EXTENDED REVIEWS: The Wastage
For me I want a book to grab me early on and never let me go. “Wastage” does just that.
The author adds to the historical story of the Civil War endless personal specific insights and experiences from all the key players and does so in a very believable way. I think students of the Civil War will see in this book dimensions that will give depth and a broader understanding of the successes and numerous failures and mistakes of the key leaders from the top all the way down.
The Wastage is destined to be a classic.
It is as if we are meeting anew the familiar characters of the great Civil War, as if the events are unfolding for the first time. Smith brings them to life with originality and energy. Superb dialogue …. Smith has written a compelling novel.
Debbie Goodrich Bisel, Topeka, KS
The Wastage is aptly named, for the author doesn’t sugarcoat the misery and the awful bloody, gut-wrenching inhuman waste of lives in war.
The novel begins a year and a half into the war and ends in 1863 with President Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation. The author has to have done an astounding amount of research to bring those now long-dead players to life, so they actually seem once again to live and breathe. His depiction of President Lincoln, in my opinion, is excellent. Also it was no easy task to create a believable dialogue of ideas and opinions voiced by the President, his cabinet members, the generals, and other parties involved. This is not a novel for the light reader, but it is, I think, an excellent book for the Civil War buff and other more serious readers interested in this terrible time in our American history.