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Historical Fiction vs. Historical Non-Fiction: Which Should You Choose?

Historical Fiction vs. Historical Non-Fiction

The realm of literature is a boundless treasure trove, enchanting us with tales that transport us across time and space. Literature lets readers explore the distant past, glean insights from historical occurrences, and vividly encounter our predecessors’ lives. Within this literary expanse, two prominent genres stand out: historical fiction and historical non-fiction. Each one offers a distinct lens into history. We’ll explore this idea through Florida Hustle, an historical fiction novel by Paul Wilborn.

Historical Fiction: The Blend of Fact and Imagination

Historical fiction novels are a captivating blend of history and creative storytelling. Authors in this genre take real historical events, settings, and figures and infuse them with fictional characters, dialogue, and narrative. This fusion creates a story that not only educates readers about the past but also engages their emotions and imagination. Paul Wilborn’s books are a prime example of historical fiction where  compelling storylines keep you on the edge of your seat.

Set in the early 1980s, when America was led by a celebrity president and Hollywood’s favored genre was the “slasher film,” Florida Hustle brings to life an era marked by cinematic trends and cultural shifts. It also captures the Sunshine State as it was morphing from a tourist destination into a Mega State. The protagonist, aspiring filmmaker Michael Donnelly, and his obsession with a B-movie “scream queen” opens the door to a world of cinema and young love during that period.

Historical Non-Fiction: Unveiling the Past

Historical non-fiction offers a more factual account of historical events, personalities, and societies. These books rely on thorough research and documented evidence to accurately represent the past. While historical non-fiction lacks the creative liberties of fiction, it compensates with an unwavering dedication to accuracy and authenticity. Non-fiction books provide invaluable insights for those seeking a deeper understanding of historical realities.

Choosing Between the Two

When it comes to choosing between historical fiction and historical non-fiction, it largely depends on your preferences as a reader and your goals for exploring history through literature. If you’re looking for an immersive experience that combines historical truths with imaginative storytelling, historical fiction novels like Florida Hustle are an idea choice. These novels allow you to step into the shoes of fictional characters and witness history through their eyes.

On the other hand, if your primary aim is to comprehensively understand specific historical events or figures, historical non-fiction books are the way to go. These books offer meticulously researched insights and expert analysis, giving you a factual foundation upon which to build your knowledge. While they might not provide the emotional engagement of fiction, they make up for it with their dedication to presenting the unvarnished truth.

“Florida Hustle” by Paul Wilborn: A Bridge Between Both Worlds

Florida Hustle, by Paul Wilborn, exemplifies the power of historical fiction novel to blend real-world events with a captivating narrative. Aspiring filmmaker Michael Donnelly’s journey through 1980s Florida not only entertains but also educates readers about the cultural and cinematic landscape of the time.

The book allows readers to relive this turbulent era through the eyes of its characters while exploring themes of obsession, ambition, and the pursuit of dreams.

To Sum Up

Historical fiction novels like Paul Wilborn’s Florida Hustle and historical non-fiction books stand as distinct yet equally valuable options for exploring the past. Each genre offers a unique perspective, with historical fiction interconnecting creative narratives within a historical framework and historical non-fiction books providing factual insights.

The choice between the two depends on your reading preferences and the depth of understanding you seek. Whether you’re drawn to the emotional engagement of fiction or the pursuit of factual knowledge, both genres have the power to transport you through time and enrich your understanding of history.

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