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Settling Accounts: Drive to the East [Paperback]

Harry Turtledove
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Feb 2006

Turtledove's alternate history of a century-long American civil war continues . . .

The second book in the Settling Accounts sequence takes the story to 1942, during an utterly different World War II.

The Confederate States of America are locked in a tangle of jagged, blood-soaked battle lines with the United States of America. In Richmond, dictator Jake Featherston is shocked by what his own aircraft have done in Philadelphia - killing U. S. president Al Smith in a barrage of bombs. But he presses ahead with a secret plan on the dusty plains of Texas, where a so-called detention camp hides a far more evil purpose.

The United States face a furious thrust by Confederate army into Pennsylvania. But with the industrial heartland under siege, Canada in revolt and US ships fighting against the Japanese in the Sandwich Islands, the most dangerous place in the world may be overlooked.

Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (13 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340826886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340826881
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 11.1 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 696,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Turtledove plays heady games with actual history, scattering object lessons and bitter ironies along the way. Strong, complex characters against a sweeping alt-historical background. (Kirkus Reviews on RETURN ENGAGEMENTS)

With shocking vividness, Turtledove demonstrates the extreme fragility of our modern world . . . This is state-of-the-art alternate history, nothing less (Publishers Weekly (starred review for HOW F)

'Good fun. It has an authentic speculative quality, energy and dash.' Time Out on A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

Engrossing ... definitely the work of one of alternate history's authentic modern masters . . . totally fascinating. (Booklist on THE GREAT WAR series)

The latest volume in Turtledove's colossal and brialliant saga of an alternate (and disunited) United States may be the strongest and most compelling since the opener, HOW FEW REMAIN (Publishers Weekly on AMERICAN EMPIRE series)

Book Description

Turtledove's alternate history of a century-long American civil war continues . . .

The second book in the Settling Accounts sequence takes the story to 1942, during an utterly different World War II.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to meet expectations 19 Feb 2006
I've always like Harry Turtledove, particularly the world war and great war series. Unfortunatley, this latest series fails to live up to expectations. I find the central plot, the war between CSA and USA, is nothing more than a rehash of Nazi Germany's invasion of Russia. I strongly feel that in an alternative timeline, one should not follow genuine history so closely, after all, what is truly alternative about that?? The plot also does not seem to be true to itself as much as I feel it should be, for example, despite being an obviously unpleasant person, Jake Featherston at least acted within the boundries of reason, perfectly capable of listening to others when they told him an obvious truth. However, in Drive to the East, he suddenly, without explanation, becomes completely insane, utterly incapable of following the advice of a General (Bedford-Forrest) that he has previously shown a great deal of respect for!
As for the genuinely alternate stories, those of the occupation and Canada and the Mormon uprisings, one finds that they are given nothing more than sideshow status, with very little detail of why the Mormons are so militant, or exactly what is happening in Canada.
Having said all of that, I will buy the final two books in the series on release, no doubt with great anticipation, I only hope Mr Turtledove's imagination enables hime to tell a genuinely alternative history the next time!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Present in Turtledove's alternative past 17 Mar 2006
There is a good deal to like in Turtledove's latest installment of his ongoing alternative history saga of a divided America. The second volume of the 'Settling Accounts' series picks up right where the last one left off, with the United States and the Confederate States at war once again. The American president is dead and the Confederate drive through Ohio has split the U.S. in two. Yet with a new president the war continues, and Turtledove entertains with his own version of the Second World War, following a number of characters from the previous volumes as they fight and live through the conflict.
There is an interesting new note to this volume. The Mormon revolt in Utah - an ongoing subplot that dates back to the start of the series - produces a new weapon that is more familiar to readers from today's headlines than from histories of World War II. It seems that Turtledove has decided to introduce an element of 21st century warfare to his 1940s battlefield as a way of commenting on current events, suggesting his own attitudes to today's violence. It will be interesting as well to see if he develops this idea further in the next volume.
Yet as enjoyable as the novel is, it suffers from a degree of sloppiness. Some of the sloppiness is error borne of too little research - I doubt that his alternate U.S. would name a destroyer escort after a Southerner, for example - while some seems to be of exhaustion. Compared to the initial volumes of the series there seems to be a growing degree of repetitiveness in this book, not just of the last installment (a little understandable due to the need to refresh readers from what happened previously) but within the book itself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Alternate??? History 19 April 2006
Writing an alternate history gives an author the opportunity to use his imagination to see what might have happened. What Turtledove is doing more and more in this series is not using his fantasy at all. He simply rewrites WW2 with replacing names and cities from the actual ones with the ones in the US.

While I normally like to read his books I have to confess that I didn't even finish this one when I came to the part that 2 Confederate generals start plotting against their President.

I will probably buy the next volume jist to see if just before his final defeat, the Confederate President will also marry his secretary and commit suicide, after which his body will be burned.

Some of the characters in this volume should be written away a long time ago. Why do we have to keep on reading about a US doctor when the only thing he experiences is trying to heal woudned soldiers (what a surprise in a war!). He really doesn't add anything to the overall story, and this goes for more characters.

In my opinion this volume was just written by Turtledove because he knew it would be a bestseller, regardless of what he wrote.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative History 15 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As above.
One of a series of alternative History books setting WW2 in the context of the American Civil War.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Snoozeville 31 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is book 9 of an 11 book series that I can no longer be bothered to summarise. I had been reading them consecutively but despite the fact that I only had about a hundred pages to read I left this one at home and took some other more interesting books with me on holiday. It's fair to say I needed a holiday from this series.

The story is plodding along and is paralleling what actually happened during WWII in Europe and setting it in North America instead. That's it in a nutshell. No originality. Loads of recapping what has gone before.
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