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The Company of the Dead Paperback – 23 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (23 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857686666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857686664
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Imaginative, monolithic, action-packed... The reader will not be disappointed." --Bookseller and Publisher

"A magnificent alternate history, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest maritime disasters." --Library Journal

"Time travel, airships, the Titanic, Roswell: from these well-worn bones, Kowalski builds a decidedly original creature that blends military science fiction, conspiracy theory, alternate history, and even a dash of romance." --Publishers Weekly

"For readers who love in depth twists and turns this exquisite piece of alternate history fiction ticks every box." --Starburst Magazine

"An excessively exciting reading experience." --Tor.com

"Time-hopping adventure for the thinking man... Easily one of the best thrillers in years... A compulsive read that we cannot recommend enough... A clever mix of sci-fi thriller, epic alternate history tale and intelligent spy adventure. Five stars." --Sci-Fi Now

"David Kowalski's alternative Earth is lovingly crafted, inhabited by plausible characters all its own." --SFX Magazine

"The writing is tense, confident and pacy while the story itself is involving and very much action packed with descriptive verse and a real depth... complete with a powerful ending, recommended." --SF Book Reviews

"The Company of the Dead is a virtuoso performance, a near-perfect blend of speculative fiction and adventure story." --Open Letters Monthly

"Kowalski gives you some really fun and thrilling chases, fights, and...mind-bending thought exercises on time and causality." --wired.com

"If you are a history buff, if you re interested in the story and fact behind the Titanic, enjoy alternate realities or just a darn good sci-fi novel, then David J. Kowalski s The Company of the Dead will absolutely blow you out of the water. You ll wish that you could go back in time and read it again and again." --8 Days a Geek

"A fascinating read. --Shropshire Newspaper

The Company of the Dead is an essential read that, despite being based around an infamous maritime disaster that everyone is familiar with, has an ending nobody will see coming. --Alternative Magazine Online

About the Author

David Kowalski is a medical practitioner, working in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Sydney, Australia. He has published numerous articles in various medical journals and textbooks. The Company of the Dead is his first novel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Coles on 27 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading a review of this book on io9 it sounded just up my alley - time travel, alternative history and a lot of thriller thrown in. But I'm abandoning my read about half way through, something I rarely do.

The story itself is fine, with interesting ideas on how things might have worked out differently in the twentieth century, and a large cast of characters who, on the surface, should provide us with a rollicking run through said story. But it just doesn't work out that way. I can't believe other reviews here that say the characters are well rounded. The characters are ciphers, plain and simple. There's no actual protagonist, no internal monologue. The characters belonging to Kennedy's entourage are interchangeable. I'm half way through the book and I can't tell you why Kennedy cares about re-establishing the USA (before he sees the future), why he supposedly inspires blind loyalty from everyone who served under him or what his life was like. The modern captain of the Titanic is British but shows no difference in outlook to the CSA characters. There is a character who as far as I am aware is black and is good at killing people - that is it. What's it like to be a citizen of the CSA or to live in New York under the Japanese? No idea apart from that they have more sushi restaurants. Other than New York, places are hardly described, to the point where I had to keep flicking back to work out how they were suddenly somewhere else.

The whole thing is made worse by the splitting up of the multi-angled story into tiny chunks. Chapters end with no reason other than it seemed like the author wanted to move on to another viewpoint, often after a couple of pages. I found that the longer chapters were much easier to read.

I appreciate that this is a debut novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok on 16 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
One of the most original examples of military science fiction melded with alternate history I've encountered, "The Company of the Dead", David J. Kowalski's debut novel, is the most imaginative fictional recounting of the RMS Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage I have ever encountered. It is also an exceptional time-travel science fiction novel, memorable for Kowlaski's masterful plotting and fine, descriptive prose that deserves recognition as among the very best ever written. Kowalski's fertile imagination has no bounds, mixing conspiracy theory, RMS Titanic, New York City, Roswell, New Mexico, gigantic military airships armed with planes and nuclear bombs, heroic 21st Century American Indian warriors manning tanks and artillery guns, and more than a hint of romance, within a realistic, alternate 20th Century and 21st Century historical science fiction novel. This is a latter day Jules Verne science fiction novel, mixed with ample detours through familiar speculative fiction literary terrain inhabited by the likes of Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and Harry Turtledove. Kowalski is so effective in his storytelling that readers will almost believe that they are with his protagonists, walking the decks of the Titanic or coming under intense enemy fire in the Nevada desert by an invading army; he excels in taking us on a grand adventure that spans not only an entire continent but also decades of time. I have stumbled upon very few alternate history science fiction novels of recent vintage which approach the ample realism and considerable attention to detail which Kowalski demonstrates in "The Company of the Dead"; without a doubt, his literary debut deserves to be remembered as among the finest in contemporary Anglo-American speculative fiction literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Copyzombie on 15 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
Don't let the Titanic fool you. This book is not a centenary cash-in, but an intelligently construed time-travel/alt history/military fiction tale, where the Titanic's first cruise plays a central role. And it's a thoroughly enjoyable read.

The events start when a rather ordinary man from our timeline is whisked back in time to the early 1910s and sets out to prevent the disasters that he knows are about to come, starting with the sinking of the Titanic. The resulting timeline is indeed different, but not in the way expected. Then, in 2012, this new world is faced by a new kind of disaster which a mixed cast of characters try to prevent. And everything and everybody keep getting back to the Titanic.

It's better not to describe the world of The Company of The Dead in any detail because deciphering its nature and history are the two greatest pleasures one derives from reading the book. A work of alternative history has to present a credible argument for how its history unfolds. Also, depending on the nature of the work, the new history has to be reasonably realistic. In all these respects The Company of The Dead delivers. And the plot captured my interest from the beginning and held it until the end. Characters are many-sided and credible enough to keep the book being merely a straightforward thriller.

Yes, I hugely enjoyed the book. It's so well conceived and formed it's hard to believe this is the author's first book.
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Format: Paperback
As someone with a long time interest in the Titanic, the premise of this book seemed very intriguing. However, it is also somewhat misleading, as the Titanic is merely the catalyst to the other events in the book.
Imagining an alternative future where the Second World War never happened, Kpwalski has a tremendous amount of fun with his alternative history. But this is not light and fluffy, it is gritty, bloody, and utterly gripping.
To give too much background on the plot machinations would spoil some of the surprises, but needless to say, one mans quest to change history backfires horribly, creating a new timeline where the threat of a nuclear apocalypse is ever present. An unlikely team assembles to attempt to put history back on its rightful path, but first they must travel halfway across a dangerous and totalitarian America, encountering gun toting Samurai, Yakuza, sinister agents, and deadly assassins.
In short, the feeling is of Oliver Stone's JFK spliced with Back To The Future with a little of the Matrix thrown in for good measure - an utterly original genre hopper, and a compulsive page turner that makes a mockery of its 700+ pages. A relentless, breakneck, complicated but never confusing, mammoth alternative history thriller.
Do as I did : Buy it, read it, love it.
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