The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss

The Whiskey Rebels

David Liss’s bestselling historical thrillers, including A Conspiracy of Paper and The Coffee Trader, have been called remarkable and rousing: the perfect combination of scrupulous research and breathless excitement. Now Liss delivers his best novel yet in an entirely new setting–America in the years after the Revolution, an unstable nation where desperate schemers vie for wealth, power, and a chance to shape a country’s destiny.Ethan Saund...

Details The Whiskey Rebels

TitleThe Whiskey Rebels
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Reviews The Whiskey Rebels

  • Misfit
    For over two months I have tried to get through this book and I am now calling *uncle*. I love historical fiction and I've not found many novels based on this period in US history so I was very much looking forward to this book. I have lost count of the times I have picked this book up and put it down for another. Unlikeable characters, a plot that takes too long to get moving and the worst sin of all (at least for me) is the alternating chapters...
  • Laura
    I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot about the Revolutionary period, and like any solid work of historical fiction, this book piqued my interest in learning even more. I enjoyed Liss's writing style and his humor. I was very surprised by how much of this wild story is actually based on reality. This book was a five for me for probably the first third, but I docked it a star for what, at times, felt like anachronistic humor (very funny, but...
  • Spuddie
    Historical fiction set in the immediate post-Revolutionary War period in Philadelphia and New York. The story is told from the point of view of two people: Ethan Saunders, a disgraced spy, and Joan Maycott, a young woman with literary aspirations. Ethan’s story begins in the present time while Joan’s starts in the past with her early life. Her and Ethan’s paths begin their fateful crossing when she and her husband Andrew trade in his war de...
  • Mark
    Part potboiler, part history lesson, part financial treatise, part love story, part adventure tale, this highly entertaining novel by Goodreads author David Liss takes us back to the early days of America in the 1790s, when Alexander Hamilton was setting up the Bank of the United States, America was developing its first stock markets, and the frontier border was in the rugged woods of Western Pennsylvania."The Whiskey Rebels" is based on real his...
  • Kelly
    I loved Ethan Saunders in this book as much as I've ever loved a character in any book. He has a rakish and witty/sarcastic arrogance that is so engaging. No matter how bad things were for him (of his own doing or others), he never doubted he was all that. For some reason it made him so loveable. In a conversation with another man he promises "You have my word as a gentleman." The other man remarks that he is not a gentleman. He replies "Then you...
  • Richard Derus
    Rating: 4.5* of fiveLiss in true Liss form! I adored A Conspiracy of Paper and A Spectacle of Corruption and enjoyed greatly The Coffee Trader. Mr. Liss is a writer with several gifts, and seemingly displays them to their best advantage in works of historical fiction. (I was no fan of The Ethical Assassin since it felt undeveloped and unfinished to me.)Most unusually, Mr. Liss can take any business conflict and make it into a story. He tells us t...
  • Richard
    The Whiskey RebelsI’ll tell you right off, I hate novels that are written in alternating chapters. My complaint is that one story is never allowed to develop without the interruption of another story, and though David Liss is a skillful writer, and the stories eventually intersect quite artfully, I still think it’s a lazy way to put a novel together. I know, I know, “try it yourself and see how easy it is…” Well, no, I won’t, but that...
  • Rich
    This. This is what a historical fiction novel should be. This is what a spy novel should be. I absolutely loved The Whiskey Rebels.The Whiskey Rebels takes place after the Revolutionary War when America was just starting to flex it's muscles and find out what it was to become. References to historical events, and wonderful fictitious plotting combined with truly fascinating characters kept the pages turning. The Whiskey Rebels reads as much like ...
  • J.R.
    I remember liking "The Coffee Trader" when I read it many years ago, and I'm trying to get more into historical fiction. This started strong and I liked both of the main characters - sure, shambolic drunken rogue who still manages to be preternaturally talented and/or lucky when the plot calls for it is a cliche, but it's a cliche that works. Unfortunately, this is a 500+ page book where there's only about 300 or so pages of plot. The book runs o...
  • Scot
    For historical fiction fans who enjoy a plotline rather complicated with intrigue, usually offering opportunity for some reflection on how the forces of capitalism affected political and social change in another time and place, David Liss is an author you need to check out. I thoroughly enjoyed one of his earlier books, A Spectacle of Corruption, and looked forward to this volume with some eagerness, as western Pennsylvania has long been dear to ...
  • Claire Monahan
    Hm. What a letdown. The process of reading this book for me fluctuated like a sound wave: at times my interest was high, and in other parts I felt like this could not drag on any longer. If the book had not been an easy read, I suppose I would have quit much earlier on. My criticisms for this book are quite high in the historical side, since I disagree very much with the representations of Hamilton, Philadelphia, Burr, and other Federalist stars....
  • Mick
    So, you're into historical fiction. And, on occasion, you truly enjoy a political thriller. Yet you also tend to savor a good mystery. Should that be the case--along with the added bonus of engaging, clever writing--may I recommend THE WHISKEY REBELS? Set in America's infancy--a 1792 that saw the fragile American Experiment in danger of being torn asunder by the Hamiltonian Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans--author David Liss presents ...
  • Lisasue
    This author never disappoints. He truly understands the historical fiction genre. Everything is meticulously well-researched, and the story is always tightly written. I have read nearly all of his books, and not one has been a stinker.. This is actually more of an accomplishment than it sounds. It's impressive to be consistently excellent!This particular book is actually a 4.5 star book in my opinion, but I've rounded up, because, you 1...
  • Carrie
