Customer Reviews for

The Whiskey Rebels

Average Rating 4.5
( 107 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(56)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

a fascinating story about the economics of post-Revolutionary War America

This was an excellent historical novel set in the late 1780s and 1790s. It was very well researched and detailed. This is a wonderful book for anyone who would love to increase their knowledge of this period while enjoying a great fictional story as well. This book moti...
This was an excellent historical novel set in the late 1780s and 1790s. It was very well researched and detailed. This is a wonderful book for anyone who would love to increase their knowledge of this period while enjoying a great fictional story as well. This book motivated me to actually go and read more history of the beginnings of our country. It really brings history alive and makes it fun to learn.I highly recommend this book especially for those who want some intellectual stimulation along with a great novel!

posted by bkrdr63 on March 5, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

5 stars? Really?

Look, I love Liss, and I think I gave his Devil's Co. high marks, but this book falls flat in the last 100 pages. I mean there is just waaaaaaaaaaay tooooooooo much talk about Joan Maycott saying over and over again, ''just wait, we need more time.'' I mean there is jus...
Look, I love Liss, and I think I gave his Devil's Co. high marks, but this book falls flat in the last 100 pages. I mean there is just waaaaaaaaaaay tooooooooo much talk about Joan Maycott saying over and over again, ''just wait, we need more time.'' I mean there is just a whole section of pages that probably didnt need to be written, thus, I skipped them.
Nobody writes h.f. quite like Liss, and the concept of the book is good, but I dont know. The first 350 pages I loved it. The last 150, not so much

posted by ctothep on September 16, 2010

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    5 stars? Really?

    Look, I love Liss, and I think I gave his Devil's Co. high marks, but this book falls flat in the last 100 pages. I mean there is just waaaaaaaaaaay tooooooooo much talk about Joan Maycott saying over and over again, ''just wait, we need more time.'' I mean there is just a whole section of pages that probably didnt need to be written, thus, I skipped them.
    Nobody writes h.f. quite like Liss, and the concept of the book is good, but I dont know. The first 350 pages I loved it. The last 150, not so much

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    a fascinating story about the economics of post-Revolutionary War America

    This was an excellent historical novel set in the late 1780s and 1790s. It was very well researched and detailed. This is a wonderful book for anyone who would love to increase their knowledge of this period while enjoying a great fictional story as well. This book motivated me to actually go and read more history of the beginnings of our country. It really brings history alive and makes it fun to learn.I highly recommend this book especially for those who want some intellectual stimulation along with a great novel!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 stars! and I loved the cover.

    I'm not quite sure what I was expecting but this was an entertaining albeit not an easy read--it is definitely not a book in which you can skim or you will certainly be confused. Liss weaves an intricate plot of political and financial intrigue during the post-Revolutionary Whiskey Rebellion. There are two story lines: Ethan Saunders--a very flawed "anti-hero" type, wrongly accused of being a traitor but finds himself on a path that may help restore his reputation while trying to save the country and woman he loves; and Joan Maycott--a woman whose life was turned upside down by financial speculators and who seeks revenge. Although I preferred Maycott's story line I couldn't help but enjoy reading about the lecherous, egotistical, damaged, yet clever character of Saunders more. Liss did a phenomenal job of creating such an interesting protagonist. I also appreciated Liss' depiction of Leonidas, Suanders' slave, who is unlike the other slaves I've encountered in novels; he is intelligent, cultured, and a gentleman.

    In these recent economic challenging times, a reader of this novel may certainly find him/herself wrought with some emotion in response to the story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Solid Historical Novel Based on the Creation of America's Banking System

    When I decided to read this book I thought the Whiskey Rebellion would be central to the plot. Although the excise on whiskey was a prominent aspect of the book the actual rebellion is only briefly mentioned in the end. Liss builds the plot around a theoretical attempt by those affected by the excise tax as the propogators of the panic that ensued after the launch of the Million Bank. I found this book to be in the same vein as The Dante Club: historical figures thrust into the midst of events shrouded in mystery.

    It was a fun read. There is a lot of good information about Hamilton's banking system, the panic of 1792, and the importance of whiskey in the country's (or at least the West's) early economy

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    History at its best

    All of David Liss's books are well written, fun to read, and informative. I would recommend his books to those that like a good story, but also like to read about history as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You'll Enjoy This Financial Panic!

    Posted September 15, 2008, 4:03 PM EST: David Liss has been on my 'to read' list for quite some time. After reading The Whiskey Rebels, he's sky rocketed to the top of that list. Historical fiction and adventure fans will enjoy this book. This is not a novel about The Whiskey Rebellion, but rather a novel that leads up to it. Liss merges the post Revolutionary frontier with the financial panic of 1792 surrounding the Bank of the United States. Two main characters, Ethan Saunders, George Washington's disgraced ex-spy living in Philadelphia and Joan Maycott, an early settler of western Pennsylvania, are both narrating their stories for the first half of the book. Both characters are victims of lies and treachery in very different societies and Liss is brilliant in bringing the 'frontier' and the city of Philadelphia of the 1790's alive. Liss' has wonderfully built period atmosphere, compelling characters,and masterfully weaves the two stories together to build to a surprising ending. The Whiskey Rebels has hit every point I look for in historical fiction -- a story based on history I know little about (or have forgotten) that I can get lost in!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    one of the best books i've ever read

