Billy Gogan Gone fer Soldier
261 pages

Billy Gogan Gone fer Soldier


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261 pages
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The second book in the Billy Gogan Series by Roger Higgins is a powerful and thrilling historical novel about friendship, cruelty, and the search for love during the most brutal battles of the Mexican American War.

The adventures continue for Billy Gogan, an intrepid Irish-American immigrant. Young Billy enlists in the U.S. Army on the eve of the war. Amidst the bloodshed he encounters the Texas Rangers, Ulysses S. Grant and friends who fight alongside him.

Billy navigates a dangerous path through gambling dens, wealthy estates, mysterious women, and sweltering heat. While challenged to follow meaningless orders, he struggles to escape a threat more imminent than war.

Roger Higgins, author of Billy Gogan, American, presents the second historical fiction novel in the award-winning Billy Gogan series. Roger’s debut novel has been honored by the Hollywood Book Fest, (Honorable Mention, 2018), the International Book Awards (Finalist, 2017), the New York Book Festival (Honorable Mention, 2018), Reader’s Favorite (Finalist, 2018), Best Book Awards (Finalist, 2018), and the Independent Author Network (Finalist, 2018).



Publié par
Date de parution 28 février 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781609521387
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0047€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Critical acclaim for Billy Gogan, American, the debut novel of an exciting series chronicling the life and times of Billy Gogan during the tumultuous years leading up to and during the Mexican-American War, when the United States first learned how to be an imperial power International Book Awards: 2017 Finalist, Historical Fiction Hollywood Book Fest: 2018 Honorable Mention New York Book Festival: 2018 Honorable Mention Readers’ Favorite: 2018 Honorable Mention in Adventure Fiction Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards: 2018 Finalist
“Well-written and rich in historical detail, giving a fascinating glimpse of the period…. Highly recommended.” —Jeff Westerhoff, The Historical Novel Society
“The heartbeat of tenderness, love, and even racial enlightenment pulses through ‘Gotham’s’ brutal veins…Higgins writes descriptions so spot-on, you need to close the book and look around your own room to remind yourself that you really are safe and sound in the here and now.” —Gary Buslik, author and professor of English
“A sweeping epic saga of one Irish immigrant’s passage both across the Atlantic Ocean to a new land and his coming of age from boy to man. As an Irish-American…it made me thirst for more...a book about the melting pot which came to be called America.” —John J. Kelly,Detroit Free Pressreviewer
“Through Billy we discover what it was like…not only to travel to and survive in a foreign country, but also to make a new life, and learn about love, hate, and the myriad emotions in between.” —Susan Keefe,Midwest Book Review
“A hypnotizing tale that defines the origin of not only Billy Gogan but of each of us at our point of entry, past historical or recent, into America. A brilliant tour de force.” —Grady Harp,San Francisco Review of Books
“Higgins’s prose weaves together a world not only of violence, but of love, tenderness, compassion and the incomparable strength of the human spirit.” —Pamela Gossiaux, author ofRusso Romantic Mysteries
“This riveting historical novel is told in the first person, which lends an immediacy to the story that will resonate with readers. It is the story of what all immigrants are in search of: a better life.” Irish American Times Critical acclaim for Billy Gogan, Gone fer Soldier
“Fold together the splendid Irish language, the flavors and scents of Ireland and Texas, a dissecting eye of the evils of the crime wherever it appears in the story, and the result is a hypnotizing tale . . . fortunately to be continued!” —Grady Harp,San Francisco Review of Books
Copyright © 2019 by American Memoir LLC
Travelers’ Tales and Solas House are trademarks of Solas House, Inc. Palo Alto, California 94306
Cover Design: Creative Communications and Graphics, Inc. Page Layout: Howie Severson, using the fonts Goudy and California Titling
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request.
For more information about the Billy Gogan series, visit
ISBN 978-1-60952-137-0 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-60952-138-7 (ebook) ISBN 978-1-60952-175-2 (hardcover)
First Edition 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed in the United States of America
To Pat, who continues to give Billy his chance to live, and
To my grandchildren, may you find and explore many wonderful worlds in the books you will be reading in the years to come
Historical accuracy is like quicksand. Stay too long in the same place and it will suck you down and there will be no movement, no dynamism to the story. Too much attention to factual detail is undoubtedly an impediment to literary art. —James Forrester, “The Lying Art of Historical Fiction,”The Guardian(August 6, 2010)
