How Can A Man Die Better
Lyman is a teenager in London caught robbing his former boss/tormentor. He avoids the prospect of jail by beating his boss to death and finding sanctuary in the military. Lyman is transferred to the Middle East, bearing witness to the barbaric brutality of territorial wars in Afghanistan. The great game of colonization makes an impression on Lyman, not necessarily positive. A new beginning across the sea calls out to him. Devol is a tormented youth getting by in Louisiana. He suffers a clubbed foot and the abuse of parents along with local neighbors. He nurses a grudge that explodes in a murder spree leaving both parents and others dead by his hand. Devol forms a partnership with the doctor who heals his foot. Devol embarks on a life of grave-robbing and kidnapping while employed by a sadistic murderess. Devol takes out his prior frustrations on any woman unlucky enough to cross his path. Ashok is the son of a tribal leader, soon to inherit the martial mantle of a warring empire. Manhood approaches, but so does mortal peril. At his father’s insistence, he flees home and emigrates to the United States. He is soon taken prisoner by Comanche Indians. Ashok doesn’t intend to be a victim for long, exacting grisly retribution against his Indian captors.
Meanwhile in Ohio, Ardent is an abolitionist who lives with her dear uncle. Ardent is surprised by his associations with sadistic Devol and his racist brood of thieves. Ardent is offended by Devol’s manners and intolerance. Ardent is in love with Carew, who shares her feelings on slavery and the divided country. Soon, Ardent is found dead in a savage attack, Carew wants revenge on the murderer. The Civil War brings just such opportunity, as the murderer has joined the Confederacy. As the war splits the country along ideological then military lines, Devol, Ashok, Lyman, and Carew each grab a musket and assume a post, their destinies as uncertain as that of the United States.
How Can A Man Die Better hooks the reader in its inceptive pages. The shock of the violence wears off, yet the circumstances surrounding them reverberate throughout this powerful story. The protagonists and antagonists elicit countless feelings, whether sympathy to happiness, shame to loathing. The author interlaces the characters flawlessly among the epic clashes and historical footnotes dotting the landscape of the nineteenth century. This is a historical fiction epic enjoyable from start to finish.
|Author||Roy V. Gaston|
|Page Count||293 pages|
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