Dul Johnson’s Shadows and Ashes is a collection of eight (not so) short stories that are woven around three broad subjects; the Civil war, Rape, and a General Philosophy on life. What strikes one though, is the strong and vivid descriptions in the novel that are evident of the author’s romance with the still and moving camera.
There is another view to Johnson’s descriptions, the psychological. This can be said to be the mind descriptions. Most of the characters in Shadows and Ashes are not shown simply as characters that appear to serve as a vehicle to meet the end of telling a story. They are given human emotions and importantly, a strong intellect that allows think. This is a quality that is shared by almost all the central characters in the book. They are shown to think deeply before most of their actions or where they don’t, after. The deep thinking brings out aspects of the characters that are hitherto hidden and adds spice to the development of the character and indeed, the story.