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Intriguing concept badly played out
on 21 August 2009
This is a very ingenious conceit -start the war in 1938 and speculate on what might happen...this is handled well,and with a convincing eye. The role of the French Army and the implciations for Spain are particulalry well done.
However, it is let down by Turtledove overdosing on his standard style of concentrating on the experiences of a host of characters from across the globe. This approach worked in the "Colonization" and the "American Empire/Settling Accounts" series because it was tempered with the view of real figures and some of the policy makers. In this volume the balance is very much on the fictitious participants and, goodness me, there are a lot. The consequence is you end up not caring because we get so little background. The other issue is one of language; he repeats the weaknesses of the "Colonisation" series of making non-Americans seem stereotyped and, well, silly in their speech. Brits say bloody a lot, French say "mon dieu!" etc, etc. Lazy writing.