    I finished my Advanced Reading Copy of The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss. Ask my wife. I can¿t stop talking about this book. I am a history buff and have started to really take an interest in the American Revolution and the following twenty years in which our nation went through tremendous growing pains to find our identity as a nation. I recently read Ron Chernow¿s Alexander Hamilton and both loved it and learned a tremendous amount. So when I received the ARC for this book I was really excited to get right to it. I have heard that Mr. Liss came up with the idea for this book while reading Alexander Hamilton. I have read three of the other four books by Mr. Liss and really enjoyed them. These books all have a great mystery to be solved and have history lesson worked in. His books are well written with a flair for historical accuracy. The historical details work because they presented as a history lesson, but to create the environment that the characters move through. The Whiskey Rebels is no exception. The book follows two main characters, Captain Ethan Saunders and Joan Maycott. Each character narrates their alternating chapters in the first person with Capt. Saunders narrating the first chapter and Mrs. Maycott narrating the second chapter. Capt. Saunders narrates in the present while Mrs. Maycott tells her story starting years earlier which catches up to Capt. Saunders and the ¿present¿ by the end of the book. I loved the dual narrators. It accomplished two things. First, Mrs. Maycott¿s chapters work as a history lesson of sorts, explain and putting a human face of the origins of the future Whiskey Rebellion. It¿s not just a history lesson though. He story is very intriguing and would certainly keep you reading if it were it¿s own stand along novel. Second, Capt. Saunders¿ is a more action oriented role. Having his voice silenced for a chapter serves to build the tension as you wait to find out what will happen to him next. One other note. There are layers to this book. Mr. Liss explains them a bit in the Author¿s Note at the end of the book, but there are quite a few secondary characters who were indeed real people. You could easily read through the book and if you haven¿t read up on this period of history you would have no idea there aren¿t just characters made up for the book. I love the fact that he was able to use these people in this fictitious story, and does so in a way that he isn¿t distorting them. He weaves them realistically into his plot to the point that if you don¿t know the history well, you don¿t know where fact end and fiction begins.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2015

    Great book

    Love historic fiction, life is stranger than fiction

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Very Good read!

    Great storytelling. You really get a sense of what life was like in the 1790's. Great characters. I really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    loved

    Thriller. Couldnt sleep bc i couldnt put it down!

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    it was just ok

    ok not really good

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    DAVID LISS---ONE OF THE BEST!

    This is the second book by David Liss I have read (The Twelfth Enchantment the first), and I plan to put the other titles by this author on my wish list. He has a very unique style of twisting a story in so many directions, with so many possibilities, then unraveling the whole thing with direct intention and purpose. He pulls the reader into the story, and in the imagination you see what he has created in words. The details he chooses to include in his tale is never over or under done. The historical facts, whether true or contrived for the plot, are quite clear and flow with the telling of the story. He knows the historical background to his stories and incorporates the knowledge quite well. Read this book and you will be pleased to declare: "David Liss---One of the Best!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    Great book

    Good historical fiction.

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Like it!

    I like this book but it dragged in the end.

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    Awesome, suspenseful and much more!

    I was not sure about this book, but the synopsis pulled me in. David Liss has done his research and it shows! It was suspenseful, romantic, adventurous... I cannot say enough about it. I am happy to say this was the first novel I have read in 10 years! I am totally hooked now!

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly reccommended

    If you enjoy post revolutionary war history this is a must read! While the story is fictional it does carry a lot of correct history and charactors in it. I found it to be a good read, but it took me a while to figure out the two story lines didn't coinside until about half way through the book.

    This was my first book by David Liss, but now I will look for another!

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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    A great read for everyone!

    Historical fiction at its best! I was instantly captivated by Ethan Saunders and Joan Maycott and their individual quests for justice to uphold the principles on which this country was founded. Very thought provoking with raw detail about living standards, class division, personal integrity and the evolution of a new nation. Ethan is flawed yet you root for him through the entire story. Joan is the epitome of strength and courage. This was the best novel I have read in a long time! It would be great for a book club because it includes topics for discussion. Thank you David Liss for marrying such an imaginative story with real life figures! I'm off to buy more Liss novels!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2010

    A wonderful read!

    I did not want this book to end. It transports one back to the 1700s and its fictional characters interact with those figures that shaped our history. I learned a lot while enjoying each page. Especially enjoyed the witty sarcastic sense of humor of Ethan Saunders' character.

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  • Posted December 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing Characters

    This is one of the best books I have read in a while. I honestly bought it because I thougt it would be a quick and entertaining beach read, but it proved to be much more thought provoking and informative that I anticipated. The characters in this book are so well written that you just don't want the book to end. It leaves you wanting to sit down with them for a continued conversation.

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  • Posted October 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome book

    I really enjoyed this book. Depicted late 1700s very well...MUST READ if historic Fiction interests you..especially American history

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