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The Afrika Reich [Paperback]

Guy Saville
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Sep 2011

1952. It is more than a decade since humiliation at Dunkirk brought an end to Britain's war and the beginning of an uneasy peace with Hitler.

In Africa, the swastika flies from the Sahara to the Indian Ocean. Gleaming autobahns bisect the jungle, jet fighters patrol the skies. The brutal presence of the SS is visible everywhere. Now, however, the demonic plans of Walter Hochburg - architect of Nazi Africa - threaten Britain's ailing colonies.

In England, ex-mercenary Burton Cole is offered one last contract. Burton jumps at the chance to settle an old score with Hochburg, despite the protests of the woman he loves. If Burton fails, unimaginable horrors will be unleashed in Africa. No one - black or white - will be spared.

But when his mission turns to disaster, Burton is forced to flee for his life. His flight takes him from the unholy killing ground of Kongo to SS slave camps and on to war-torn Angola, finally reaching its thrilling climax in a conspiracy that leads to the dark heart of the Afrika Reich itself.

Guy Saville combines meticulous research with edge-of-the seat suspense to produce a superb novel of alternate history.


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The Afrika Reich + Third Reich Victorious: Alternative Decisions of World War II
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (15 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444710664
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444710663
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Saville gives us an horrific reimagining of the Dark Continent (The Times)

[the] plot is clever, imaginative and, in its finale, wholly unexpected. In a crowded field, THE AFRIKA REICH stands out as a rich and unusual thriller, politically sophisticated and hard to forget. (Economist)

Fatherland for an action movie age (Daily Telegraph)

THE AFRIKA REICH is a gripping novel and a remarkable exercise in alternate history. (Jacinto Anton in El Pais)

Set in a world in which Britain made peace with Hitler after 1940, this account of a mercenary mission to Africa makes for an engrossing and convincing debut. (Sunday Express Books of the Year 2011)

If readers like terrifying stories behind a dense layer of historical depiction this is an unexpected and unforgettable story that they must read. (Geopolitique Africaine)

Promises to intrigue readers with an imaginative tale of what might have been . . . crafted as a fast-paced political thriller . . . offers readers an abundance of espionage, double-dealing, intrigue and scenes of Nazi sadism, all of which culminate in a not-to-be-divulged ending. Saville's tale is noteworthy not merely for transferring the nightmare of a victorious Nazi Reich to an exotic location, but for shifting our attention to new features of Nazi criminality. (Forward)

a tough adventure yarn, a sort of Wilbur Smith on speed. (Business Day (South Africa))

This graphic, pacy alternate history thriller is scarily convincing. (Australian)

Saville's alternate world is so carefully crafted that it is all too believable. (Jewish Chronicle)

An enthralling look at the horror that might have been if Germany was not defeated (Sydney Daily Telegraph)

With THE AFRIKA REICH, Guy Saville has delivered a highly entertaining read in the vein of Robert Harris' Fatherland and Archangel. Selling us us on a plausible and engrossing alternative history, featuring rich characters (who he's not afraid to kill off) and a fastpaced plot. (New Zealand Star)

Gripping (Aucklander)

Guy Saville's scorching debut novel [is] a terrifying account of the way things might have been . . . Immaculately researched and with accompanying notes to put the story into its context, THE AFRIKA REICH is an exciting first novel which blends history and fiction into an unforgettable drama. (Lancashire Evening Post)

Saville's alternative world is so carefully crafted, so meticulously researched and so convincing that it is easy to believe it all might have been possible. (Weekend Bookworm (Australian Broadcasting Corporation))

[an] intoxicating debut . . . a glorious, exhaustingly energetic romp through an Africa which wasn't, but which might have been . . . Written with style, verve and startling lyricism, THE AFRIKA REICH makes serious points as it entertains. (Historical Novel Review)

[A] dark and gruesome narrative dynamic. (Kirkus)

Book Description

A brilliant thriller with a modern sensibility and super-fast pace, with suspenseful touches that will delight fans of classic thrillers and films.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 26 April 2013
Format:Paperback
Wonderful! I was hooked after the opening pages. I have an afffinity for probable alternate history novels, and this one proved a winner!

Looking forward to more in this series. I will definitely add Mr. Saville to my list of "must read" authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise 9 Dec 2012
By BenB
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book without reading anything about it, nor the reviews and I have to say what a good read. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. This alternative history thriller was so well thought out, upon finishing I hit the net to see if the author had written anything else.....roll on the follow up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative thriller 27 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my wife to read for her book club. I read it afterwards of course and was pleased with the pace and fictional world of a post WWII Africa occupied by a winning German empire. There were enough twists and turns to keep the reader enthralled. A good book for dark winter nights when a thrill is needed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite Turtledove, perhaps Cussler? 24 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I agree that the concept of this look at history is interesting. The vastenest, colonial prowest and politics of the continent is demonstrated. I just thought that after a beginning and middle which intreeged me, just started to fall a bit flat and predictable. In fact I could feel a sence of Dirk Pitt during the final chapters. I do look forward to a possible squel.
P.S isn't modern day Europe a bit like that of 1952? So perhaps not so alternate after all?
Rev
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Debut 11 Jun 2011
By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This review is from: The Afrika Reich (Hardcover)
Afrika Reich: Set in an alternative 1952, The British rather than achieving one of their finest hours with the Dunkirk evacuation were captured, forcing Britain into a peace agreement.
New borders were drawn up and as such the Swastika flies like a brooding menace over Africa from the Sahara all the way to the Indian Ocean.

