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The Great War: Walk in Hell: Walk in Hell v. 2 Hardcover – 6 Jan 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (6 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340715472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340715475
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 24.2 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,644,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Harry Turtledove marches on through history with The Great War: Walk in Hell. In his alternate timeline, the Confederate States of America won the Civil War, aided by Britain and France. In the 1880s (How Few Remain), Americans fought again after the CSA acquired parts of Mexico--and the CSA won again. When World War One begins with Archduke Ferdinand's assassination in 1914 (The Great War: American Front), the 34-state USA under Teddy Roosevelt allies with Imperial Germany and Austria against Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Canada and Woodrow Wilson's CSA. Trenches divide Canada, fierce fighting rages from Tennessee and Kentucky into Pennsylvania, a Mormon uprising against the USA consumes Utah, and a black socialist rebellion distracts the CSA, where slavery has ended but blacks still await full citizenship.

Walk in Hell takes us from autumn, 1915, through 1916. Soldiers, sailors and airmen continue the fight, but much happens behind the lines too. Turtledove's characters include Jewish immigrants who are socialist and antiwar, a widow running a coffee house in CSA-occupied Washington, DC, who passes information to the USA, and two Canadian farmers living under US occupation in Quebec and Manitoba. He vividly conveys the human side of war. When Joe Hammerschmitt gets a shoulder wound in the Virginia trenches:

...pain warred with exultation on his long, thin face. Exultation won. "Got me a hometowner, looks like," he said happily. Half the men up there with him made sympathetic noises; the other half looked frankly jealous. Hammerschmitt was going to be out of the firing line for weeks, maybe months, to come, and they still risked not just death but horrible mutilation every day.
Some find Turtledove's cast too large, the story's action too slow. Others complain that Walk in Hell is too similar to his Worldwar series. Alternate history buffs, however, will marvel at his mastery of detail, enjoy following his logic as he pursues military and social developments onward in time, and find it hard to wait for the next in the series. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


[A] masterpiece ... This is state-of-the-art alternate history, nothing less ... With shocking vividness, Turtledove demonstrates the extreme fragility of our modern world, and how much of it depends on a United States of America

With shocking vividness, Turtledove demonstrates the extreme fragility of our modern world . . . This is state-of-the-art alternate history, nothing less (Publishers Weekly on HOW FEW REMAIN))

Publishers Weekly ( for The Great War: American Front which was chosen as on of The Best Books of 1998)

Turtledove plays heady games with actual history, scattering object lessons and bitter ironies along the way. Strong, complex characters against a sweeping alt-historical background. (Kirkus Reviews on RETURN ENGAGEMENTS)

"A cast of thousands with a plot to match ... a wealth of fascinating speculation"
Kirkus Reviews

Good fun. It has an authentic speculative quality, energy and dash. (Time Out on A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE)

Engrossing ... definitely the work of one of alternate history's authentic modern masters . . . totally fascinating. (Booklist on THE GREAT WAR series)

"The definitive alternate-history saga of its time"
Booklist (starred review)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
OK, I found this book both fascinating and annoying. Fascinating because I've always been interested in the great "What ifs" in History and they don't come much greater than the Great War. Annoying for a number of reasons I'll detail soon. Assuming you've read the first book but are yet to read this one I'll attempt to review this without spoiling the story.
The action goes on into late 1916 so we're through nearly half the war by the end of the volume. The storytelling is fascinating, showing the action develop largely from the viewpoint of those who are fighting the war. In keeping with both Turtledove's writing style and the nature of the War, a number of pivotal characters die in this volume and I'm expecting some more to go in the next two. Don't take anyone for granted here. Extra characters are introduced and there are a few cameo appearances from people who fought in the First World War but didn't become famous till WWII. The rebellions in both the USA and CSA are drawn to a close and here it is that I have my first problem. For the CSA deal with their rebellion entirely too sensibly for my tastes. In the USA the Mormons are dealt with the way you'd expect a nation to deal with a rebellion during wartime - viciously and stupidly, the same way we dealt with the Irish Rebellion in 1916. But the CSA seems to come over all sensible and this doesn't really make sense. Why are the CSA behaving better than all the other powers? This is the first problem I have.
The second is with the introduction of Tanks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An enthralling novel in another series by Harry Turtledove. In depth story lines with believable characters. Another good read written by a master of his craft. The length of his books provide good value for money.
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Format: Paperback
The second book in the Great War trilogy but the third book in the eleven book series fantasizing about what might have happened had the South won the American Civil war.

I am commited to reading the entire eleven volume epic (I have already bought them all) back-to-back and I am already starting to flag.

Like all series of books there has to be a recap of the story so far. I suppose this is something that publishers insist upon and that's fine provided it is done in a separate chapter which can be skipped or skimmed if you've just read the previous book. In this case the author has chosen to incorporate the recap into the story which, because there are so many characters whose stories are essentially unconnected, is still going on 100 pages into the book. Very annoying.

Overall the book is quite good but just didn't grab my attention in as many places as the previous books in the series.

The next book awaits - onwards and hopefully upwards.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Great War - Walk in Hell" is the third novel in Harry Turtledove's series about an alternate history following Confederate victory in the American Civil War, and the second describing an alternate World War I in which the USA and CSA are again at war. Like its predecessors "How Few Remain" and "The Great War - American Front", "Walk in Hell" presents a completely fascinating and beleivable exploration of the 50 years after 1862 as they could have been. The political, economic, historical, and social extrapolations are expert and wonderful to behold. At times, when reading these books, I find myself forgetting which world I inhabit. It's Trademark Turtledove at his best. Unfortunately, it's also Trademark Turtledove at its worst. Like many of Turtledove's books, "Walk in Hell" is told by randomly jumping among literally dozens of characters, some of whom are so similar to each other as to be virtually indistinguishable. Few are fleshed out enough to make us care a fig for what happens to them, and each section ends by leaving two or three side stories hanging in the wind. As a result the narrative flow and dramatic power of the novel is weak. Also, since Turtledove appears to dislike the gimmick of having his historic background presented in nice faux encyclopedia articles or pseudo newspaper accounts,the entire background is told through the eyes and lips of his characters. This often results in unrealistic lines like, "Hey Sarge, now that weve destroyed that Rebel machine gun, I've been wondering how come the German navy couldn't break through the British blockade back in August and attack Argentine shipping in the south Atlantic, thereby helping out our Chilean allies...Read more ›
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By A Customer on 26 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Hary Turtledove may be the most amazing author working today. Earlier this year he brought us the next book in the WorldWar series, and now in August we have the next book in the Great War series. Turtledove gives us many different characters in this book, and though some say it's too many, I would disagree! Each character is fully fleshed out, with their own unique story and personality. My personal favorites are Flora Hamburger, Anne Collelton, and General Custer. How great is it for Turtledove to bring us Custer, who in our world dies shortly after the Civil War, fighting the South in the Great War. This book kept me turning the pages all night long. The Red revolt is fascinating, as is the character of McSweeny, with his rightous flame-thrower! I love the introduction of the barrels, it's done so well. And also to finally meet the widow Semproch's former love was very nice. I wish, however, that Turtledove hadn't done away with Jeb Stuart III, but it makes perfect sense. Lastly, there is the character of Jonathan Moss, the flying ace. As he sees friend after friend shot down, Turtledove really lets the reader feel the loss. And see if you don't want to grab a gun and charge into battle after the Yankees execute a certain young Franc-tireur. I can't wait for the next one. Will the newly mobilized blacks help turn the tide? Will Anne have her revenge? And what horrible new weapons of war will be introduced? Mr. Turtledove, I eagerly await.
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