About the book, Andersonville
Hydra | Aug 18, 2015 | 272 Pages
Readers of Stephen King and Joe Hill will devour this bold, terrifying new novel from Edward M. Erdelac. A mysterious man posing as a Union soldier risks everything to enter the Civil War’s deadliest prison—only to find a horror beyond human reckoning.
Georgia, 1864. Camp Sumter, aka Andersonville, has earned a reputation as an open sewer of sadistic cruelty and terror where death may come at any minute. But as the Union prisoners of war pray for escape, cursing the fate that spared them a quicker end, one man makes his way into the camp purposefully.
Barclay Lourdes has a mission—and a secret. But right now his objective is merely to survive the hellish camp. The slightest misstep summons the full fury of the autocratic commander, Captain Wirz, and the brutal Sergeant Turner. Meanwhile, a band of shiftless thieves and criminals known as the “Raiders” preys upon their fellow prisoners. Barclay soon finds that Andersonville is even less welcoming to a black man—especially when that man is not who he claims to be. Little does he imagine that he’s about to encounter supernatural terrors beyond his wildest dreams . . . or nightmares.
Buy, read, and discuss Andersonville
Edward M. Erdelac is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the author of six novels (including the acclaimed weird western series Merkabah Rider) and several short stories. He is an independent filmmaker, award-winning screenwriter, and sometime Star Wars contributor. Born in Indiana, educated in Chicago, he resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and a bona fide slew of children and cats.
Sometimes gritty reality can be more horrific than anything supernatural, and that’s true for Edward M. Erdelac’s Civil War novel Andersonville, the prison at Camp Sumter. It’s place where prisoners fight over food and personal dignity, where darkness and misery are the only constants, and where death is often a release.
It’s also a place that Barclay Lourdes, a black Union soldier (who, it’s worth pointing out, was never a slave) is trying to get INTO so he can see the truth of what’s going on.
Erdelac tells the dual stories of Lourdes and Captain Wirz (camp commander) with as much historical accuracy as a contemporary writer can. Certainly in our world where we strive for inclusion, the use of period language was both jarring and integral to the plot (well, certain words – mostly variations of the n-word – which, no, I’m not afraid to write, but refrain for the sake of sensitive readers).
The fact that there’s a supernatural element at play is just another layer, and Erdelac makes it strangely plausible. In this place where lives are worthless, how much scarier could things possibly get?
The truth, of course, is that the supernatural elements of this story add more depth than they do horror. The real horror comes from what humans do to each other, whether or not they’re excused for their behavior because, “we’re at war.”
Erdelac’s writing hooks you from the first page, and the pace of this novel keeps you hooked. It’s part slow southern drawl and part quick, clipped, northern speech, and all of it – all of it- is incredibly lyrical and haunting.
Read this if you want a gritty, reality based horror story, if you are fascinated by the Civil War, or if you just want to dive into a story that is both provocative and perfectly chilling.
Goes well with pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, and lemonade.
Monday, August 17th: Stephanie’s Book Reviews….100 Pages a Day
Monday, August 17th: Bell, Book & Candle
Tuesday, August 18th: Fourth Street Review
Tuesday, August 18th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, August 19th: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, August 19th: Tynga’s Reviews
Thursday, August 20th: A Book Geek
Monday, August 24th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, August 25th: Kissin’ Blue Karen
Wednesday, August 26th: Kari J. Wolfe
Thursday, August 27th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, August 28th: Vic’s Media Room
Monday, August 31st: It’s a Mad Mad World
Tuesday, September 1st: SJ2B House of Books
Wednesday, September 2nd: Historical Fiction Obsession
Thursday, September 3rd: Kimberly’s Bookshelf
Friday, September 4th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, September 7th: From the TBR Pile