22 March 2009

Review - John Ransom's Diary (audiobook)

If you have not read (or listened to) John Ransom's Diary Andersonville I recommend that you do. It is an awe-inspiring story of the survival of a POW during the Civil War in Andersonville.

The main topics of discussion throughout the book are the amount of food (or the lack thereof), the cold, escape attempts, and rumors of a prisoner trade. These topics are repeated over and over, but it does not get boring.

The audio version was well produced and the narrator was captivating. I could not stop listening. I just had to know if he was going to survive another day, was he going to try to escape even though the guards are shooting people for nothing, was the government finally going to offer a prisoner exchange?

It was not only the lack of food and warmth or the treatment by the guards that the POWs had to worry about. Ransom tells many tales of prisoners stabbing and beating to death others just for a blanket or extra bread crumbs.

Two parts of the tale sum up the experience and philosophy of John Ransom:
  • "New men comin' in and bodies goin' out. There is no end but dying."
  • The key to survival is staying positive. A poor outlook will counter any medicine.
Overall this book is a 9 out of 10 for inspiration and for John Ransom being the man he was.

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