Gob's Grief: A Novel
In the summer of 1863, Gob and Tomo Woodhull, eleven-year-old twin sons of Victoria Woodhull, agree to together forsake their home and family in Licking County, Ohio, for the glories of the Union Army. But on the night of their departure for the war, Gob suffers a change of heart, and Tomo is forced to leave his brother behind. Tomo falls in as a bugler with the Ninth Ohio Volunteers and briefly revels in camp life; but when he is shot clean through the eye in his very first battle, Gob is left to endure the guilt and grief that will later come to fuel his obsession with building a vast machine that will bring Tomo–indeed, all the Civil War dead–back to life.
Epic in scope yet emotionally intimate, Gob’s Grief creates a world both fantastic and familiar and populates it with characters who breath on the page, capturing the spirit of a fevered nation populated with lost brothers and lost souls.
High parts of the house. On the fifth floor, Walt stuck his head into an abandoned and neglected conservatory. The room was full of dead plants, and carpeted with dead leaves. “There’s nothing in there,” Gob said, pulling him through the only other door off the long hall. Walt looked around. This was the one clean room Walt had seen in the house, a bedroom furnished in a simple style, except for the bed, which was huge and ornate, hung with white curtains that shivered and undulated in the.
Easier not to speak, and Walt had a fear that if he made a noise, Gob would take his hand away from him and never give it back again. “My work is done,” Gob said at last, after an hour of sitting. “It’s complete. It only lacks you, Walt.” “Me,” Walt said softly. Gob did not take away his hand. “Did you think I was lying when I said I needed you? When I begged you to help me win, did you think it was a jest? They want to come back. Can’t you hear them begging to come back?” “Not anymore,” Walt.
Gazing down into the well behind their house. The sun shone full down to the water that particular noon, and they could see the snakes there at the bottom, twisting and curling over each other. “Ain’t it grand, Will?” his brother had asked, and they’d stood watching until the shadows returned to cover the water once again. In March of 1870, Will and Gob watched as the first caisson for the great bridge was launched into the East River from a Brooklyn shipyard. Gob was fascinated by the bridge.
Windmaker, rattraps big enough to catch children, singing candles, skittering iron insects, and books that turned their own pages as you read them. Gob wandered among the little machines, feeling admiration and envy as he beheld them. They would inspire him to hurry to the library and pick a book at random from the shelves, then sit in a chair among the clocks, or sprawl on the floor beneath a great golden armillary sphere. He’d read until the Urfeist came and found him and asked another.
Basement room full of such scraps. It was not pretty, when he’d finished, but it functioned. Gob filled it with water, and lit a fire under it. Steam rose through the support tubes, then shot from the engine tubes, and the sphere began to rotate, and kept rotating for as long as there was water and fire to make steam. Such was a spiritous machine, one that moved by the power of air or steam, whereas a self-propelling machine moved by means of wheels and pulleys and weights. When the aeolipile.