The Black Flower

  • by Howard Bahr
  • Narrated by Brian Emerson
  • 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At 26, Bushrod Carter is already an old soldier, a veteran of all his regiment's campaigns since Shiloh. Now, on an Indian summer afternoon in 1864, Bushrod finds himself in the line of battle once again, on a plain below the obscure village of Franklin, Tennessee. The dark flower of his destiny is opening in the twilight, just as it has on other fields, and Bushrod must pass once again under its shadow if he is to see tomorrow. In the madness and violence of a great battle and its aftermath, Bushrod Carter tries to act his part as well as he can. He must confront his soul and learn from his comrades and from a young girl struggling with her own harsh past. This timeless portrait of a young man's suffering in war has already won praise for its originality and power. The Black Flower is a story not only of war, but of men and women seeking redemption, who are stripped of all that anchors them, and who at last turn to honor and courage and love.

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What the Critics Say

"Bahr's blend of historical fact with gut-wrenching emotion has produced a riveting novel of the Civil War, a frighteningly realistic portrait of men and women caught in an awfulness beyond their control." (Publishers Weekly)
"Bahr makes an impressive debut with a haunting tale of a brief but bloody encounter on the road to Nashville....A bleakly effective and economical account of men and women caught up in a bestial conflict." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hauntingly beautiful

I have to agree with whomever said this book reads like a cross between Ambrose Bierce and William Faulkner - two of my favorite authors. It was hauntingly beautiful and well narrated. It's been over a year since I listened to this audiobook, but I've recommended it many times and there are several passages that have stayed with me. I loved the powerful characterizations, the surreal flashes, and the unexpected humor. I had to have a box of kleenex on hand at the end. I also recommend Bahr's "The Year of Jubilo" and "The Judas Field" which continue the story but unfortunately aren't available as audio downloads.
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- Marcheta

Franklin Tennessee - Nov 1864

I have read a lot of Civil War fiction and this is one of the best, maybe the best. The characters are so realistic, the interactions believable, the detail sensitive and poignant: the loyalties among friends soldiering together, the misfits in pre-war life who are misfits in wartime, too. The young people who in a non-warring world would be courting and marrying, are now in limbo, their would-be sweethearts lost to war or refugeeing. Characters' inner thoughts, dreams, memories, prayers and hopes are all part of the story. There are no caricatures, no clich?s. It is beautifully written and the narrator is excellent.
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- Leslie Grey McCawley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-26-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.