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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First of a two-part alternative history of Pearl Harbour
This is the first of a pair of gripping alternative history novels which explore the possibility that Japan might have backed up the air strikes on Pearl Harbour with a land invasion.

The sequel is called "End of the Beginning."

This is the fourth alternative version of World War II which Turtledove has written. He has previously done stories with...
Published on 9 Mar 2007 by Marshall Lord

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Hawaii is what God made after doing Paradise for practice."
What if the Japanese, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, had followed up with a land attack? This is the premise under which historian Harry Turtledove writes this novel of alternate history. Presenting a plausible scenario in which the Japanese follow up their Pearl Harbor attack with a land assault, Turtledove depicts them coming over mountainous terrain in the...
Published on 13 Nov 2005 by Mary Whipple


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Hawaii is what God made after doing Paradise for practice.", 13 Nov 2005
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Days of Infamy (Mass Market Paperback)
What if the Japanese, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, had followed up with a land attack? This is the premise under which historian Harry Turtledove writes this novel of alternate history. Presenting a plausible scenario in which the Japanese follow up their Pearl Harbor attack with a land assault, Turtledove depicts them coming over mountainous terrain in the north, surprising the decimated American army. At the same time, the Japanese continue bombing civilian areas of Honolulu, occupy Oahu, and bring it under Japanese Imperial rule.
Focusing on the various groups involved in or affected by this occupation, Turtledove presents characters representing the Japanese naval forces, American army officers, a Japanese-Hawaiian family (where the father, an immigrant, supports the Japanese while his sons consider themselves American), American naval officers sent to Hawaii after the Pearl Harbor attack, an American teacher living under the occupation, a surfer-dude who continues to surf, the Hawaiian Royal Family, a young navy pilot who loses family members in a Japanese raid on San Francisco, and American marines preparing to retake the island.
In 1941, Hawaiians of Japanese descent represented one-third of Hawaii's population, so Turtledove's premise that some Japanese might have supported an occupation is plausible, though not realistic. The vast majority of Hawaiian Japanese were already part of a well-integrated, multicultural society and considered themselves Americans first. In addition, Turtledove's depiction of the starvation of the population, the torture of POWs, the deliberate bombing of civilians, the brutal "justice" enforced upon the population, the imposition of Japanese codes of behavior (including bowing to soldiers), and the intolerance of failure (and the need for atonement, including suicide, in some cases) are so foreign to Hawaiian culture that it is difficult to imagine any Hawaiians supporting the occupation.
The horrors of the supposed occupation of Oahu are graphically depicted, but they are stories familiar to anyone who has read about the Japanese occupation of China and other areas of the South Pacific. The Japanese military characters feel and act like stereotypes, as do the American military characters and those civilians who find themselves trying to stay alive under the occupation. The most interesting character is that of Prince Stanley Owana Laanui, a member of the Hawaiian royal family who becomes a puppet ruler. Though Turtledove hints at a possible conclusion to this novel, he never develops it, ending the novel prematurely. A sequel, if one is written, could resolve the loose ends of the plot and tie together the innumerable characters. (3.5 stars) Mary Whipple
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who would have thought a war could be so boring?, 11 Feb 2005
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Days of Infamy (Hardcover)
Having plundered World War II three times already, Harry Turtledove decides to go to the well once again with Days of Infamy. This time, he goes to the Pacific Ocean, and wonders what would have happened if the Japanese had followed up their attack on Pearl Harbor with an invasion of Hawaii. It's an interesting concept, but Turtledove is uncharacteristically dull in the exploration. This book was an active chore to get through.
The attack on Pearl Harbor happens much the same way as it did in the real history, so much so that Turtledove basically ignores it except in broad strokes. The only change in the beginning of the book is that Japanese Commander Genda persuades Admiral Yamamoto to convince the Army generals that an invasion force should accompany the task force. Once the attack has happened, though, things start to get interesting. Hawaii is quickly captured as the Americans are unable to muster much of a defense. They do make a heroic stand, however, before finally surrendering. The rest of the book details life on the occupied islands, as well as introducing two characters further on in the book who give us the viewpoint of Americans who will be involved in the eventual re-taking of the islands. In the course of the plot, Turtledove gives us a pilot who was shot down in the initial attack and is now a prisoner of war, a soldier who is also a POW, his estranged wife who has to live in an occupied city on Oahu, a surfer bum, and a Japanese family who have been living on the island for many years.
The father, Jiro Takahashi, is an older Japanese man who will always consider himself Japanese. He welcomes the invasion. His sons have been Americanized, which causes a lot of family tension. We are also given an assortment of Japanese military characters who are in various positions, though interestingly all of them are in the navy or are pilots from aircraft carriers. We do not see the Japanese army point of view at all (though, in wonderful Turtledove fashion, we are told many, *many* times that the navy and the army don't get along).
As usual, Turtledove does very well with the battle scenes. When the fighting is going on, Turtledove is hard to beat, though he does include a very silly scene where two surfers are caught out in the water between the American defenders and the oncoming Japanese invasion force. Don't worry, that scene is not included gratuitously. It's an ongoing character moment for the surfer bum, Oscar Van Der Kirk, who talks many times of how he had an accident in his shorts during the incident. The rest of the battle scenes are vivid and exciting, and even tragic as the Japanese wave just continues to wash over the islands with the American soldiers trying desperately to halt it, at least for a little while.
Unfortunately, this battle ends fairly early in the book, giving us many interminable scenes of life on the occupied islands. With the exception of the rare occurrence, all of these scenes are almost exactly the same. We see Jiro and his sons, who argue (or fume silently) about their disagreement over whether the invasion was a good thing. If we see Jane Armitage living in an occupied city, we're going to hear about how they have to grow what little they can to supplement their meager rations (we may read her thoughts on the execution she witnessed, too). The scenes of the two POWs are almost the same, except the navy pilot's scenes also include repetition of how one man who only cares about himself has to be watched because he might sneak away from the work team, despite the Japanese promise to kill the rest of the team if anybody leaves. Otherwise, they all talk about how hungry they are.
Yes, Harry, we *get* it! Life under occupation really stinks and it's almost impossible to survive on what little food you are given. It's a valid issue, but come on! Let's get the story moving, please? The only time the story moves forward at all is when the Japanese characters are on the page, planning either the attack or how to defend the islands from an imminent attack. That could be why they are also the most interesting characters in the book. The Americans are given a couple of hooks to place a story on and then sent on their way, but the Japanese are pretty well done. I could have done without the constant repetition (yes, I know this is getting repetitive) of how the POWs were sub-human and had no honour because they had surrendered, so they should consider themselves lucky for what meager supplies they received. Again, a valid point, driven into the ground.
Finally, I do have to give Turtledove credit for two things. First, he mostly avoids the embarrassing sex scene (there is one, but it's not too bad and it actually builds a character a little bit). Secondly, there's a bit of misdirection that I had to laugh at. At the beginning, Fletch Armitage is introduced by saying he's extremely pale and he burns easily in the tropics. I almost threw the book against the wall because we had yet *another* character like this! However, there is only one other mention of this throughout the entire book. You got me, Harry. Good job.
Days of Infamy is a great concept for a novel, but it is tedium interrupted by a few good battle scenes. I usually blaze through a Turtledove book no matter how bad it is because the plot, at least, keeps me moving through it. This one, I felt I was running in place throughout the book. Only the page numbers told me I was getting anywhere. That's not a good way to keep somebody reading.
David Roy
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First of a two-part alternative history of Pearl Harbour, 9 Mar 2007
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Days of Infamy (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the first of a pair of gripping alternative history novels which explore the possibility that Japan might have backed up the air strikes on Pearl Harbour with a land invasion.

