Andersonville is a historical fiction novel by author MacKinlay Kantor and, although it has fictional characters and a fictional plot, the story is inspired by the very much real events of the American Civil War. The story mainly revolves around the Confederate prisoner of war camp, the Andersonville prison.
The events take place during the American Civil War and the story actually managed to win Kantor the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Check out this book review of Andersonville if you want to find out what this award-winning story is all about. If this one book is not enough we made for you a selection of the best civil war fiction books of all time.
Real and Fictional
Some of the characters inside this book are fictional ones but the others are real persons that lived in that time of war. Among the ones you get to meet in this Anderson book review is Henry Wirz who was the Confederate camp commandant and was actually executed after. The book also features William Collins who was a Union soldier and was one of the leaders of a gang of thugs called The Raiders.
They passed their time by stealing from the fellow prisoners and lead comfortable lives in prison while the others not so lucky ones were dying from starvation and all sorts of horrible diseases. William Collins was actually hated by most of the prisoners for being the leader of this ruthless gang and was later executed by some of the prisoners.
Other characters who aren’t in the main focus of the story but were important enough to be mentioned in this Andersonville book review are a number of ordinary prisoners of war who add a lot of depth to the story, the camp doctor who also gets to tell a few stories, a plantation owner that is located near the prison camp, and other guards and civilians who get a few scenes in the book themselves.
This book has had the honor of being mentioned as one of the best books about the Civil War in America thanks to its amazing narrative of the overcrowded prisoner of war lifestyle that the prisoners had inside the Andersonville prison and the mentions of all of the other characters who just add to the excitement and significance of the story.
Based on a Memoir
Most of the stuff that you get to read in the book and what we mention in this Andersonville book review is based on a memoir by a fellow prisoner inside the walls of the prison, John McElroy. Other memoirs come into play when Kantor was writing the story as they help with the research of making the story here as precise as how events took place inside the real Andersonville prison back in the days of the Civil War.
All Kinds of People
A story such as this one is always fun to read as a wide variety of characters are present within. Everything from cowards to ruthless monsters are locked up inside this hellhole and you get to read about their stories and how they managed to live in such an overcrowded place with so many types of people who are trained in killing anyone who opposes them.
No Other Choice
Some might find this story inspiring as well as the story tells about the lives of people who had no other choice but to endure what is going on around them. White people had it bad back then, but African- Americans had it even worse. You will quickly find out what this story that spans close to 800 pages long has to offer as you start meeting the characters at the beginning and see what they are about to be included in.