Pliney Fiske

Pliney Fiske

5.0 1
by Mark Travis
     
 

Pliney Fiske is a timid young pension agent for the federal government who finds himself sprawled and bleeding in a barnyard in Concord, New Hampshire, the muzzle of a gun in his face and the Civil War veteran behind it quivering with rage. Fiske is no detective, but he has stumbled into a mystery. At its center is a 15-year-old boy maimed in the war and tormented by…  See more details below

Overview

Pliney Fiske is a timid young pension agent for the federal government who finds himself sprawled and bleeding in a barnyard in Concord, New Hampshire, the muzzle of a gun in his face and the Civil War veteran behind it quivering with rage. Fiske is no detective, but he has stumbled into a mystery. At its center is a 15-year-old boy maimed in the war and tormented by his dreams since. Pushing Fiske toward the truth is the boy’s guardian, a spirited war widow. Arrayed against him is a group of soldiers, celebrated, battle-scarred, and intent on preserving a dark secret.

Editorial Reviews

Ken Burns
This is a wonderful novel, alive in the moment, from the first scene to the last. It rings true, too, free of the cloying sentimentality that afflicts most of our Civil War memories. This is a gritty, real world that Travis unpacks, one filled with characters particular to this story, but also universal in their familiarity and dimension. I felt like I was there.
Dayton Duncan
Having already given us a terrific history of New Hampshire’s Fifth Volunteers in the Civil War, Mark Travis now turns to fiction to continue the saga. Pliney Fiske is a page-turning mystery, set in the war’s aftermath, full of yeasty issues and populated by a vivid cast of memorable players, especially the surprising title character. A great read.
Ernest Herbert
A pension bureaucrat is an unlikely hero and New Hampshire after the Civil War an unlikely setting for a gripping historical novel, but Mark Travis makes Pliney Fiske work on several levels -- as a murder mystery that keeps the reader engaged on every page, as an inquiry into the complexities of the American character, as a philosophical argument that truth really will set you free, and in language that feels natural to the contemporary reader while capturing the time period. Great stuff.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013908314
Publisher:
Martha Jane Books
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Mark Travis has loved history and writing since early in life. He still owns the slim American Heritage volume on the Civil War that he scuffed in a fall on the pavement outside his kindergarten classroom on a spring day in 1963. The best review his writing has ever earned came in a high school English class, when his description of the teacher’s “well-defined potbelly” was read aloud in class and the cheerleader who sat next to him burst out laughing.
Travis graduated from Brown University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in American history. His interest in a political career was cured by a stint on Ted Kennedy’s disastrous presidential campaign, a setback that turned him to the fortunate fallback of journalism. In the years since, he has worked as a reporter and editor for the St. Petersburg Times, the Concord Monitor, and the Valley News in West Lebanon, N.H., where he now serves as publisher. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2002-3.
Pliney Fiske is Travis’s first novel and his second book. He was the co-author with Mike Pride of My Brave Boys, a history of the Civil War’s Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers, who suffered the most deaths in battle of any infantry regiment in the Union Army. My Brave Boys was published by the University Press of New England in 2001.
Travis is a New Hampshire native who lives in Grantham. His wife, Brenda, is a clinical dietitian whose patient teachings have kept him thin. They have a son, Ben, a mechanical engineer, and a daughter, Leanna, a high school junior.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Pliney Fiske 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
berlinguette39 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed Mark Travis' novel, Pliney Fiske, a story about post-Civil War life in a small New Hampshire town. The author did a good job developing the story's characters as well as the issues Civil War veterans experienced when they returned home. Since I am not a Civil War "buff", I was not familiar with those issues. However, once I was exposed to the characters and the challenges they faced in civilian life, the issues made a lot of sense. For me, the book was a "page turner". On each occasion that I read it, I found myself reading one more page to determine how the characters would deal with a given issue before I could put the book down. I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys reading a well written novel. I can't wait to see the movie at a local theater! Thanks, Mark! Roger L. Berlinguette