Official Review: The Great Liquor War by D.M. McGowan

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Post Reply
User avatar
Kelebogile Mbangi
Posts: 845
Joined: 28 May 2017, 05:20
2018 Reading Goal: 24
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 140
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 73
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelebogile-mbangi.html
Latest Review: Theirs by Chance by Karen Ann Dell

Official Review: The Great Liquor War by D.M. McGowan

Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 22 Sep 2018, 13:38

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Great Liquor War" by D.M. McGowan.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


The Great Liquor War is a historical fiction book by D.M. McGowan. It is set in the 1880s in the British Colony of British Columbia.

Hank James is a young man who has set out into the world to find his fortune. He settles in Rossland where he stakes a claim and makes a living from panning gold. Soon, he realises that he will probably never become rich on that piece of land. Jack Kirkup, a British Columbia Police constable, advises him to start a freight business in Farwell where construction of the transcontinental railway is currently underway. Kirkup's advice turns out to be gold, and Hank is able to build a successful freight business. The railroad construction is policed by the North West Mounted Police. Thus, Farwell is burdened with the presence of two different police forces. Inevitably, these two forces clash. Because he feels that he owes Kirkup, Hank is pulled into the conflict, known as the "Liquor War". With the police forces distracted, criminals in the area jump at the opportunity to intensify their activities.

The Great Liquor War is action-packed and entertaining. It is told from Hank's viewpoint. Hank is quite likeable. He is easygoing and has an amusing dry humour which is edged with sarcasm, making his narrative hilarious!

There was not a single dull moment in this book. This is largely due to its colourful characters, from tough, no-nonsense police officers to pompous judges. Despite this, the book is plot-driven. Thus, there are no tedious backstories that drag out and delay the storyline. Because of the engaging plot, I found that my enthusiasm for the book remained high all the way to the end and did not wane.

I mentioned earlier that the book is narrated by the main character, Hank James. His narrative added to the 1880s feel and setting because he speaks in the style of the time. Most of the time, I found it easy to understand him, but there were a few times when his slang went over my head. Fortunately, I could fill in the gaps by reading the author's note at the end of the book. Here, the author explains which parts of his book are based on true events.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed reading this book. It isn't lengthy, and has a comfortable, slightly fast pace that kept things moving along nicely. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It deserves nothing less. If you enjoy stories about cowboys, or legends in the west, then I think you will enjoy this book.

******
The Great Liquor War
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Kelebogile Mbangi's review? Post a comment saying so!
"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!" - Dr. Seuss

User avatar
Debjani Ghosh
Posts: 665
Joined: 18 May 2018, 05:51
2018 Reading Goal: 24
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 162
Favorite Book: The Lord Of The Rings
Currently Reading: The Evacuees
Bookshelf Size: 86
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-debjani-ghosh.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by Debjani Ghosh » 23 Sep 2018, 01:07

A historical fiction where the plot is narrated in first person and with sarcasm sounds unique. I am going to check out this one in near future. I enjoyed reading your review!

BLINKYNOEL36
Posts: 16
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 23:24
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 17

Post by BLINKYNOEL36 » 23 Sep 2018, 13:20

Very interesting review. Canada is rich in history during the gold rish period.

User avatar
Irene C
Posts: 308
Joined: 15 Jan 2018, 16:18
2018 Reading Goal: 13
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 246
Currently Reading: The Orphan Master
Bookshelf Size: 145
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-irene-c.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Irene C » 23 Sep 2018, 13:40

What a distinct character to read in the first person! Thanks for this thoughtful and enthusiastic review. I'm unfamiliar with Canadian 19th century history, which means this is just the sort of novel to interest me.
History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul. Lord Acton

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6107
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 83
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 224
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: It's Just a Matter of Balance by Kevin S. Garrison

Post by kandscreeley » 23 Sep 2018, 18:19

This sounds like quite the book. Not many got rich panning for gold, but I like that the protagonist finds another way. Thanks.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
HollandBlue
Posts: 1512
Joined: 04 Aug 2018, 16:37
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 230
Favorite Book: The Reel Sisters
Currently Reading: Apollo's Raven
Bookshelf Size: 108
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hollandblue.html
Latest Review: It's Hard to Be a Vampire by Viktoria Faust

Post by HollandBlue » 24 Sep 2018, 12:40

Seems like interesting subject matter; I'm just wondering what the link is between the railroads and liquor? I'm not familiar with Canadian history, and I hope this isn't a stupid question.
:techie-studyinggray: when I get a little money I buy books; and if I have any left l buy food and clothes
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamas
(1466-1536)

User avatar
Allymaa22
Posts: 1
Joined: 25 Sep 2018, 15:35
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Allymaa22 » 26 Sep 2018, 04:42

a great narration which makes it look like my personal life as an entrepreneur if I had been in those yore years. I saw my self in the narrators linguals

User avatar
T_stone
Posts: 327
Joined: 17 Sep 2018, 22:08
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 20
Currently Reading: Of Illusions and Ink Spills
Bookshelf Size: 69
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-t-stone.html
Latest Review: Pastoring is not what you think by Elijah Oladimeji
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by T_stone » 02 Oct 2018, 06:20

Hank's character in first person is enunciated. Great historical fictional book that sounds very captivating.
Thank you for the review
Feeling upset sometimes may be unavoidable, but acting distressed is always optional.

Rob White

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”