Customer Reviews


20 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good story
How Few Remain is an Alternative History novel, about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. The American Civil War is the second most popular alternative History SF setting (the first is WWII) and a particular interest of Harry Turtledove cf the Guns of the South. This one has a far more credible reason for the South winning, the failure of McLellan...
Published on 11 Dec. 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Third Sidewise Award for Alternate History Winner
Set twenty years after the American South seceded, How Few Remain looks at the second war between the Union and the Confederacy. At the end of the novel, the status quo seems to have been maintained. The book reads like background material for Turtledove's Great War series.
Winner of the third Sidewise Award for Alternate History
Published on 6 Nov. 1998


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good story, 11 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
How Few Remain is an Alternative History novel, about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. The American Civil War is the second most popular alternative History SF setting (the first is WWII) and a particular interest of Harry Turtledove cf the Guns of the South. This one has a far more credible reason for the South winning, the failure of McLellan to intercept Lee's battle plans during the Antietam campaign and Lee's victory there followed by foriegn recognition of the CSA. All of this is dealt with in the first few pages and is credible enough. But it's 1881, 20 years later, that is the focus of the book. At this point the CSA looks likely to acquire two Mexican provinces and thus gain a Pacific coastline. In order to stop this the USA goes to war.
Like most of Turtledove's books, the story unfolds from the viewpoint of a number of characters, in this case they're all historical characters. What's more we have George Armstrong Custer, JEB Stuart, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Abraham Lincoln as viewpoint characters, all of whom died during the war or, in Custer and Lincoln's case, as a result of it. It's sort of fun to see them in 1881 meeting such people as Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Schlieffen (two more of the viewpoint characters.) It's also fun to see how Turtledove deals with how they would have coped in the world of 1881.
This is the major difference between this book and other alternative Southern Victory books. 1881 is the cusp of the modern world, a world with weapons of mass slaughter, industrial unrest, etc. The war the CSA fights in 1881 is very different to the war of 1861, which was bloody enough, because now every soldier on both sides has a repeating rifle. As such it resembles WWI more than the ACW. This is a foretelling of what is to come and indeed Harry Turtledove has written a series of sequels covering WWI wherein both the CSA and USA get involved.
This is more than just a prequel to the Great War series though. The book is well written, grabs your attention from the beginning and unfolds a story that is all too credible. This book is worth reading on its own merits and I reccomend it to anyone interested in the ACW, WWI, Turtledove's writing or just a really good story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every element of great alternative history, 28 July 2004
By 
MarkK (Phoenix, AZ, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: How Few Remain (Paperback)
This book is an example of alternative history at its best. To me, there are two elements to great alternative history. The first and most obvious is that the writer gets the history "right" - not accurate, of course, but believable. "Pure" alternative history is about what might have been; as such it should be reasonably plausible, with people and developments that must ring true to their times. Here Turtledove excels, demonstrating both imagination and a familiarity with the period. His sequence of events in developing a "second War Between the States" is logical, and he captures famous personalities - such as Abraham Lincoln, "Stonewall" Jackson, and Samuel Clemens - with considerable accuracy, portraying figures that are recognizably the same people that we know from our past.
Yet the people he depicts are more than just caricatures of historical reputations. This gets to the other component of first-rate works from the genre - strong character development. Within the context of a second conflict between the two halves of the former United States (over the acquisition of Mexican territory by the Confederacy), the reader sees them as they react to the circumstances of the war and how the war, in turn changes them. It is this aspect which makes the book riveting from beginning to end and essential reading for anyone interested in exploring how things might have turned out differently.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Few will remain un-entertained by How Few Remain!, 28 Jan. 2003
By 
Joseph F. Leoce Jr. (Staten Island, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How Few Remain (Paperback)
As a fan of historical fiction, I have also become a fan of alternate historical fiction. In How Few Remain, Harry Turtledove weaves a plausible and entertaining yarn in which the 2nd United States Civil War is waged in 1881-1882.
For me, the inclusion of historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, George Armstrong Custer, Theodore Roosevelt, Samuel Clemens ( aka Mark Twain ), Fredeick Douglass, Generals Jackson (Stonewall ) and Longstreet, William Tecumseh Sherman, Jeb Stuart, Geronimo and more add a rich flavor to the tale. Following these characters to their likely(?) destinations based on this alternate history is a lot of fun. The battles depicted seem possible and the employment of the more advanced weaponry and tactics available at the time provide food for thought. European allies...from the end of the first war to this second...are of importance, though their exploits don't earn as much detail in the book as they probaly should. The political motivations of the times and the characters are quite interesting and add elements that shed light on the original conflict as well as this imagined aftermath. One British customer/reviewer was upset at the treatment of the British in the book. My opinion is that as the ally of the Confederate States of America, which may be perceived as the villainous side in this story, it's possible that a British reader may feel some negativity in their depiction. For my part, I don't think that the British are treated poorly and, in fact, pull off a highly professional and successful raid that any military fan would be impressed with. This book is followed by Turtledove's Great War series and I for one am anxious to follow his entertaining path.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good story, 30 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: How Few Remain (Hardcover)
