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Last of the Dixie Heroes

Cover of Last of the Dixie Heroes

Last of the Dixie Heroes

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Roy Hill married the girl of his dreams, dotes on his eleven-year-old son, and is next in line for a big promotion in the Atlanta office of a global corporation. Then, almost imperceptibly it all starts to unravel. He is losing control of his life.

When his best friend joins a Civil War reenactment group, spending his weekends in camps where the year is forever 1863, Roy finds the idea laughable . . . even though he is the descendent and namesake of a Confederate Civil War hero. But when he visits the regiment just to be polite, something unexpected happens, gradually opening Roy's eyes to the secret of a distant conflict that never ended - and leading him down a path that grows more menacing at every turn.

With his job disappearing in a way he could never have foreseen, his whole life slipping out of control, Roy falls deeper and deeper into the Rebel past. A strange and powerful idea takes hold: that his life went wrong long before he was born, in the fateful campaigns that preceded the burning of Atlanta. Among the men, a hard-core splinter group is formed - with Roy at its center. On an ancient battlefield, the once-clear lines between reenactment and reality begin to disappear. When his son is taken hostage is it real? When the old muskets fire will they still fire blanks? Or will a bloody history come stunningly to life?

An extraordinary novel about the fate of men and women no longer in step with the rhythms of the modern world, marching back into Southern history to make things right, Last of the Dixie Heroes is Peter Abrahams's most dazzlingly original work yet.
Roy Hill married the girl of his dreams, dotes on his eleven-year-old son, and is next in line for a big promotion in the Atlanta office of a global corporation. Then, almost imperceptibly it all starts to unravel. He is losing control of his life.

When his best friend joins a Civil War reenactment group, spending his weekends in camps where the year is forever 1863, Roy finds the idea laughable . . . even though he is the descendent and namesake of a Confederate Civil War hero. But when he visits the regiment just to be polite, something unexpected happens, gradually opening Roy's eyes to the secret of a distant conflict that never ended - and leading him down a path that grows more menacing at every turn.

With his job disappearing in a way he could never have foreseen, his whole life slipping out of control, Roy falls deeper and deeper into the Rebel past. A strange and powerful idea takes hold: that his life went wrong long before he was born, in the fateful campaigns that preceded the burning of Atlanta. Among the men, a hard-core splinter group is formed - with Roy at its center. On an ancient battlefield, the once-clear lines between reenactment and reality begin to disappear. When his son is taken hostage is it real? When the old muskets fire will they still fire blanks? Or will a bloody history come stunningly to life?

An extraordinary novel about the fate of men and women no longer in step with the rhythms of the modern world, marching back into Southern history to make things right, Last of the Dixie Heroes is Peter Abrahams's most dazzlingly original work yet.
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About the Author-
  • Peter Abrahams is the author of The Tutor, The Last of the Dixie Heroes, A Perfect Crime, Crying Wolf, and The Fan, which was made into a major motion picture starring Robert DeNiro. He lives on Cape Cod with his wife and four children.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Though it takes listening almost to the last tape to get to the real suspense in this author's latest, Buck Schirner's performance makes the wait worthwhile. This is the story of a young Georgia man whose ancestor of the same name was a Confederate hero. At first, Roy Hill loses his pretty wife, then his job, then his father, and finally his 11-year-old son. When he joins a Civil War reenactment regiment to fill his time, he begins to be joined with the past. For example, Roy, who has never fired a gun, hits the bull's eye every time with his ancestor's carbine. Schirner's voice is deep and rich. When he adds a Southern drawl or twang, one is carried once again to the famous Chickamaga battlefield; one can almost hear the sabers rattle and the cannons thunder as this book accelerates to an exciting climax. A.L.H. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 25, 2001
    With his diverse settings, quirky characters and intriguing story lines, Abrahams (Crying Wolf; A Perfect Crime; etc.) has set himself up as a master of engrossing, off-the-beaten-track suspense yarns. However, although his latest effort starts out promisingly, it runs out of steam just when it should be revving up to a climax. Though he doesn't realize it at first, Roy Hill's life in Atlanta is coming apart at the seams. His company has been taken over by a megacorporation (resulting in Roy's losing out on a promised promotion), he's divorced (with an 11-year-old son) and his ex-wife's new squeeze "doesn't even bother to get dressed in the morning" (he's a lumpy online trader). But when Roy becomes intrigued by the off-hours activities of one of his business colleagues—a Civil War reenactor—our hero seems to have found a comfortable niche. At first, Roy finds Gordo's hobby amusing ("harmless fun in funny clothes"), but the peace of 1863 life begins to look better and better and the boundaries between contemporary reality and historical playacting begin to blur with increasingly disturbing repercussions. It's clear from the outset that the Abrahams style is still in high gear—the deadpan humor, often expressed as wry one-liners; the trenchant observations on motivation and behavior. But the author gets bogged down in historical details and a myriad of vaguely developed characters, and readers may find that Roy's confusion becomes their own. This is a case where the journey (read: Roy's gradual dissolution) proves more enticing than the ultimate destination. (June)Forecast:This won't be Abrahams's Appomattox, but it sure won't be his greatest triumph, either.

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    Brilliance Audio
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Last of the Dixie Heroes
Last of the Dixie Heroes
Peter Abrahams
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