The sequel is called "End of the Beginning."

This is the fourth alternative version of World War II which Turtledove has written. He has previously done stories with aliens from Tau Ceti invading in 1942, (the Worldwar series) a parallel history following pretty much the real track, in a world where technology uses magic rather than engineering (Darkness/Derlavi/World at War series) and an alternative World War II in a history following a Rebel victory in the US Civil War, which has the same roles as in the historical WWII carried out by different people (Settling Accounts).

Having done so many alternative versions of World War II, you would think he would find it impossible to say anything new about them or maintain the reader's interest. Judging by other reviews, some readers do indeed have that problem, and I expected to be one of them, but from the moment I picked up this book I found myself hooked.

Turtledove suggests that the Imperial Japanese forces would have treated the inhabitants of Hawaii with the same ruthless cruelty they dealt out to other people who fell under their control, such as the luckless people of Nanking. This is all too plausible. He weaves a story of how this might have affected the people who lived under their regime, from American Prisoners of War, U.S. and Hawaiian civilians, to Hawaiian residents of Japanese origin.

Turtledove's account of how the conflict might have left this latter group torn between conflicting loyalties is presented through the story of a family in which the father, who was born in Japan, welcomes the invasion and blames the death of his wife (killed by a Japanese bomb) on the Americans for resisting: his sons continue to identify with the American side and blame the Japanese attackers for their mother's death.

For the reasons hinted at above, I nearly didn't read this book, but I'm very glad I gave in to the temptation to do so. If you liked most of Turtledove's other books, you will almost certainly like this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Days of Infamy, 15 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Days of Infamy (Mass Market Paperback)
This was bought by me for my husband who collects Harry Turtledove books. He is highly delighted with it. I will soon be purchasing more of these books as gifts
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3.0 out of 5 stars zzzzzzz, 31 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Days of Infamy (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read a number of harry turtledove books and loved each one
but i believe turtledove failed to bring the same kind of feel to this one
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good WW2 alternate history novel, 1 Mar 2010
By 
J.Flood (Dublin,Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Days of Infamy (Mass Market Paperback)
Days of Infamy is set on Hawaii, in December 1941. In this story the Japanese follow up their airborne attack on Pearl Harbour, with a land invasion. I thought it was a gripping and exciting read, for the most part. The battle scenes, both in the air and on land are very vividly described, and the author seems to know his stuff, with regards to the planes, tanks, guns etc., that were used at this time.

The book is not quite as exciting, when the fighting ends, but is still quite interesting, as you wonder how the inhabitants of the island, and in particular the American POWs, will cope under Japanese rule. I look forward to reading the sequel.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 28 Nov 2009
By 
S. J. Oyns-wilson "S.J.Oyns-Wilson" (Hemsworth England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Days of Infamy (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is another great read from Mr.Turtledove.
He always delivers a superb read and keeps you wanting more and more.
You will not be disapointed.
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Days of Infamy
Days of Infamy by Harry Turtledove (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Nov 2005)
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