How Few Remain is an Alternative History novel, about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. The American Civil War is the second most popular alternative History SF setting (the first is WWII) and a particular interest of Harry Turtledove cf the Guns of the South. This one has a far more credible reason for the South winning, the failure of McLellan to intercept Lee's battle plans during the Antietam campaign and Lee's victory there followed by foriegn recognition of the CSA. All of this is dealt with in the first few pages and is credible enough. But it's 1881, 20 years later, that is the focus of the book. At this point the CSA looks likely to acquire two Mexican provinces and thus gain a Pacific coastline. In order to stop this the USA goes to war.
Like most of Turtledove's books, the story unfolds from the viewpoint of a number of characters, in this case they're all historical characters. What's more we have George Armstrong Custer, JEB Stuart, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Abraham Lincoln as viewpoint characters, all of whom died during the war or, in Custer and Lincoln's case, as a result of it. It's sort of fun to see them in 1881 meeting such people as Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Schlieffen (two more of the viewpoint characters.) It's also fun to see how Turtledove deals with how they would have coped in the world of 1881.
This is the major difference between this book and other alternative Southern Victory books. 1881 is the cusp of the modern world, a world with weapons of mass slaughter, industrial unrest, etc. The war the CSA fights in 1881 is very different to the war of 1861, which was bloody enough, because now every soldier on both sides has a repeating rifle. As such it resembles WWI more than the ACW. This is a foretelling of what is to come and indeed Harry Turtledove has written a series of sequels covering WWI wherein both the CSA and USA get involved.
This is more than just a prequel to the Great War series though. The book is well written, grabs your attention from the beginning and unfolds a story that is all too credible. This book is worth reading on its own merits and I reccomend it to anyone interested in the ACW, WWI, Turtledove's writing or just a really good story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably Turtledove's Best, 21 Sept. 2006
By 
Kevin Kissell (Somewhere in France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How Few Remain (Paperback)
I was introduced to Turtledove by a friend who was a colleague of his when he was still teaching history at UCLA. That was with the "World War" series, which is a lot of fun, if a bit silly. "How Few Remain" has the downside of having started the interminable Great War/American Empire/Return Engagement series, with their dismal characterization and mindless parallels of the historical 20th century, but taken on its own, How Few Remain is the best thing of Turtledove's I've ever read. In particular, his treatment of Abraham Lincoln is superb - much of what he has Lincoln say in the 1880s was in fact lifted from speeches and letters from before he became president, so they ring perfectly true to character, and at the same time illuminate how far ahead of his time Lincoln was as a social thinker. If only Turtledove would use this sort of technique more often, instead of just churning out repetitive prose!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contains every element of great alt history, 25 July 2004
By 
MarkK (Phoenix, AZ, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: How Few Remain (Hardcover)
This book is an example of alternative history at its best. To me, there are two elements to great alternative history. The first and most obvious is that the writer gets the history 'right' - not accurate, of course, but believable. 'Pure' alternative history is about what might have been; as such it should be reasonably plausible, with people and developments that must ring true to their times. Here Turtledove excels, demonstrating both imagination and a familiarity with the period. His sequence of events in developing a 'second War Between the States' is logical, and he captures famous personalities - such as Abraham Lincoln, 'Stonewall' Jackson, and Samuel Clemens - with considerable accuracy, portraying figures that are recognizably the same people known from American history.
Yet the people he depicts are more than just caricatures of historical reputations. This gets to the other component of first-rate works from the genre - strong character development. Within the context of a second conflict between the two halves of the former United States (over the acquisition of Mexican territory by the Confederacy), the reader sees them as they react to the circumstances of the war and how the war, in turn changes them. It is this aspect which makes the book riveting from beginning to end and essential reading for anyone interested in exploring how things might have turned out differently.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Alternate History Novel, 4 July 2007
By 
J.Flood (Dublin,Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How Few Remain (Paperback)
How Few Remain is about a fictional second American Civil War (the Confederates having one the first in 1863) set in 1881. The war kicks off, as the Confederacy tries to purchase two large provinces off the Empire of Mexico, in a bid to expand westwards to the Pacific. The U.S. wants to stop this from happening.

