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The Leader

The Leader [Kindle Edition]

Guy Walters
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review engaging piece of what-ifery...a great set-piece climax... -- The Times

A clever tale that twists history upside down...non-stop action all the way and a thoroughly good read. -- Swindon Evening Advertiser, March 13, 2004

A convincing and intelligent thriller...[Armstrong] is a good remake of Richard Hannay. -- The Daily Mail, May 21, 2004

A fine ‘what-if’ work. -- South Wales Echo, 27 March 2004

A what-if thriller in Fatherland vein...compulsive reading indeed. -- The Bookseller

Guy Walters has great ideas to work with and lots of historical details to unfold... -- Toronto Globe & Mail, February 7, 2004

There is plenty of historical detail. And intrigue...The Leader is a good read. -- Manx Independent

This has everything you'd want in an historical's hand stuck to the pages stuff. -- Front Magazine, October 2003

This second novel by former journalist Guy Walters is masterfully crafted and genuinely frightening. -- The Daily Express, April 19, 2004

Walters throws in a few twists to produce a readable novel of Buchan-lite thrills -- Sunday Herald, October 5, 2003

Book Description

A pulse-pounding what-if Second World War thriller of a Britain ruled by a Nazi government

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 556 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (15 Dec 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004H1T7WA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,709 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Guy Walters is the author and editor of nine books, which include four wartime thrillers, the critically acclaimed Berlin Games and his latest work, Hunting Evil. With James Owen he co-edited The Voice of War, an anthology of Second World War memoirs. Shortlisted for the 2006 William Hill Sports Book of the Year and the NASSS's 2007 Outstanding Book award, Guy has been an author since he left The Times of London, where he was a feature writer and a commissioning editor.
His books have been translated into several languages, and Hunting Evil has been and will be released in the UK, the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Holland, France, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Romania.
Guy writes for a handful of UK newspapers and magazines, and is a frequent contributor to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2. He regularly gives talks to societies up and down the country. When he finds the time, Guy is currently working on his PhD at Newcastle University under the supervision of Professor Tim Kirk.
His wife, Annabel Venning, is also an author, and they live in Wiltshire in the southwest of England with their two children, William, 7, and Alice, 5. In his spare time, he is a keen player of croquet and pétanque. Further biographical information (most of it correct) can be found on the wikipedia.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea...REALLY bad in practice 15 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has, theoretically, a lot going for it. An alternative history of a Nazi Britain puppet state under the auspices of homegrown fascist Oswald Mosley.

What's not to like?

What's not to like, sadly, is the effort put forth by Guy Walters. I usually struggle on through any book, no matter how much it disappoints me, simply because, well, I don't know, it's rude not to.

But this is one of the few books that I've had to abandon.

The main reason is Walter's ludicrous portrayal of Mosley himself. Sadly for me, and Walters in the case of this review, I happened to read Robert Skidelsky's definate biography, "Oswald Mosley", before reading Walter's novel.

Whatever you views on Mosley, evil fascist/misguided genius/something in between, what anyone who has taken the time to look at Mosley's actual life will notice is that it is nothing like the absurd one-dimensional character put forward by Walters.

Walter's Mosley is nothing but an embarressing, hilariously Disney-esque villian in this book. The point that I stopped reading this hogwash was when Mosley commissioned a rape to futher his evil plans. Again, anyone who is objective and reads about Mosley through fact, as with the Skideldky biography, rather than very bad fiction, as with Walter's book, will know that this is poetic licence taken to ludicrous extremes.

Mosley is a complex character, admittedly, but to have such a scene, which is so far removed from Mosley's actual make-up, makes the rest of the book really not worth bothering about, especially as it's supposed to be "historical" fiction.

For anyone who is interested in Mosley, I would seriously suggest reading Skidelsky's biography. Then read Walter's book again.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly Disappointing 20 April 2004
First off, I'd like to start with a comment on the cover of this book....
Back in the 1970s the humourist Alan Coren once observed that books on the Nazis, golf and cats sold well. Hence his amusing book 'Golfing for Cats' complete with Nazi swastikas. I can't say whether books on cats or golf still do well, but I suspect books on the Nazis and the 'dark decade' of the 1930s still do.

