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In the Presence of Mine Enemies [Kindle Edition]

Harry Turtledove
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £5.93
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

Heinrich Gimpel is a respected officer with the Oberkommando Wehrmachts office in Berlin. His wife is a common hausfrau, raising his three precious daughters the same way he was raised - to be loyal, unquestioning citizens of the Third Reich, obedient to the will of the Führer.

But Heinrich Gimpel has a secret. He is not, in fact, a member of the Master Race. He has been living a lie to protect his true identity as a Jew - and he's not alone. Throughout Berlin, Jews survive in secrecy...doing their jobs, caring for their families, maintaining the facade of perfect Aryans, and praying they will not be discovered.

But a change is coming. And soon they will be forced to choose between safety and freedom...

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1361 KB
  • Print Length: 460 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451529022
  • Publisher: Gateway (29 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E9HR2L0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brave, personal walk through a vicious Reich 25 Nov. 2003
In the Presence of Mine Enemies is, quite clearly, the most personal book of Turtledove's career. I must say the action is both slow and muted and, in a heightening of Turtledove's inimitable style, all the 'action' and 'major events' are off-page, that is, they are represented through the thoughts and discussions of the characters. For all this, I have to say the sheer emotion poured into this book by Turtledove is not only engrossing but sweeps you up too. I was hooked and could hardly put the book down (despite my 4 star rating - reasons later) despite having a very busy time with my work. I made the time to read this book and, if you read it, you will too. The tightening of narrative focus into a half dozen characters concentrates Turtledove's ... dare I say it ... genius from his 'Cast of Thousands' novels (Great War and World War Series & Colonization series) beautifully making the emotion and the reading all the more compelling. Reading this book is like taking a personalised walk with Turtledove through 2010's Alternate might-have-been Berlin, 80 years into the Thousand Year Reich. This book is so powerful, I as reading it at home and my wife, noting my scowl, kept asking me if I was alright, my less than indicative response of "F------- Nazis!" was fairly explanatory in a broad sense, and a testament to Turtledove's skill, style and bravery, to be fair.
Downsides: (1) American pre-occupation with the 'poor state' of British teeth - After the third mention within 6 pages I remember thinking: Turtledove, let it go! What *IS* it with Americans and our teeth?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, see the rest 5 Jun. 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm sorry but this is one of the most boring Turtledove books I have read - I've got a shelf full of them! It's an extension of a short story first published in 1992 and should have stayed that - short! Ok the characters are deep and rounded but when they start going on about bridge games I just wanted to skip chapter after chapter - enough to induce the Z'ds big time! Do yourself a big favour and buy Departures by HT, let your own imagination go and save yourself five quid.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
In the Presence of Mine Enemies allows Turtledove to take a break from his other series and do a self-contained novel set in the normally cliched world where the Germans won World War II and are dominating everything. I say "normally cliched" because Turtledove actually does a good job of making it seem fresh and interesting. It is the early 21st Century. The Germans and the Japanese won the war, cities in the USA were nuked in a second conflict after the European one ended, making the United States agree to be subjugated, paying tribute money every year to Berlin. Everybody figures that the next war will be against Japan for final control of the world, but for now an uneasy peace settles between the two empires.
Jews have been eliminated from most of Europe, but like the cockroaches the Germans in this novel think they are, hidden infestations are everywhere, including right under there noses. This provides most of the story, as we are told of a society of hidden Jews who are working amidst every-day Germans in Berlin and elsewhere. The main character, Heinrich Gimpel, works for the Wehrmacht (the German army) as the man in charge of keeping tabs on the American money that gets sent to Berlin every year. At the beginning of the book, the ritualistic revealing of the family Jewish secrets to 10-year-old Alicia Gimpel occurs. When the parents think they are ready, their ancestry is revealed and they are absorbed into the conspiracy of silence. The children have to adjust to the raging anti-Semitism around them as well as changing their own feelings, because they have been indoctrinated with all of the anti-Jewish hate and must learn that they are the people who most other Germans consider the devil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars could have been so much better 14 Sept. 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
An imaginative premise - we are 70 years after WWII and in Berlin, and Germany won. A few Jews have survived but must not reveal their race to anyone but another Jew if they are to survive. Meanwhile, the German Empire selects its next Furher, while the Union of Fascists that rules a conquered Britain debates how, according to Hitlers own writings, he should be chosen.

All potentially thrilling. But in this writers hands it is not. Endless descriptions of childhood arguments, of the all encompassing fear being Jewish entails (conveyed by saying how afraid they feel), umpteen bus journeys, buying a paper, eating lunch and , worst of all, pointless descriptions of games of Bridge (I kid you not).

I can see what the author is trying to do - build up the characters, paint a picture of family life, involve us with the characters emotions. He fails, totally. And in the end merely bores us.

I was going to give this 2 stars but it is really too bad for that. Dull, predictable, poorly written. One of the fuhrers is called Kurt Haldweim (geddit?) !And the plot, such as it is, soon becomes recognisable for what it is - Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the end of communism just transposed to a Germany that won the war!

Whereas we might have had a fascinating exposition of a fascist society at the the end of the 20th century, a chilling tale of fear, a profoundly moving alternative history, this is none of those. It could have been fast-paced and enthralling, but it is just slow and boring.
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