Customer Reviews


345 Reviews
5 star:
 (201)
4 star:
 (102)
3 star:
 (30)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (6)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


99 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're gonna read one book, read this...
I bought this book to read on a train journey home a few years ago. The journey lasted about an hour and a half, but I finally put the book down after reading the final word of the final page at 4am the next morning. Apart from showing my ticket to the conductor I don't think I talked to anyone in between. I was hooked. I even ignored the pretty brunette sat opposite...
Published on 4 Aug 2003 by jamesoles

versus
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good novel but a missed opportunity
Robert Harris takes us to Berlin in 1964, a German capital that is the cultural, social and economic centre of Europe. Architecturally, philosophically and socially the Nazis have made their mark through Europe applying their ideology to everything that stands in its path. There is a world wide detente with (presumably) three political superblocs USSR, the USA and...
Published on 15 Jun 1999


‹ Previous | 1 235 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

99 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're gonna read one book, read this..., 4 Aug 2003
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
I bought this book to read on a train journey home a few years ago. The journey lasted about an hour and a half, but I finally put the book down after reading the final word of the final page at 4am the next morning. Apart from showing my ticket to the conductor I don't think I talked to anyone in between. I was hooked. I even ignored the pretty brunette sat opposite me. Set in 1964, with Hitler having won the war and ruling over a Greater German Reich, a German policeman investigates a supposedly routine death and ends up uncovering a secret that some people will go to any length to protect. A great read that will leave an impact on you years after your first read.
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 A daunting prospect, 16 Dec 2009
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
What would the world be like if Germany had indeed won the Second World War? This is a topic which will be the subject of many alternative history novels for many decades to come as it such an intriguing yet appalling thought.

Robert Harris has created a world in which the USA and Germany are the two remaining superpowers locked in a cold war. Europe has been subdued and is governed by puppet rulers and Russia (or what is left of it) is engaged in a war of attrition with Germany in the Ural Mountains.

The story follows the life of a disillusioned police investigator in Berlin who stumbles into a deadly murder case which eventually reveals the involvement of powerful high ranking Nazi officials and state secrets surrounding the Holocaust.

Imagine a world where you can trust nobody, where every room and phone may be bugged, where photocopiers are strictly controlled and where modern art, alcohol, smoking and even religion are severely frowned upon. If you can imagine such a dreadful world, you are in Robert Harris's Berlin in the sixties.

This book is certainly fascinating, most people think of `what might have been' at one time or another, yet Robert Harris has created a world where Germany actually won the Second World War. However, the most daunting prospect when reading this book is realising that this could have happened. Germany could have won the Second World War in different circumstances, what if they had done?

Read this book and imagine a world where they had!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


58 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, thought-provoking, superb!, 2 Aug 2010
By 
Mr. Tony Griffiths "Griff" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
Follow following advice:-
1. Buy book
2. Open first page
3. Cancel plans to visit pub/work/eat/drink for approximately 2 days
4. Immerse in contents until final page read.
5. Tell your friends that this book is superb
6. Resume boring life...

Say no more. Brilliant.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking thriller, 23 July 2010
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
In this book Robert Harris describes vividly a world in which the Nazis won the Second World War and all of their grand schemes came to fruition. His attention to detail is what makes this work so well and feel so real. The Berlin of the sixties he describes is the one set out in Albert Speer, the Nazi architect's plans. The documents Zavi discovers are based on, and in some cases are, actual documents from the time, and the atmosphere and setting are just right because of it.

