this, which says a lot. I rarely listened to something this long unless it can hold my attention. I have to admit that it started out a little slow and after about three hours, I just about gave up on it. The first five chapters reads a lot like a history book. I love historical fiction, I hate dry history. I really got into it in chapter six and it was pretty good the rest of the way, with just an occasional flat spot.

I enjoyed learning about life at West Point and about troopers stationed in the Wild West. I did not realize that Indians were made slaves as well as blacks. I did not realize just how much the South and North hated each other. I was shocked to her about a girl of the 1800's pulling a train. There are several sex scenes in this.

Another reviewer mentioned the four evil characters. I will admit they spiced up the book, but they were very one dimensional. They were all evil, no gray. As much as I liked the book, I do not believe Jakes to be as good a story teller as Michael Shaara or Conn Iggulden. He might be a little better then Jeff Shaara or Newt Gingrich. Since it was not a five star book, I will most likely not continue the series.

The narrator was excellent and made listening better then reading.

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26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs on 01-28-15

Interesting characters in interesting times

A thought provoking characterisation of two families fighting to keep their friendships alive while their country tears itself apart. Looking forward to the next 2 books.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Baz94 on 03-29-17

brilliantly written. brilliantly read.

jakes has kept so true to history with the facts and events while mixing them perfectly with the fiction within the story. he has created a stoey that has lots of plots and storylines and every one of them are interesting and keep you wanting more. grover narrates this perfectly. the accents make you feel like you are actually there! absolutely loved this and look forward to the next two books in he series.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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