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Days of Infamy Mass Market Paperback – 1 Nov 2005

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (1 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451460561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451460561
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 3.7 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 872,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

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First Sentence
ON A GRAY, DRIZZLY MORNING IN THE FIRST WEEK OF MARCH 1941, AN AUTOMObile pulled up in front of the great iron gates of the Imperial Naval Staff College in Tokyo. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Nov 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What if the Japanese, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, had followed up with a land attack? This is the premise under which historian Harry Turtledove writes this novel of alternate history. Presenting a plausible scenario in which the Japanese follow up their Pearl Harbor attack with a land assault, Turtledove depicts them coming over mountainous terrain in the north, surprising the decimated American army. At the same time, the Japanese continue bombing civilian areas of Honolulu, occupy Oahu, and bring it under Japanese Imperial rule.
Focusing on the various groups involved in or affected by this occupation, Turtledove presents characters representing the Japanese naval forces, American army officers, a Japanese-Hawaiian family (where the father, an immigrant, supports the Japanese while his sons consider themselves American), American naval officers sent to Hawaii after the Pearl Harbor attack, an American teacher living under the occupation, a surfer-dude who continues to surf, the Hawaiian Royal Family, a young navy pilot who loses family members in a Japanese raid on San Francisco, and American marines preparing to retake the island.
In 1941, Hawaiians of Japanese descent represented one-third of Hawaii's population, so Turtledove's premise that some Japanese might have supported an occupation is plausible, though not realistic. The vast majority of Hawaiian Japanese were already part of a well-integrated, multicultural society and considered themselves Americans first.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on 11 Feb 2005
Format: Hardcover
Having plundered World War II three times already, Harry Turtledove decides to go to the well once again with Days of Infamy. This time, he goes to the Pacific Ocean, and wonders what would have happened if the Japanese had followed up their attack on Pearl Harbor with an invasion of Hawaii. It's an interesting concept, but Turtledove is uncharacteristically dull in the exploration. This book was an active chore to get through.
The attack on Pearl Harbor happens much the same way as it did in the real history, so much so that Turtledove basically ignores it except in broad strokes. The only change in the beginning of the book is that Japanese Commander Genda persuades Admiral Yamamoto to convince the Army generals that an invasion force should accompany the task force. Once the attack has happened, though, things start to get interesting. Hawaii is quickly captured as the Americans are unable to muster much of a defense. They do make a heroic stand, however, before finally surrendering. The rest of the book details life on the occupied islands, as well as introducing two characters further on in the book who give us the viewpoint of Americans who will be involved in the eventual re-taking of the islands. In the course of the plot, Turtledove gives us a pilot who was shot down in the initial attack and is now a prisoner of war, a soldier who is also a POW, his estranged wife who has to live in an occupied city on Oahu, a surfer bum, and a Japanese family who have been living on the island for many years.
The father, Jiro Takahashi, is an older Japanese man who will always consider himself Japanese. He welcomes the invasion. His sons have been Americanized, which causes a lot of family tension.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Mar 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first of a pair of gripping alternative history novels which explore the possibility that Japan might have backed up the air strikes on Pearl Harbour with a land invasion.

The sequel is called "End of the Beginning."

This is the fourth alternative version of World War II which Turtledove has written. He has previously done stories with aliens from Tau Ceti invading in 1942, (the Worldwar series) a parallel history following pretty much the real track, in a world where technology uses magic rather than engineering (Darkness/Derlavi/World at War series) and an alternative World War II in a history following a Rebel victory in the US Civil War, which has the same roles as in the historical WWII carried out by different people (Settling Accounts).

Having done so many alternative versions of World War II, you would think he would find it impossible to say anything new about them or maintain the reader's interest. Judging by other reviews, some readers do indeed have that problem, and I expected to be one of them, but from the moment I picked up this book I found myself hooked.

Turtledove suggests that the Imperial Japanese forces would have treated the inhabitants of Hawaii with the same ruthless cruelty they dealt out to other people who fell under their control, such as the luckless people of Nanking. This is all too plausible. He weaves a story of how this might have affected the people who lived under their regime, from American Prisoners of War, U.S. and Hawaiian civilians, to Hawaiian residents of Japanese origin.
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