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Never Surrender [Paperback]

Michael Dobbs
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Nov 2003

Winston Churchill embarks on a battle of wills with Adolf Hitler in the run-up to Dunkirk. The compelling new historical novel from the acclaimed author of Winston’s War.

Winston Churchill at his lowest ebb – pitted in personal confrontation with Adolf Hitler, and with ghosts from his tormented past.

In his bestselling novel Winston’s War, Michael Dobbs brilliantly combined imagination and fact in a vivid recreation of Churchill’s remarkable journey from the wilderness to Downing Street. It won acclaim from critics and caught the mood of the reading public. Now he draws on his unrivalled insight into the workings of power to bring the Greatest Briton to life once again.

10 May 1940. Hitler launches his devastating attack that within days will overrun France, Holland and Belgium, and that will bring Britain to its knees at Dunkirk. Only one man, Winston Churchill, seems capable of standing in his way. Yet Churchill is isolated, mistrusted by many of his colleagues, and tormented by ghosts from his past.

This is the story of those four crucial weeks in which Churchill and Hitler faced each other in a battle of wills. At its end, Hitler was at the gates of Paris and master of all he surveyed. But Churchill had already broken him on the most crucial battlefield of all, the battlefield of the mind.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (3 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007107269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007107261
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 443,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Dobbs, the internationally best selling author, was recently ennobled as Lord Dobbs of Wylye and has already been nicknamed 'the peer with the pen'. He has written 17 novels, starting with the award-winning House of Cards. Old Enemies if his fourth Harry Jones novel, following The Lords' Day, Edge of Madness and The Reluctant Hero. The character of Harry Jones is currently being developed into a major Hollywood film.

Product Description


From the reviews for Winston’s War

‘Dobbs is an author who can bring historical happenings so vitally back to life … made all the more impressive by being, so far as I could see, historically accurate in every respect.’
Anthony Howard, THE TIMES

‘An intriguing tale of espionage and treason that charts the increasingly tangled lives of a unique cast. This is a work to enthral.’

‘Dobbs has done a brilliant job in evoking the drama and despair of Britain hovering on the edge of the abyss.’

‘Dobbs weaves a fascinating tale of conspiracy, blackmail and treachery … This page-turning, meaty, densely textured wartime thriller unblinkingly dissects the wealthy oligarchy that nearly ruined Britain.’

About the Author

Michael Dobbs’ books have a knack of being uncannily timely. His award-winning House of Cards trilogy foreshadowed both the downfall of Margaret Thatcher and the increasing turmoil within the Royal Family, while his Goodfellowe MP novels showed how a small band of highly motivated men could bring a great city to its knees. His most recent bestselling novel, Winston's War, was published just as the nation was voting for Winston Churchill as the Greatest Briton.

He has been an academic, a broadcaster, a senior corporate executive and an adviser to two Prime Ministers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Special Book 1 Mar 2004
This period in history-1940- is one of my favourites. I've read most of the academic books ( the best being John Lukacs' 'Five Days in London'). 'Never Surrender' was recommended by a friend but I was sceptical that a novel would add anything to my understanding or enjoyment. I was wrong. Perhaps novels can do what straight histories can't in getting into the minds and hearts of the characters - all of whom seem portrayed with remarkable accuracy. In particular Dobbs deals with Churchills' relationship to his father, and the extraordinary conversations he used to have with his fathers' ghost. I thought this was make-beleive , the novelist's imagination, but i've since discovered that the terrific detail he gives is entirely accurate. This is a special book - fantastic history, excellently told.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Surrender 4 Jan 2004
I have read all of Michael Dobbs books and have enjoyed the different styles of presentation. This has to be one of the best if not the best. The characters came alive and made me question reality and fiction. Ruth Mueller,s influence and inspiration on Churchill added a extra dimension to the plot. I found this emotionally challenging.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid WWII Saga 23 Mar 2007
By J.Flood
Never Surrender is set in May/June 1940, when Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Britain, and also when the Germans launched their 'blitzkreig' on France, and the Low Countries.

While British, French, and Belgian troops are trying to fight the Germans, in London Churchill is trying to fight off politicians, who do not agree with his assessment of the war.

You get a real sense of dread, as the book progresses and the Nazis push the allies further and further back, and a real sense of doom emanating from the war rooms of London, as the news from the front gets progressively worse.

