[ Dominion ] [ DOMINION ] BY Sansom, C. J. ( AUTHOR ) Oct-25-2012 HardCover Hardcover – 2012
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1st edition 4th print hardcover fine book in fine dw condition. In stock shipped from our UK warehouse
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Top Customer Reviews
The story, what he calls an "alternate history", is set in 1952 (the year of his birth and - as it happens - mine). Britain had negotiated a peace treaty with Hitler in 1940. The war in the west ended then, though it lumbered on in the east. By 1952 Russia and Germany are still at war. But Britain is run by a pro-treaty government which has outlawed the opposition. Germany is Britain's closest ally. The government has become more and more authoritarian. At the time the story is set, all British Jews are being rounded up with the aim of sending them to eastern Europe to be gassed. Churchill, the leader of the resistance, is a wanted man, running from large country house to large country house to escape the Special Branch. The British police willingly give their assistance to the SS. British subjects are routinely taken to the basement of the German embassy to be tortured.
Against that background we meet the story's main characters. Frank Muncaster is a slightly unhinged geologist whose brother, a scientist working in America on secret weapons, blurts out something to Frank about the work he is doing in America. Frank is horrified. He pushes his brother through a window and, as a result, is dragged off to a lunatic asylum. David Fitzgerald is Frank's only real friend from university days. He is a civil servant. He has worked for the resistance for a couple of years, copying secret documents. When his relationship with Frank is discovered the resistance enlists his help in getting Frank out of the asylum before the Germans get hold of him. The adventure is on its way.Read more ›
This is not a Shardlake novel, don't start reading it thinking it is going to be an exquisitely crafted Tudor murder mystery. This is an equally well crafted but thought provoking book which requires the reader to imagine an alternative history for Britain and it is Sansom's alternative history, not the reader's. From the many divided reviews about this book one can see that Sansom's ideas about how history might have panned out are not to everybody's taste. Sansom has placed real historical figures into his revised landscape and readers are going to have widely differing opinions as to whether these characters should occupy these places and propound the ideologies that are given to them in this alternate history.
But if you can abandon yourself to Sansom's alternate history you can find a provocative read that is steeped in the gloom and desperation of his revised landscape just like the Great Smog of 1952 which looms evocatively in the plot. The characters are flawed and real, fanatics and pacifists, they grow and shrink as they are buffeted by the events. It makes for a real and desperate world which you leave at the end of the book with a sigh of relief that it is only what might have been and not what did happen.
However what lets the book down are the crass characterisation and the weak central concept of an important secret which is neither important enough to set off the manhunt or really very secret. As an example of the repetitive characterisation Frank is continuously introduced by reference to his rictus grin. It's the Enid Blyton approach to writing about people.
Also could have done with some more judicious editing probably 30 or 40 pages too long. The Kindle edition doesn't know whether to spell Beaverbrook as Beaver brook or even Beaver-brook.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had been looking forward to reading this book for quite awhile. I had read a synopsis and it seemed just the kind of book that would appeal to me .I enjoy 'what if' stories. Read morePublished 7 days ago by bibliophile
An easy read, without being an insult to the intelligence. From the very 1st page it will have you questioning the decisions that have been made, & appreciating the people that... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Nellie Walker
The premise of the story was really good, and it was clearly very well researched. I thought it was a little long and the end was a little too neat and tidy, but the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by woodywonder
C.J.Samsom never lets you down! The historical accuracy of his work takes you through everything you thought you knew about the subject and more. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
As a life-long pacifist, this work of fiction really got me thinking. Even though I got no definitive answers (and I still believe Pacifism is the right way to be) the questions... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peter Baldus