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[ Dominion ] [ DOMINION ] BY Sansom, C. J. ( AUTHOR ) Oct-25-2012 HardCover Hardcover – 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 1,279 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2012
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Mantle; hardcover edition (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DDT490C
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,279 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,359,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

1st edition 4th print hardcover fine book in fine dw condition. In stock shipped from our UK warehouse

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a great admirer of Sansom's Shardlake novels. He has a thorough understanding of Tudor England and his stories set in that era are wonderful to read. This novel is a considerable change for him.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a "what might have been" novel - what might have happened had Churchill not gained power at a critical moment and the government continued a policy of appeasement. It is set in 1952, 12 years after a treaty is made with Germany. In the intervening years Britain has become an authoritarian state which increasingly collaborates with the German Nazi government. There has also been a growing British Resistance under Churchill. The main characters are highlighted against this backdrop as they become part of a web to prevent critical information from falling into the hands of the Germans.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a bit of a let down. Alternative historical perspective is reasonably good. I think Beaverbrook did have delusions of grandeur sufficient to want to be PM. I am not quite sure Churchill would have been much value as an underground resistance leader but not completely implausible.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the Shardlake books, and enjoyed Winter in Madrid. Though this had enough in it to keep me going to the end, it never really gripped me. It is set in post world war 2 Britain in which a peace treaty with Germany has been signed, allowing an insidious and growing German occupation. Living standards are declining, and persecution and removal of Jews is gathering pace. Ihe essence of the plot is that an emotionally damaged scientist learns something deadly and secret from his brother, a scientist working on the American development of the atom bomb,who is injured after being pushed out of a window, and returns to America. This secret must not be revealed, and the book follows the attempts by a remarkably well organised British resistance to return the man to the Americans before the Germans get him. Much time, effort and some deaths occur on doing this. But what is the secret? Nothing the Americans don't know, as it came from the brother who is back with them. The quickest way to prevent the Germans finding out would be for the man to die, but he is prevented from hanging himself by a resistance minder. In the end, he and a few goodies get to an American submarine waiting to take them away, but only after a very unconvincing gun battle with an SS squad on Rottingdean beach. A reasonable read, but please let's have some more Shardlake.
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