This story centres around one man Burton Cole, the mission he has been given and how it brings him crashing into his troubled past.

For me this debut novel was an amazing ride through the "what if" world of alternative history. As soon as I heard about it I had to read it, I have loved war films since I was a child.

The concept of this story very much brings to mind Robert Harris's Fatherland, but after reading a couple of chapters my imagination had blended it to a cross between Fatherland and Wild Geese.
The story rockets along with the depth of background and accuracy to be expected in Fatherland and goes that bit further by adding the action and pace and characters of Wild Geese. These characters soon taking on a blend of famous war film faces Richard Burton, Roger Moore & Richard Harris with a bit of George Peppard (for Patrick).

One of the things I always find telling with a book is how long it takes to read, because this shows your level of engagement with the story and the characters, I also think about the lengths I will go to to keep reading long after I should have turned out the light and gone to sleep.
Afrika Reich lasted a whopping 2 days of reading and this was while I was making notes in my review copy. I stayed up until 2am on the 2nd day because I couldn't go to sleep until I knew what happened and how it ended.
This for me was a clear sign of the power and writing skill of the book and author to engross the reader. Its not often I would rate a debut novel this highly, but this is well deserved (Parm)
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Marketing genius at work.... 14 Nov 2011
By SaMiCo
Format:Paperback
Firstly the premise of this story is absolutely excellent, who wouldn't be fascinated by the prospect of this alternative history? This combined with a glowing review from the Economist, it would not be a surprise to see this book sell rather well.

However, the premise is shockingly executed. The book is so overwhelmingly clichéd, it's hard to hide your disappointment when it quickly reveals itself as just like every trashy throw-away action 'novel' that you might find yourself persevering with in an airport lounge.

The shallowest of characters, it's hard to feel any empathy for them or begin to understand what makes them tick because of the clunky and unimaginative dialogue. The prose fares little better, Saville always seems in a rush to arrive at the next explosion or similar set piece, so it makes for lazy prose, with a metaphor here and a simile there. It is not helped by the huge chunks of exposition crowbarred into the story lacking in any great subtlety, killing the rythym totally. It feels like another of these novels that's first priority is to angle for a motion picture deal.

With un-realistic action sequences and characters that seem to soak up an amazing amount of punishment, it all ends up reading like a comic book. When you remove the sense of believability in the action, how are we supposed to accept the premise? The book falls down completely, without that sense of realism it makes the inevitable references to treatment of Africans and Jews that you would expect in a 'Nazis in Africa romp', feel somewhat cursory and lacking in any taste.

A massive disappointment of a novel, the premise deserved much better.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative History 24 Oct 2011
By SteveP
Format:Paperback
One view of what might have happened had Germany won the war and how they would have treated Africa.

Up there with Fatherland and SS-GB. Would recommend this book and any sequels that follow
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly bad... 15 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback
What a disappointing and very silly book this is. Most of the one star reviews I've read here (sadly only after reading the book) are spot on - thin, unbelievable and unattractive characters, stilted clunky dialogue, an totally unconvincing plot and spurious sub-plot, over-use of irritating, italicised 'african' vocabulary and a seemingly indestructible hero. At various point he is shot, stabbed, regularly swirled in a hail of bullets which all miraculously miss him, on board a plane which crashes, a train that is blown up and a building that is blown down, set on fire, loses a limb, is beaten to a pulp and yet survives time and again (mores the pity!). This is a real '...and with one bound he was free' job. Totally unconvincing boys own stuff and a complete waste of a potentially interesting (if not wholly original) premise. If you're going to enter in to the same realm as Robert Harris' Fatherland you really have to do an awful lot better than this - very very poor.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling read
Another book that surprised me. I did not actually expect to like this book. In fact, all I had to go off of was the back cover. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl Koch
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
This was a disappointment. I really like the concept, but I had expected a much more military based thriller. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fiction
A decent book with occasional cartoonish diversions. Some things the book describes don't make a great deal of sense, but this is no great failing.
Published 4 months ago by Gilman Grundy
3.0 out of 5 stars Afrika Reich
Whilst the plot was generally credible and the characters well developed, I found the persistent detailed blood and gore wearying and off-putting. Read more
Published 4 months ago by realtree
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Indiana?
All through his book I had the feeling of an Indiana Jones story. It was, in places, difficult to stop reading and if you read it you will see what I mean, just a great story. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Leonard J. Czaplewski
1.0 out of 5 stars Research
I was just dumbfounded that so many people could rate this book a 5 star so I started to look into the reviewers. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Crimelover 1904
4.0 out of 5 stars Literary popcorn of the best kind
Fun, entertaining, interesting, not too demanding, and a story that turns more often and more violently than a rural road in Country Galway. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jon Linnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
A great idea and maybe Africa might have even been better that it is now and in the near future!
Published 7 months ago by Rd Harper
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as fatherland
I read this book because I enjoyed Fatherland and SS-GB. This book didn't have the same level of character or plot development. Afrika Reich was more action than anything else. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jozzer
1.0 out of 5 stars Total Garbage
I am not sure that some of the people who have given this a very positive review have actually read this rubbish. Don't waste your time............
Published 12 months ago by Mr. Pa Harrison
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