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Fatherland Paperback – 1 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099527898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099527893
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Clever and ingenious... Its breeding is by Orwell, out of P. D. James, a detective story inside a future shock" (Daily Mail)

"Gripping in the way John Buchan, Len Deighton and John LeCarré are. The writing is superb. This novel lifts its author into a new and superior class" (The Times)

"The highest form of thriller... non-stop excitement" (The Times)

"Powerful and chilling... convincing in every detail" (Daily Telegraph)

"A writer who handles suspense like a literary Alfred Hitchcock" (Guardian)

Book Description

What if Hitler had won the war? A gripping, number one bestselling historical thriller from the award-winning master of the literary thriller genre: Robert Harris.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 109 people found the following review helpful By "jamesoles" on 4 Aug 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to read on a train journey home a few years ago. The journey lasted about an hour and a half, but I finally put the book down after reading the final word of the final page at 4am the next morning. Apart from showing my ticket to the conductor I don't think I talked to anyone in between. I was hooked. I even ignored the pretty brunette sat opposite me. Set in 1964, with Hitler having won the war and ruling over a Greater German Reich, a German policeman investigates a supposedly routine death and ends up uncovering a secret that some people will go to any length to protect. A great read that will leave an impact on you years after your first read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Cooper on 16 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
What would the world be like if Germany had indeed won the Second World War? This is a topic which will be the subject of many alternative history novels for many decades to come as it such an intriguing yet appalling thought.

Robert Harris has created a world in which the USA and Germany are the two remaining superpowers locked in a cold war. Europe has been subdued and is governed by puppet rulers and Russia (or what is left of it) is engaged in a war of attrition with Germany in the Ural Mountains.

The story follows the life of a disillusioned police investigator in Berlin who stumbles into a deadly murder case which eventually reveals the involvement of powerful high ranking Nazi officials and state secrets surrounding the Holocaust.

Imagine a world where you can trust nobody, where every room and phone may be bugged, where photocopiers are strictly controlled and where modern art, alcohol, smoking and even religion are severely frowned upon. If you can imagine such a dreadful world, you are in Robert Harris's Berlin in the sixties.

This book is certainly fascinating, most people think of `what might have been' at one time or another, yet Robert Harris has created a world where Germany actually won the Second World War. However, the most daunting prospect when reading this book is realising that this could have happened. Germany could have won the Second World War in different circumstances, what if they had done?

Read this book and imagine a world where they had!
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58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Tony Griffiths on 2 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
Follow following advice:-
1. Buy book
2. Open first page
3. Cancel plans to visit pub/work/eat/drink for approximately 2 days
4. Immerse in contents until final page read.
5. Tell your friends that this book is superb
6. Resume boring life...

Say no more. Brilliant.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 July 2010
Format: Paperback
In this book Robert Harris describes vividly a world in which the Nazis won the Second World War and all of their grand schemes came to fruition. His attention to detail is what makes this work so well and feel so real. The Berlin of the sixties he describes is the one set out in Albert Speer, the Nazi architect's plans. The documents Zavi discovers are based on, and in some cases are, actual documents from the time, and the atmosphere and setting are just right because of it.

This is a tautly plotted, suspenseful thriller set in the Berlin of 1964, just as the Americans are due to enter into a period of detente with the Germans under the leadership of Joseph Kennedy. Zavi, the hero, a disillusioned cop with a broken marriage behind him, is called to investigate the death of what turns out to be a previously high ranking Nazi official from the early days of National Socialism. As he gets deeper into the investigation it becomes clear that this death is not as straightforward a matter as he previously suspected, and intrigue piles upon intrigue, resulting in a beautifully complex plot in which it becomes clear that Zavi is on shaky ground and knowing who to trust will make the difference between life and death.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By mail@ravenscroft.u-net.com on 11 Mar 2001
Format: Paperback
Fatherland is like a blueprint on how to write the perfect novel - it's well-written, commercial, thought-provoking and resonated in my mind long after I'd finished it, and the fact that so much of the documentation is real is frightening. I've had three novels published and recently I've found it incredibly difficult to find books that I can't criticise - Fatherland is one of them. I couldn't put it down. The hero, March, is such a well-rounded character that he just won't leave my mind, I keep thinking about him and wanting to go back to the book and re-read parts. Harris's skill as a writer is masterly, the book is fabulously crafted and yet seems effortless: taut prose with not a word wasted, descriptions of Berlin woven into the (realistic) dialogue, suspense, conflict, believable characters with interesting human flaws, and a finale that leaves you kicking yourself that you didn't spot certain things along the way. The reviewers who have been critical of the ending must have no imagination - a novelist who has the guts to leave a little to the reader is paying them the greatest compliment - if Robert Harris had spelled it all out in words of one syllable as some people seem to have wanted him to, it would have cheapened the experience. This book is thrilling - READ IT! I'm off to hunt for Archangel and Enigma now, hope they're as good as this one.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Jun 1999
Format: Paperback
Robert Harris takes us to Berlin in 1964, a German capital that is the cultural, social and economic centre of Europe. Architecturally, philosophically and socially the Nazis have made their mark through Europe applying their ideology to everything that stands in its path. There is a world wide detente with (presumably) three political superblocs USSR, the USA and the Greater Germany.
This book addresses the old conundrum of how do you spy on the spys? Or in this instance how do you investigate the secret police especially when it is in an extrememely effective and efficiently run totalitarian state? The story takes us from a run of the mill accidental death to a crime that could bring the existence of this perfectly modelled aryan society to an end, not to mention world harmony.
This is a thriller that almost keeps the reader guesssing to the end. As thrillers go it is very good in its own genre but I did have a strong feeling of a missed opportunity. The totalitarian super state or the Nazis Europe concepts are not new - see Orwell and Deighton. There was one key missing factor in this book; and that is, at no point did I feel that I was reading a book about the 1960's.
For all of the work that Harris has done manufacturing the detail he has missed out on the back drop. All of the references and historical notes and even the people are taken from the 1930's as if nothing has happened from 1940 to 1964. Even in a totalitarian state attitudes, behaviour and points of view change both from governments and citizens. Harris will have us believe that the increased German state of the early 1960's is identical in character to the Germany of the 1930's.
Further embellishment and consideration as to how 30 years of change would have affected this dictatorship could have made this a great piece of fiction rather than a good novel.
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