The author paints a very vivid picture of the desperate retreat of the British to Dunkirk, and in the scenes set in London you can almost feel that you are 'sitting in' on the Churchill's meetings with his civil servants and political foes. A highly enjoyable read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A spaniel named Winston 25 Sep 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
WINSTON'S WAR, the first novel of the Churchill series by Michael Dobbs, spans the time period from Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's return from Germany after signing the shameful Munich Agreement with Adolph Hitler, to early May 1940, when he's handed a no-confidence vote by the House of Commons and forced to resign. But, WINSTON'S WAR is less about Chamberlain than the political infighting and back stabbing that brought Winston, thought to be a loudmouthed fool by his peers in Parliament and apparently washed-up in government, back to public office after years in political limbo.
NEVER SURRENDER picks up the story on May 10, 1940, when Winston is asked by King George VI to form a new government to face the Nazi menace across the Channel, and portrays the next several weeks into early June as the British Expeditionary Force in France is forced by German panzers into a desperate position on the coast at Dunkirk, from which they, and as many French troops as possible, must be evacuated back to England via whatever boats can float.
Winston, is, of course, the hero of the series, and the fictional story, based on factual events, is portrayed from his point of view. Several major figures continue from the first to second volumes, including the King, the U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James, snake-in-the-grass Joseph Kennedy, and Winston's loyal friend and political confidant, Brendan Bracken . To provide a human face to events in France, Dobbs pens the characters of Don Chichester, a conscientious objector serving with the Royal Ambulance Corps, Claude, a downed and injured French pilot that Don patches up, and a spaniel, named "Winston" by Chichester for his constant barking, that adopts the two during their retreat to the Dunkirk beach.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 3 Dec 2003
By ratso
Disappointed is the best word to describe how I felt after finishing the book. I loved the suspense in "Winston's War". I could not put it down. That never happened with "Never Surrender". I could easily put it down. There was a plot for the portion of book in Dunkirk. Can't say the same thing for the "action" in London. Characters were introduced and never seen again. Others were introduced, forgotten, and then brought back.
I wish Michael Dobbs had taken more time with the book. This is a very weak sequel to Winston's War.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Michael Dobb's novel demonstrates vividly and movingly the desperate situation Britain faced in May 1940 when the Germans overwhelmed the Allies in the Low Countries and Northern France. Winston Churchill was under great pressure from within his Cabinet to cut a peace deal with Hitler and his position was far from strong. Chamberlain and Halifax still commanded support across the political spectrum. With the prospect of much of the British Army in France being captured or destroyed, a compromise peace looked attractive to those who earlier had sought to appease Hitler.
All these tensions are well captured by Michael Dobbs and he has constructed a fine novel which gives you a real sense of the desperation as well as the final triumph of Churchill in our "finest hour".
The scenes of politicking in London are gripping and I sense that the author, with his background in the political world of Mrs Thatcher, brings experience and authority to his task. I liked too the use of Ruth Mueller as a form of "cosnscience"- someone challenging Churchill in a way his father might have done, had he been alive to do so.
The Flanders/Dunkirk scenes are less convincing. It is a nice story to have Don and Claude making their way home and for Don's father to be reconciled at the end to his son. But the strength of this excellent book remains the "inside story" of how Churchill the outsider, the man mistrusted by the Establishment, claws his way to his triumph in those memorable weeks in 1940.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A delightful symbiosis between fact and fiction which made for compulsive reading. Carry on writing Mr. Dobbs.
Published 14 days ago by Corpus1
5.0 out of 5 stars The fictional character Frau Ruth Mueller is very useful. We can...
Very interesting and well researched. The fictional character Frau Ruth Mueller is very useful. We can believe she might have existed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by W. Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Novel
Dobbs takes us behind the public persona of Britain's war time leader to reveal a complex and flawed man. Yet the book itself is flawed. Read more
Published 7 months ago by kk
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Insight
This is the second of Dobbs' novels, which focuses on Winston Churchill and other important influential people during a moments of World War Two, in this case the evacuation of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by 1fcscout
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant mixture of history wrapped in what i presume to be...
whilst the 4 volumes were in my local library i read them all twice but then struggled to collect them due to some of them being out of print until i visited your site.
Published 8 months ago by terry robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
Could not put the book down, characters brilliant,one of the best books I have read,and that is sixty years reading.
Published 10 months ago by Brian Fearnley
4.0 out of 5 stars Never Surrender
Excellent story, which I have read before, but still enjoy. This was read on my Kindle & was the first book that I have really wanted to finish. Ann Harrison
Published 14 months ago by Ann Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Churchill
This was the last one of my set and I highly recommend it, the fascination picture of Churchill and his politicking. It arrived quickly too.
Published 15 months ago by Pajon
5.0 out of 5 stars A first rate novel
How can michael dobbs not get it wrong? Everything he writes is superb and this novel interwined with history is another example of the mans outstanding talent. Read more
Published on 9 Aug 2011 by Markus Ronald
5.0 out of 5 stars Pigot-Smith's Triumph

If you want details of the story, see other reviews; I am going to comment generally. Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2011 by RR Waller
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