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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 (358 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,744 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

5 of 5 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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101 of 111 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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65 of 74 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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20 of 23 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Morris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Fatherland is set in April 1964 in a world where the Third Reich won WWII, Germany is now an impressive size and struggling with an ongoing war against Russia. When a senior-ranking official is discovered face-down in a lake just outside of Berlin, Xavier March, a Kripo investigator is called to the scene. When he starts tugging at strings it becomes clear that this is no accident, but who is responsible, what are they trying to cover and how far up does the rot go?

Harris writes with true verve & flair; drawing upon his comprehensive knowledge of WWII history and manages to combine this with a murder mystery that encompasses an entirely believable alternate past. His depictions of the totalitarian government and the political structures are intelligent and insightful, whilst his descriptions of Hitler's Berlin realised are chilling with their Wilhelmine edifices. Harris' characters are also very well fleshed out and I genuinely cared for their fates.

A simply excellent book that will keep you completely enthralled from the outset. Highly recommended!
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By Terry D TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd first come into contact with Robert Harris when I'd read Enigma, a skilfully written thriller seamlessly woven into the activities of the code breakers and support personnel at Bletchley Park in their World War II battle to read the German Enigma ciphers.

'Enigma' well deserves the five stars that I, and many other reviewers, gave it. I had expected that his earlier thriller 'Fatherland' would be just as good - many reviewers consider it even better - but, unfortunately, I was less than impressed.

Robert Harris builds his story around a post-World War II Europe ruled by a victorious Adolf Hitler and his ideologically fixated Nazi party. The discovery of the body in a Berlin lake triggers an investigation which, as it spreads, slowly uncovers the true horrors of their final solution to the Jewish question.

Unfortunately he brings nothing new to this appalling tragedy; the only difference between his fictional story and everything that followed from the Wannsee conference (that genuinely took place in in January 1942) is that, in our new Germany, the true events of the Holocaust have been utterly suppressed.

If the truth were revealed would a Nazi dominated Europe be allowed - or be willing - to accept it?

It's a good question but, unfortunately, one that Robert Harris makes no attempt to answer. The thriller itself is, as I'd expected, extremely well written but his handling of the fundamental storyline is unimpressive.
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