There is a wide range of characters in the book, mostly real people, e.g General Custer, Theodore Roosevelt, General 'Stonewall' Jackson etc, and a few fictional ones thrown in as well.

The book is fairly well paced, and there is quite a lot of action going on, in many parts of the continent, to go along with the diplomacy in both Washington and Richmond. I found the book an enjoyable read, and I would highly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars USA vs Confederacy: Round 2, 29 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: How Few Remain (Paperback)
"How Few Remain" is an alternate-history novel detailing an 1880's war between the USA and Confederate States of America (and their British and French allies), twenty years after the CSA won the American Civil War. It's got the usual contrived meetings ("Abe Lincoln, meet Teddy Roosevelt") but it's padding-free and well detailed. Apart from the minor niggles (The British are either cliche'd or underwritten, depending how you look at it, and the French are omitted altogether), its major fault is it's hugely one-sided (The CSA antagonists are all capable and guileful, the USA ones are either well-meaning incompetents or...well, just incompetent). Having said that, the book is still plausible and the prose is well written. Detailed, intruiging and engrossing, "How Few Remain" holds up well as a stand-alone book or as a taster for his later same-alternate-world Great War series. Recommended for lovers of military historical fiction, alternate-world buffs, or anybody who's ever wondered "What if...?"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Turtledove masterpiece, 21 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: How Few Remain (Paperback)
A long novel that details the characters really well. Perhaps I am biased because I am a great fan of the books that Harry Turtledove writes. A good and interesting alternative to the American history from after the civil war heading to the Great War 1914 - 18. If you enjoy a story that has great depth, perhaps at times too much so, this is the one for you but be warned it will only wet the appetite to continue onto the other books in the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific introduction to a new series, 20 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: How Few Remain (Paperback)
This is an imaginative look at a second war between the States, twenty years after the Confederacy wins the first one. This one starts over a proposed Confederate States territory expansion that the US wants to prevent. The action follows several separate story lines spread out over different theaters of the conflict. A varied and interesting blend of characters from US history play starring roles - Stonewall Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Jeb Stuart, Abraham Lincoln and Geronimo to name a few. Sam Clemens, in the role of a newspaperman, offers a sort of running commentary that ties everything together.
Minor complaint - the author constantly refers to "the British and French" as almost a two headed monster that supports the CSA against the USA. The US seems to greatly fear this combination but the French don't appear in the story at all. The British play a bigger role, but I sort of wonder why they're so strongly anti-USA in this timeline (they even go so far as to sack a US city just to rob the mint!)
All in all I enjoyed this book very much and it left me eagerly awaiting the sequel(s), in which these two foes face off again in World War I.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

How Few Remain
How Few Remain by Harry Turtledove (Paperback - 16 July 1998)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews