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David Liss

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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA

David Liss

Postby Margaret » Mon September 1st, 2008, 7:01 pm

I've just finished reading David Liss's new novel, The Whiskey Rebels, and have posted a review at http://www.HistoricalNovels.info/Whiskey-Rebels.html.

Liss is an interesting author who specializes in historical thrillers that revolve around financial speculation and market manipulation schemes. His main characters will seem familiar to fans of hard-boiled mystery writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. They tend to be types rather than fully-fleshed out characters like Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, but this is not inappropriate for a thriller. What is outstanding, generally, about his novels is the quality of his historical research into speculative financial schemes of the past and his ability to write a vigorous, physically alive story about schemes that, at least on the surface, involve mostly "paper" and columns of figures. Of course, those columns of figures meant wealth or ruin to flesh-and-blood people.

I thought The Whiskey Rebels could have used more editing. The story is not as taut as it could be, and the excess verbiage of the eighteenth century language slows things down. I thought the flavor of the language could be retained without using quite so many unnecessary words. For anyone who hasn't read David Liss before, I would recommend starting with one of his other novels (like A Conspiracy of Paper). On the other hand, many of the reviews at LibraryThing express high praise for The Whiskey Rebels, so maybe I am being too hard on it. I'll have to confess to not being a big fan of thrillers, because I prefer novels that develop the characters in a deeper, more realistic way.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Mon September 1st, 2008, 7:15 pm

Thanks Margaret. I have this book from the Amazon Vine program and plan to start it soon. Being a thriller it's a bit out of my usual comfort zone so we'll see.

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Postby diamondlil » Mon September 1st, 2008, 8:17 pm

I've picked up a couple of his earlier books before, but never actually got to read them. I must reborrow the books and give them a go.
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