    This was another Early Reviewer book and the second I've read by Liss. He writes historical fiction and this particular book is set in America, shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War and deals with actual historical events and figures from the time. I thought it was really well written, and I found it much more engaging than The Coffee Trader, his other novel that I have read. (The Coffee Trader wasn't bad, I just found it dull at times)....
  • Stacey
    The character of Ethan Saunders was rather entertaining and I enjoyed this author's witty writing. It did take me a little while to get in to the dual storyline as one is told from the perspective of Ethan Saunders in the novel's "present day" and the other from the perspective of Joan Maycott, which starts about 10 years prior. The story slowly builds as the two story lines come together. The author shows you how events can change a person and h...
  • Siobhan
    This is my first book by David Liss, but it won't be my last. I enjoyed every second of it. I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about history, but knew little of the years after the Revolutionary War. The book encouraged my interest in learning more facts upon which the fiction is based. I listened to the audio version of it, and the reader does an excellent job.
  • Kelsey Demers
    I now officially wish that I could give books half stars. When going back and forth between "I really liked it" and "It was amazing." I find myself somewhere in the middle. I, myself am surprised that I liked this book so much as I did. For one, historical fiction is really quite hit or miss with me. (That isn't to say that I don't like it, rather that my tolerance can be low.) Also, I rarely ever like alternating chapters as a method to tell a s...
  • Tim Weed
    This book is good entertainment. Liss is an excellent writer, with a good sense of humor and an admirable ability to construct a lively, immersive scene. And he clearly did his research. The book as a whole, though, if frustratingly flawed. I found the plot too complex, too arcane in its attempted fidelity to the financial details of the period, to the extent that the main emotional thrust of the story gets lost. But a more serious problem for me...
  • Kirk
    So I wrote this about a month ago:Looking forward to reading what I'm guessing is going to be another great historical fiction - this time set in the early founding days of the Good ol' USA.And I was correct - it was both another great historical fiction from David Liss AND set in the early days of the US! A page-turning great historical fiction novel. Without giving much away the story focuses on early America where going "west" meant Pittsburg....
  • Barbara
    I'd love to give this 4 & 1/2 stars - it's a rollicking tale from start to finish! The story, set in post-Revolutionary War Pennsylvania and New York, alternates between two engaging narrators: Joan Maycott, is a self-possessed young woman with who reads 'Wealth of Nations' and other economic treatises, and Captain Ethan Saunders, a spy for the American side during the war, falsely accused of treason and now fallen on hard times. Captain Saunders...
  • Tim
    Enjoyed the writing style and the theme, but the end left me wanting.
  • Alexa
    A very slow start and not as much whiskey as I thought there would be.
  • YouKneeK
    Whiskey Rebels is a historical fiction novel set in the late 1700’s, after the Revolutionary War. I don’t normally read much historical fiction, unless it has some sort of science fiction or fantasy element to it, but I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I don’t know the history from this time period very well, so I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but it came across as being plausible and consistent with what little I do know. Although ther...
  • Tammy Dotts
    For many Americans, the time between the American Revolution and the Civil War is a blur. General U.S. history classes in school paid the period little mind except brief mentions of westward expansion and the presidents between Washington and Lincoln. The Whiskey Rebels takes a closer look at this time, focusing on 1789-1791. The story follows two main characters. Captain Ethan Saunders left the Army of the Potomac in disgrace and, in 1791, finds...
  • Steven Z.
    I have been a fan of David Liss’ historical novels since they first appeared. THE CONSPIRACY OF PAPER, THE COFFEE TRADER, AND THE DEVIL’S COMPANY all possessed a historical flair that drew in the reader into a rather plausible plot line. Liss’ THE WHISKEY REBELS, though a good read, falls short of the quality of his first three efforts. The narrative of this somewhat light historical novel centers around two characters Ethan Saunders, and J...
  • Christa
    The Whiskey Rebels takes place after the American Revolution. The primary characters are fictional, and many of the minor characters are prominent historical figures. The storyline was very interesting, and is written in the first person from the perspective of two different characters. One main character, Ethan Saunders, appears at the beginning of the book to be about as unlikely a hero as could be found. Ethan's story is told in alternating ch...
  • Emily
    The Whiskey Rebels, by David Liss, was another free sample ebook, but I'd been meaning to read another one of Liss's books anyway, so I decided to start with the free one.This novel is not about the Whiskey Rebels that you've heard of, but rather about a group of "Westerners" (residing near Pittsburgh) who'd been cheated out of their back pay from serving in the Revolutionary War, in exchange for nonusable land. They resort to selling whiskey, th...
  • Mommalibrarian
    Read July 1, 2009Another well researched book with a financial angle. The men are very manly and there are fisticuffs and lots of verbal action. The big pleasant surprise is a well written female character - Joan! This book is worth reading!Reread finishing Sunday, March 15, 2014I had a sneaking suspicion that I had read this book before but there are two listings in Goodreads and my search brought up the duplicate (without my review). I am uppin...
  • Joyce
    “The Whiskey Rebels” is educational, entertaining, well-written and extremely detailed; a thriller about the greed and recklessness which led to America's first financial Panic of 1792, nearly toppling the fledgling Bank of the United States.The chapters alternate, and for the first half of the book the stories do not appear to be related. The two stories of Revolutionary War spy Ethan Saunders and frontier widow Joan Maycott, are disparate t...
  • Jim Loter
    Novels with alternating plot lines are tricky. I often find one more intriguing than the other and feel like I have to slog through every other chapter just to get back to the story and characters that I like. In The Whiskey Rebels , David Liss manages to weave two seemingly very different tales that remain individually compelling until they intersect - a rare feat.Liss also faces a considerable storytelling challenge in that his main topic - ba...