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Trinity's Child Paperback – 17 Jan 1985

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Paperback, 17 Jan 1985
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown UK Paperbacks; New edition edition (17 Jan. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722170335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722170335
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Adlington on 26 Jan. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the best works of fiction I have read for some time and well deserves reprinting. The Russians, unable to keep up with American military expenditure in the late 80's decide to launch a limited nuclear strike to even the odds. As soon as the strike is launched they contact the American President to explain their actions and give them the chance to retaliate in kind to cause a similar amount of damage. Unfortunately this goes wrong and with millions of dead and communications down it seems that the world is sliding out of control towards full nuclear war and armageddon.

Prochnau takes us through the detail of how nuclear war starts, and even how both sides hoped to manage it with sufficient detail to keep you interested, and horrified in what our elected leaders had in mind for our world back then at the height of the cold war. Where his writing skill comes in is the way in which he makes this readable, entertaining and compelling at the same time. He doesn't dwell on the damage, horror or suffering caused by the bombs but the reader will still understand fully what has happened around the world by seeing it through the eyes of the politicians and military leaders who are trying to win or contain the war. The human side of this inhuman conflict is put across by focussing on the crew of Polar Bear One, an American B52 bomber scrambled only moments before their base is destroyed by a nuclear missile. We are taken on a disturbing and intimate ride through the minds and lives of this bomber crew who know full well what they are expected to do with their nuclear weapons over Russia and that they will not return from their one way, suicide mission.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luke on 14 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
I never read war stories but this was strongly recommended to me by a trusted friend. This is a book to read in one long session. I couldn't bear to put it down until the end. The story is basically a realistic portrait of what would happen in the event of a nuclear war. Not the aftermath but the confusion and madness surrounding the build up and initial attacks, and it is the most frightening book I have ever read. From the misunderstandings, chaos and ministarial stupidity leading up to the outbreak through to the mindless pilots flying off to Russia to carry out a bombing raid from which they'll never return this is a dark doom laden book but thouroughly gripping.
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Format: Paperback
This is the original book that was made into the film "By Dawn's Early Light". The story is similar, but was simplified slightly in the film, and has some slight differences.

The book aims to describe a realistic sequence of events that could lead to a escalating nuclear exchange between the USA and the USSR (as it was during the 1980s when the story is set). The focus is on the American commanders who respond to a surprise Russian attack, and the crew of a B-52 bomber that is scrambled when the first wave of missiles is detected. The story essentially moves between the two sets of characters, demonstrating how things could quickly get out of control, explaining the way in which the two forces existed in a state of stalemate based on the hope that neither would ever actually push the 'big red button'.

The story is incredibly tense and will keep you reading to see how events unfold. For me the most memorable parts of the book are the attitudes of the various servicemen and women who know that they are going to die as a result of their actions, but carry out their duties anyway. It might be a slightly outdated story now, but it's a very powerful one.
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Format: Paperback
Been after this book for years - after seeing the film on tv ' by dawns early light'; really wanted to read the book. although seems a bit dated 'the cold war' - I found it a very good read, which developed characters greatly as well as the 'tempo' of the situation. would greatly recommend for the children of the 'cold war'
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Good Story..poorly researched 15 Jun. 2002
By William Moreland - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Having grown up during the cold war and having flown more than 3,000 hours in B-52's, I'd been searching for this book for while.
The characters are shallow stereotypes.
The portrayl of the B-52 crew was comical. The constant references to "PRP" and "Are you EWO ready?" are ridiculous. The ability of the crew to see fighters on their navigation radar as well as nuclear clouds was also entertaining, though far from reality.
If you can set aside the poor research and the character stereotypes, the book is a good story that moves along. My expiernce in the B-52 made the book's flaws difficult to miss.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An unlikely scenario 24 Nov. 2003
By Jack Purcell - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Apocalypse books from the Cold War years should probably constitute a genre. The well written ones such as Dr.Strangelove, et al embody a reality of the 20th Century no less real because we didn't manage to inflict it upon ourselves. Although the books of this genre represent an anachronism, they don't forfeit their claim to a place on the bookshelf.
Trinity's Child is a relative latecomer in this regard. The scenario was a bit hackneyed by the time Prochnau wrote the yarn, but it serves as a time capsule to the almost forgotten fears of the early 1980s when a segment of the US population believed the military buildup of the Reagan years might drive the USSR to indulge in a preemptive nuclear strike. Many authors during those years chose to transmit their concerns to the public by writing plots involving alternatives to MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).
In Trinity's Child the Soviets choose the unlikely method of a limited nuclear strike against military targets in the US. This attempt to de-escalate the Cold War is accompanied by a message to the President of the US from the Soviet Premier. The Premier explains the motives and offers to accept a similar launch from the US without retaliating. The book is a classic demonstration of how far-fetched the workings of the human mind can wander while motivated by fear.
The Soviet plan soon runs awry when a misguided missile finds its way into the Washington suburbs. Prochnau follows the members of a B-52 crew from Cheyenne Mountain along their route, the presidential succession process through the ranks of politicos down to the Secretary of the Environment and the Strategic Air Command when it loses command and control as a result of magnetic pulses.
The book is an interesting read. The wild-eyed scenario is subdued by the knowledge that all this didn't happen, allowing readers to enjoy the aspersions cast on politicians and the interactions of a bomber crew torn by personal loss and self-doubt.
I'd give this one a recommendation limited to readers who've enjoyed similar books
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Dated, but disturbing 10 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Although the plot of the book is only passable, the real strong-point lies in the intense imagery it creates. From the glowing red radiation clouds in the serene Arctic night to the pock-marked landscape of Hawaii, Prochnau makes you see how utterly terrifying even a limited nuclear-exchange could be. In addition, he does a wonderful job of conveying the helplessness and desperation a nation would go through during such a horrific event.
The book gets points off for an almost silly excuse for starting the war (although I'll certainly grant it's plausible, just seemingly very far-fetched from a 2002 perspective).
Otherwise, a very exciting read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Truly a Book of the Cold War 6 Nov. 2012
By Grey Wolffe - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those under thirty, this books will be a head scratcher. Probably a good idea to go watch "Fail Safe" and "Dr.Strangelove..." before you read to give you a psychological background as to what is going on. I tried explaining to my daughter and her friends (about ten years ago) what it was like to grow up during the Cold War. The feelings of ultimate danger showing up over the horizon at any moment and the vaporizing of everyone you knew and loved in a matter of minutes. It's almost impossible to explain our fear of the Soviet Union to children who have grown up since the fall of the wall and communism in 1989. As an example, it's much easier to understand the fear of the Great Depression now that we've gone though the Great Recession. It's harder to explain the greedy times of the 1990s, to kids whose parents have lost their jobs and their houses.

So, even though this is a great representation of the fears of my teenage years, it's as dated as a mullet cut.

Zeb Kantrowitz
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Cold war excitment 19 Mar. 2012
By Roy - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A flash back to the thrilling days of the cold war. It could have been like this any day back then. The story really moves along from first word to last.White Ivory From The Museum: A Novel
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