Everytime somebody writes a book on the Nazis, or especially a "What if" book such as this, publishers will always paint the cover blood red and put a swastika, or some such derivative, on the front, and lots of people will go for this -- me included. After reading it I feel let-down.

I've given this "What if" book just one star because while the opening premise is wonderful, the setting is great, and a lot of the initial political set-up for the situation we find ourselves in as the novel starts has been well thought-out -- it just doesn't work at all. I had to force myself to finish the book.

The author is an ex- Times journalist who has done a lot of historical research. Despite this, there are a few schoolboy howlers in the book. For instance he has a ceremonial flypast of RAF Hurricanes and Spitfires in 1937 -- well before either aircraft flew operationally. However whilst irritating they don't really alter the novel itself.

No, this novel really comes unstuck in two main ways:

The first is in its chracterisation. This is rather dreadful. The characters are two-dimensional, and their actions are in some cases simply too unbelievable. A large number of them are real historical characters -- not long dead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Britain under fascism 21 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're interested in Britain during the second world war and the BUF/blackshirts then this is a good read. Can't take much of it seriously though. I didn't think Mosley was the psychopath described in this book, he modelled his views more on Italian fascism than German Nazism and not sure that most of the British public were aware of the murderous concentration camps in 1937? Nevertheless a good bit of light reading about Britain under a rather nasty totalitarian regime. Good cover too!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ripping Yarn of the Highest Order 5 July 2004
Rarely are books written like this any more, The Leader by Guy Waletrs heavily resembles one of those short stories written for Boys Own type annuals and is none the worse for this. The setting to the book is quite convincing (notably Mosely's rise to power, Churchill was in reality only persuaded against forming a Kings Party at the last minuite) but more importantly (and some previous reviewers have overlooked this) it was entertaining and gave the book a real sense of urgency, it is rare in these post modern times to have a real goody to root for versus a defined baddy. The novel was written in a delightfully old fashioned style with the vile Facists versus the plucky War heroes of WWI and whilst some seem to have found this offensive I found it delightfully nostalgic. I have read this book in 3 days unable to put it down and i shall certainly be buying Guy Walters other book The Traitor.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A bit silly 12 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Liked the concept of this but the reality was all a bit silly and was a bit of a boy's own romp. The preceding Guy Walters book was better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a new author
guy walters is of course not a new author, but he is to me. now I,m searching for all he has written and he has found a new friend
Published on 1 Dec 2009 by Sean
3.0 out of 5 stars The cult of personality rising above policy.
This thriller falls into the `what if?' category of fiction. In this case, in 1936 Edward VIII defied all advice and opinion and refused to give up his throne or Mrs Simpson. Read more
Published on 24 May 2008 by R. Nicholson-morton
3.0 out of 5 stars What price 24 eh ?
Read a few of Guy's books and this is by far the best. Almost a 1930s version of 24 ! I keep expecting Jack Bauer to make an enterance. Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2006 by R. Parry
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!!!
The idea is brilliant, the characterisation is good and the plot is so much a page turner that my page edges are knackered.
Published on 12 Aug 2005
1.0 out of 5 stars Inept style, poor characterisation - don't buy it
Having read a number of other "what if?" books on a similar theme I waslooking forward to this book. Read more
Published on 27 April 2004 by Hull reader
4.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner
I read Walters' first book when he was being touted as the next robert Harris and enjoyed it. But in this book about Britain under a fascist Prime Minister (hence the title) he... Read more
Published on 29 Mar 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Really rather good...
I ordered this book having enjoyed Walters' first novel 'The Traitor'. Whilst awaiting its arrival I read the review by a 'reader in Glasgow' below and was slightly worried that... Read more
Published on 3 Dec 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Y a w n - I'll say that again: YAWN
I bought this over the net because I am fascinated with the 30s and the idea of British fascism. But what a disappointment! Read more
Published on 21 Nov 2003
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