Escape from Andersonville: A Novel of the Civil War

Overview

An explosive novel of the Civil War about one man’s escape from a notorious Confederate prison camp—-and his dramatic return to save his men.

July 1864. Union officer Nathan Parker has been imprisoned at nightmarish Andersonville prison camp in Georgia along with his soldiers. As others die around them, Nathan and his men hatch a daring plan to allow him to escape through a tunnel and make his way to Vicksburg, where he intends to alert his superiors to the imprisonment and push...

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Overview

An explosive novel of the Civil War about one man’s escape from a notorious Confederate prison camp—-and his dramatic return to save his men.

July 1864. Union officer Nathan Parker has been imprisoned at nightmarish Andersonville prison camp in Georgia along with his soldiers. As others die around them, Nathan and his men hatch a daring plan to allow him to escape through a tunnel and make his way to Vicksburg, where he intends to alert his superiors to the imprisonment and push for military action. His efforts are blocked by higher-ups in the military, so Parker takes matters into his own hands. Together with a shady, dangerous ex-soldier and smuggler named Marcel Lafarge and a fascinating collection of cutthroats, soldiers, and castoffs, a desperate Parker organizes a private rescue mission to free his men before it’s too late.

Exciting, thoroughly researched, and dramatic, Escape from Andersonville is a Civil War novel filled with action, memorable characters, and vividly realized descriptions of the war’s final year.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

For their third collaboration, two-time Academy Award-winner Hackman and Lenihan (Justice for None) competently mine Civil War lore to dramatize a prison escape. Southwest Georgia's Andersonville, aka Fort Sumter, was as bad a Confederate POW stockade as the gut-wrenching descriptions here ("an Old Testament nightmare") attest. Union Capt. Nathan Parker, commanding the Michigan 5th (aka Parker's Rangers, famed as a mounted infantry unit), is captured along with 23 of his men outside Washington, D.C., during Jubal Early's July 1864 Confederate raid. Two months later, Nathan breaks out, vowing to return and save his soldiers. Between the violent clashes undertaken with his hired guns, Nathan copes by reciting Thoreau and fondly recalling his lover, Darien Crosby. He presses his noble if not reckless mission despite his raiders' slippery loyalties, and the result is a rousing take on familiar territory. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Nathan Parker is a Union officer who escapes from the notorious Confederate prison at Andersonville with the obsessive goal of returning to rescue his comrades. Sadly, the book's noble premise and great start do not pan out in this third novel (after Justice for None and Wake of the Perdido Star) by Academy Award-winning actor Hackman and underwater archaeologist coauthor Lenihan. When Parker first reaches Union lines, he is unable to convince his higher-ups, including Ulysses S. Grant, of the need to rescue the prisoners. So he leads his own rescue mission, assisted by former Confederate Marcel LaFarge and a band of cutthroats whose motives are never clearly defined. Escape is not so much about the miseries at Andersonville as it is about Parker's escape, his trek through the dying Confederacy, and his quest to free his fellow soldiers. Although it does have its moments, the book is choppily written, confusing, sometimes contradictory, and includes a highly unlikely encounter with a lost love and irrelevant sex with a demented widow. MacKinlay Kantor's Pulitzer Prize-winning Andersonville remains the gold standard on the topic. For larger collections.
—Robert Conroy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312363734
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Gene Hackman is the coauthor of two previous novels, Justice for None and Wake of the Perdido Star, with Daniel Lenihan, a leading underwater archaeologist who writes frequently for Natural History magazine and is the author of Submerged. Hackman and Lenihan have been friends and neighbors for over a decade and live with their families in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Daniel Lenihan is a leading underwater archaeologist. He writes frequently for Natural History magazine, and is the author of Submerged: Adventures of America's Most Elite Underwater Archaeology Team (Feb. 2002).

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 7, 2009

    Very Good Reading

    I haven't finished the book yet, but find it to be very good reading. I was surprised to find a Civil war Novel that I didn't have in my collection already and was happy to receive it and am enjoying it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2008

    A better actor than writer

    As a Civil War buff, and great-grandson of an Andersonville and Sultana survivor, any book this 'close to home' gets my attention. Alas, long on promise, it was short on delivery. It is readable but not memorable. My disappointment comes from vague, poor, descriptive prose, which leaves me not imagining the scenery, or completly following the action. I sometimes challenge the logic or am left with questions about the flow of events. Some sex scenes are neither graphic nor romantic. They remain, then, just gratutious and seem inconsistent with how his other romantic memories are depicted. Similar to a 'B' movie, 'Escape,' though mildly entertaining, falls far short of excellence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    Escape from this book

    Gene Hackman is one of my favorite actors, so I picked up this book in hope that he might be one of the lucky few who Providence has blessed with more than one superior talent. Alas, I was wrong. Written with the grace of a farm boy recruit learning to march hay-foot straw-foot, 'Escape' stutters along like a bad DVD on fast foward. 21st century language, Hollywood political correctness, klunky prose, characters caught in a time warp--this book cries out for an editor with the courage to stand up to Popeye. If you want to read 'Escape from Andersonville,' look up the first book by that title. It was written by someone who was really there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    This seemed very well researched to me and I¿ve read a lot on the late great unpleasantness. I¿m glad that the book isn¿t some ideological statement where the authors just figured out the war was a bad thing they seem to have real empathy for the south. The characters seem to grow throughout the book and Nathan Parker seems to grow darker and darker towards the end, becoming more like Marcel, the ex-confederate mercenary. It was an interesting read and if anything I would like to have seen the story be longer.

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    Posted June 29, 2009

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    Posted January 2, 2012

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    Posted November 11, 2009

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