4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good idea...REALLY bad in practice,
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This review is from: The Leader (Paperback)
This book has, theoretically, a lot going for it. An alternative history of a Nazi Britain puppet state under the auspices of homegrown fascist Oswald Mosley.
What's not to like?
What's not to like, sadly, is the effort put forth by Guy Walters. I usually struggle on through any book, no matter how much it disappoints me, simply because, well, I don't know, it's rude not to.
But this is one of the few books that I've had to abandon.
The main reason is Walter's ludicrous portrayal of Mosley himself. Sadly for me, and Walters in the case of this review, I happened to read Robert Skidelsky's definate biography, "Oswald Mosley", before reading Walter's novel.
Whatever you views on Mosley, evil fascist/misguided genius/something in between, what anyone who has taken the time to look at Mosley's actual life will notice is that it is nothing like the absurd one-dimensional character put forward by Walters.
Walter's Mosley is nothing but an embarressing, hilariously Disney-esque villian in this book. The point that I stopped reading this hogwash was when Mosley commissioned a rape to futher his evil plans. Again, anyone who is objective and reads about Mosley through fact, as with the Skideldky biography, rather than very bad fiction, as with Walter's book, will know that this is poetic licence taken to ludicrous extremes.
Mosley is a complex character, admittedly, but to have such a scene, which is so far removed from Mosley's actual make-up, makes the rest of the book really not worth bothering about, especially as it's supposed to be "historical" fiction.
For anyone who is interested in Mosley, I would seriously suggest reading Skidelsky's biography. Then read Walter's book again. And then you'll see how such an intersting idea has been wasted by a writer like Walters who lazily went for sensationalism rather than subtly exploring all the possibilites such an interesting initial concept had to offer.