[Y]ou know that neither numbers nor strength give the victory: but that side which, with the assistance of the gods, attacks with the greatest resolution, is generally irresistible. I have taken notice also that those men who in war seek to preserve their lives at any rate, commonly die with shame and ignominy; while those who look on death as common to all, and unavoidable, and are only solicitous to die with honor, oftener arrive at old age, and while they live, live happier. As therefore we are sensible of these things, it behoves us at this critical juncture, both to act with courage ourselves, and to exhort the rest to do the same. —Edward Spelman,Xenophon: The Anabasis(1839)
The past is never dead. It’s not even past.
—William Faulkner,Requiem for a Nun(1951)
Foreword Glossary Dramatis Personae Personae
Table of Contents
PART ONE: Poor Old Soldier Chapter 1: Nothing But a Bluebelly Chapter 2: Wild Geese Chapter 3: Sam Grant Chapter 4: Zach Taylor Makes an Army Out of Us Chapter 5: Mules for Desdemona Chapter 6: Rescuing Jenny and Losing Desdemona Chapter 7: Bucking the Tiger Chapter 8: My Aching Feet Chapter 9: The Patrol Chapter 10: Desertion to Utopia
PART TWO: I Met the Elephant Chapter 11: To Draw the Claret Chapter 12: Go It Strong Chapter 13: We Will Depend Upon It Chapter 14: Matamoros Chapter 15: We’re in Business, Now Chapter 16: The Murderous Son . . . Chapter 17: Croake . . . the Greaser Chapter 18: A Baile for Jenny
PART THREE: A Grand Fandango Chapter 19: Go It, My Boys Chapter 20: Revenge
Acknowledgments About the Author Sneak Peak at Book Three
November 2018
THIS SECOND VOLUME OFGeneral Gogan’s memoir recounts the General’s yout hful adventures following the tragic death of his friend and companion, Mary Skiddy, during the Great Fire of New York—the last great fire to afflict old Gotham. I have once again tried to keep a light editing hand on the General’s words, w hich were written in the very same fair, feminine hand asBilly Gogan, American. For example, I changed the spelling of the Mexican city to the more modern “Monterrey,” from the 19th-century “Monterey,” so as not to confuse that city with thenorteamericanotown of Monterey, California. But I left virtually untouched the same type of language in this volume that appeared in the first, language which today is largely unacceptable, but which was of its time. I thus once more ask you to observe who uses such language and why. In this second volume, the General had originally included what appear to be a number of letters he wrote to his cousin, Evelyn, as well as those written to another young lady to whom the General introduces us. The General does not explain why he had copies of those letters on hand, but it is clear that he intended them to be a n integral part of the manuscript. So they remain, as lightly edited as the rest of the manuscript. I selected one of the letters to open this book. It seems to have been written some weeks after Mary’s tragic death, from a little frontier village called Corpus Christi, at the confluence of the Nueces River and Aransas Bay. The city today boasts a beautiful waterfront drive, where in the late summer of 1845, a small American army was gathering and training for America’s first invasion since 1775 of another country for the express purpose of conquest. (That latter exped ition, led by a fellow named Benedict Arnold, had been a disastrous failure.) When I read my ancestor’s account, I was struck by the ambivalence in the months before the Mexican-American War began of (a decided minori ty, to be clear) West Point-trained, career American military officers about the prospect of invading another country. But this ambivalence did not give rise to guilt among those officers. Quite the opposite, as every one of them was professional in the utmost. Such guilt abo ut the Mexican-American War is an emotion that first arose only in the 1960s for reasons having everything to do with that post-colonial era and not with the 1840s, not the least of which was the confluence of the civil rights movement and mounting opposition to the Vietnam War, particularly in academic and other circles. Since then, I suspect that the Mexican-American War and its politics have once again quietly slipped from view of almost all Ameri cans, even though the United States continues to deal with the consequences of this more than half-forgotten war. Finally, I have included a list of principal characters. As you might imagine, even in an army of well less than four thousand, Billy encountered scores of officers and enlisted men, not to mention the army’s camp followers and civilians living in Corpus Christi, Matamoros, and points south. I hope you enjoy this next installment of an old man’s reminiscence about his youthful exploits on the far southern reaches oflimes americanus, as the General would have said.
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