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Fatherland [Hardcover]

Robert Harris
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 1992
Fatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War. It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler's 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin's most prestigious suburb.

As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth -- a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history.

From the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Inc (T) (Jun 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679412735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679412731
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,334,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A writer who handles suspense like a literary Alfred Hitchcock -- Nelson Mandela Robert Harris has recreated the whole structure of a totally corrupt society in a way that makes the flesh creep -- John Mortimer Powerful and chilling... convincing in every detail -- Martha Gellhorn Gripping in the way John Buchan, Len Deighton and John LeCarre are. The writing is superb -- Woodrow Wyatt Clever and ingenious... Its breeding is by Orwell, out of P. D. James, a detective story inside a future shock Daily Mail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

What if Hitler had won the war? The 20th Anniversary edition of this iconic novel, a number one bestseller from the award-winning master of the literary and historical thriller genre: Robert Harris. A gripping historical thriller, set in an alternative world, where Hitler won the war, and the Nazis the world. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
Thick cloud had pressed down on Berlin all night, and now it was lingering into what passed for the morning. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're gonna read one book, read this... 4 Aug 2003
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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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good novel but a missed opportunity 15 Jun 1999
By A Customer
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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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, thought-provoking, superb! 2 Aug 2010
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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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking thriller 23 July 2010
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic 11 Mar 2001
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping and enjoyable
Having read officer and a spy I can are its beginnings here. This is an author learning his trade, but a very enjoyable read in its own right.
Published 2 days ago by pipn
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Harris
Twisting too true fact into thrilling fiction, this is a great read by the accomplished. Up there with his best.
Published 4 days ago by Bookmarker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by C. Barrass
5.0 out of 5 stars this book rapidly positioned itself up there with my favourite books...
From its first release, this book rapidly positioned itself up there with my favourite books of all time. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Vicki, West Sussex, UK
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
product as described I'm very pleased thank you A+++
Published 7 days ago by J2K3
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
The story is compelling. A dystopian society that might have been, shown through the eyes and actions of his protagonist. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Emma Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Swift smooth transaction.
Published 12 days ago by Mrs E E Liley
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good read
Published 16 days ago by Robert Jolly
4.0 out of 5 stars A victorious Germany proves quite thought provoking also its control...
A victorious Germany proves quite thought provoking also its control over the allied European nations. Read more
Published 16 days ago by keith s forshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and thought provoking novel set in 1960s Berlin- under...
Having read many of Robert Harris's books, I came to this one rather belatedly and was totally engrossed. The story was gripping and the setting was most convincing. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Walker
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