This is a tautly plotted, suspenseful thriller set in the Berlin of 1964, just as the Americans are due to enter into a period of detente with the Germans under the leadership of Joseph Kennedy. Zavi, the hero, a disillusioned cop with a broken marriage behind him, is called to investigate the death of what turns out to be a previously high ranking Nazi official from the early days of National Socialism. As he gets deeper into the investigation it becomes clear that this death is not as straightforward a matter as he previously suspected, and intrigue piles upon intrigue, resulting in a beautifully complex plot in which it becomes clear that Zavi is on shaky ground and knowing who to trust will make the difference between life and death.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic, 11 Mar 2001
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
Fatherland is like a blueprint on how to write the perfect novel - it's well-written, commercial, thought-provoking and resonated in my mind long after I'd finished it, and the fact that so much of the documentation is real is frightening. I've had three novels published and recently I've found it incredibly difficult to find books that I can't criticise - Fatherland is one of them. I couldn't put it down. The hero, March, is such a well-rounded character that he just won't leave my mind, I keep thinking about him and wanting to go back to the book and re-read parts. Harris's skill as a writer is masterly, the book is fabulously crafted and yet seems effortless: taut prose with not a word wasted, descriptions of Berlin woven into the (realistic) dialogue, suspense, conflict, believable characters with interesting human flaws, and a finale that leaves you kicking yourself that you didn't spot certain things along the way. The reviewers who have been critical of the ending must have no imagination - a novelist who has the guts to leave a little to the reader is paying them the greatest compliment - if Robert Harris had spelled it all out in words of one syllable as some people seem to have wanted him to, it would have cheapened the experience. This book is thrilling - READ IT! I'm off to hunt for Archangel and Enigma now, hope they're as good as this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good novel but a missed opportunity, 15 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
Robert Harris takes us to Berlin in 1964, a German capital that is the cultural, social and economic centre of Europe. Architecturally, philosophically and socially the Nazis have made their mark through Europe applying their ideology to everything that stands in its path. There is a world wide detente with (presumably) three political superblocs USSR, the USA and the Greater Germany.
This book addresses the old conundrum of how do you spy on the spys? Or in this instance how do you investigate the secret police especially when it is in an extrememely effective and efficiently run totalitarian state? The story takes us from a run of the mill accidental death to a crime that could bring the existence of this perfectly modelled aryan society to an end, not to mention world harmony.
This is a thriller that almost keeps the reader guesssing to the end. As thrillers go it is very good in its own genre but I did have a strong feeling of a missed opportunity. The totalitarian super state or the Nazis Europe concepts are not new - see Orwell and Deighton. There was one key missing factor in this book; and that is, at no point did I feel that I was reading a book about the 1960's.
For all of the work that Harris has done manufacturing the detail he has missed out on the back drop. All of the references and historical notes and even the people are taken from the 1930's as if nothing has happened from 1940 to 1964. Even in a totalitarian state attitudes, behaviour and points of view change both from governments and citizens. Harris will have us believe that the increased German state of the early 1960's is identical in character to the Germany of the 1930's.
Further embellishment and consideration as to how 30 years of change would have affected this dictatorship could have made this a great piece of fiction rather than a good novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great read as well as thought provoking, 7 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
Fatherland is a cracking good yarn, a highly readable story of political intrigue and personal secrets. The plot moves swiftly and intelligently, building to an ending which is both intriguing and awesomely plausible. Above all, Harris draws a fascinating and all too believable picture of a Europe reshaped and defined by German victory at the end of World War II, a vision which not only intrigues and reminds one that history could have been very different, but also reinforces the view that history is written by the winning side. While not great literature by any means, this is a thought provoking book, and seriously recommended for its readability.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 3 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
Alright so this has been around a while but its a book i always intended to read. A Genre classic; you knew it was going to be good from the first time you heard about it. The title intrigues, the plot is tight and can be explained in a single sentence while still reverberating with chilling possibilities. The author went on critical acclaim, the list of reasons goes on. The only question for me was, now I've got my grubby little paws on it, will it be as good as i think it is?

The year is 1964 and in one week it will be Adolf Hitler's 75 birthday. The Greater German Reich stretches from France to the Caspian Sea and East past Moscow into deepest Russia. What remains of the Europe we know is cowering under the shadow of the Nazi empire and Berlin is the monolithic monument of Albert Speir dreams. In the midst of this Socialist nightmare is Strumbanfurher Xavier March, our gruff, emotionally damaged protagonist who while not exactly towing the party line would still, none the less, like to go about his duties as quietly as possible. Now we all know that ain't gonna happen and from the moment he takes a call intended for his affable soft bodied colleague March is on a collision course with a deadly regime and histories darkest moments.

This is the first Robert Harris book I've read and i was very impressed with his clear, authoritative and unfussy style. The overall impression i had was of an author of high intelligence who has thoroughly researched his subject matter but who despite this was more than willing to take a back seat and let the details furnish the plot, not the other way round. The reality he describes is all the more chilling for its unspectacular plausibility and as he allows the plot to build slowly, the pressure gradually builds on our reluctant hero who knows that his conscience will not let him take any other course. The final chapters are breathless and i was up late into the night the day i finished it, in fact it was so good that i broke off writing this review half way through to read the end again!

So is there anything wrong with it? Well no not really, maybe the plot is a bit slow burn to begin with, some of the peripheral characters are pretty one dimensional and despite being pretty likable the female love interest comes straight out of the box marked 'spunky side kick' but these are minor niggles. Really this is a thriller which is superior in every way possible. It will not be the last Robert Harris book i read. If you've not read it, well lucky you, your in for a treat, for this really is one of the good ones!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 3 Aug 2007
This review is from: Fatherland (Audio CD)
This is a brooding adaptation of a good novel by Robert Harris and I would highly recommend it.

Anton Lesser is superb in the role of March, switching from the gentle, loving and violent and all points along the scale. The other characters also play their parts well too but I think he is key.

It is quite clear that the crew making this went for atmosphere and it shows. The use of real background noises and music managed to create something that sounds naturalisic but was the result of effort. From the opening scenes when the phone call which starts the whole story off chimes in with the music, there is such attention to detail.

The final moments are genuinely chilling.

It's an interesting take on "what might have been" if Hitler had won WWII and how America would have reacted. If you like a good thriller, I would recommend this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read, 28 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Fatherland (Paperback)
I thought Fatherland was an extremely well written , accurate and gripping account of a scenario that most of us could never imagine. The characters were life like and Robert Harris managed to make you feel like you had met the characters before. You felt that you were in their shoes and made every decision with them. I found this book impossible to put down ( to use an overworked cliche !) I thought the ending was particulary good and fitted in brilliantly with the rest of the book. The book was factually correct and used actual Nazi documents to fill out the story An excellent read that I would reccomend to anyone.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 235 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Fatherland: 20th Anniversary Edition
£3.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews