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Hitler's War (The War That Came Early) Paperback – 22 Jun 2010

2.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; Reprint edition (22 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345491831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345491831
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,118,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"[Harry Turtledove's] mastery of the ever-widening ripples that small changes make in history is unchallenged, his storytelling always gripping, and his research impeccable."
--"Library Journal"
"Turtledove is always good, but this return to World War II . . . is genuinely brilliant. . . . The characterizations in particular bring the book to extraordinary life and will make most readers hope this is the beginning of another saga."
--"Booklist"
"Turtledove [is] the standard-bearer for alternate history."
--"USA Today
"

[Harry Turtledove s] mastery of the ever-widening ripples that small changes make in history is unchallenged, his storytelling always gripping, and his research impeccable.
"Library Journal"
Turtledove is always good, but this return to World War II . . . is genuinely brilliant. . . . The characterizations in particular bring the book to extraordinary life and will make most readers hope this is the beginning of another saga.
"Booklist"
Turtledove [is] the standard-bearer for alternate history.
"USA Today
""

Book Description

The master of alternative history asks the question, 'What would have happened if World War II had started in 1938?'. The results are thrilling. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a very ingenious conceit -start the war in 1938 and speculate on what might happen...this is handled well,and with a convincing eye. The role of the French Army and the implciations for Spain are particulalry well done.

However, it is let down by Turtledove overdosing on his standard style of concentrating on the experiences of a host of characters from across the globe. This approach worked in the "Colonization" and the "American Empire/Settling Accounts" series because it was tempered with the view of real figures and some of the policy makers. In this volume the balance is very much on the fictitious participants and, goodness me, there are a lot. The consequence is you end up not caring because we get so little background. The other issue is one of language; he repeats the weaknesses of the "Colonisation" series of making non-Americans seem stereotyped and, well, silly in their speech. Brits say bloody a lot, French say "mon dieu!" etc, etc. Lazy writing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In which World War II starts in 1938 after the Munich peace talks fail ...

This book kicks off yet another alternative version of World War II from Harry Turtledove, and I was quite astonished that he can still find new things to write about it, but he does and I found it an excellent read.

In the opening paragraphs of the book Turtledove makes two changes in real history, and works from there. First, in 1936 General Jose Sanjuro listens to the pilot who warns him not to overload their light plane with heavy trunks full of his uniforms. Consequently the plane does not crash, (as in real history it did) and Sanjuro rather than Franco becomes leader of the Nationalist side in the Spanish civil war.

Then during the Munich negotiations, news comes that the leader of the Sudeten Germans, Konrad Henlein, has been assassinated by a Czech. Hitler, wanting war, uses this as an excuse to press for even more punitive terms against Czechoslovakia in the hope that they will be rejected. Chamberlain and Daladier, finally recognising that Hitler is determined on war and suspecting that he had actually ordered Henlein's murder himself, tell the Germans that if they attack Czechoslovakia Britain and France will honour their obligations to the Czechs. Hitler orders the invasion of Czechoslovakia on the spot and the war starts a year early.

As usual for a Harry Turtledove book, the war is seen through the eyes of a large number of fictional viewpoint characters, one or more from each of the countries involved: these include an American woman caught in Prague by the outbreak of war, a Jewish family in Munich, a German panzer commander, stuka pilot, and U-Boat skipper, British and Japanese sergeants, a Czech corporal, etc.
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Format: Hardcover
For the past sixty years, the name "Munich" has been synonymous in the historical imagination with the craven surrender of Czechoslovakian territory in return for a peace settlement that proved illusory. But what if it had turned out differently? What if, instead of postponing the Second World War for a year, the conference in Munich between the European leaders had failed? What if war broke out over Czechoslovakia instead of Poland? This is the premise of Harry Turtledove's latest alternate history series.

In it, Turtledove tries something new; instead of positing a single point of divergence, he imagines two: the avoidance of the plane crash in 1936 that killed the Spanish general Jose Sanjurjo and allowed Francisco Franco to take over Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War, and the assassination of Sudeten German leader Konrad Heinlein in the midst of the Munich Conference. Turtledove uses these to create a different Second World War, one in which Germany begins the conflict without some of the advantages they would enjoy a year later, and with the Soviets fighting against the Nazis from the outset.

In narrating this conflict the author uses his usual technique of using the experiences of a series of fictional soldiers and civilians to depict events. While some fans will find this familiarity comforting, it gives the distinct sense of the novel as nothing more than another by-the-numbers alternate history work in the Turtledove mold, with little outside of the premise that is original. This would matter less if the book were up to his earlier standards, yet it is not. Character development is particularly lacking.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The minute I read the sentence describing how a French character could speak "good British English" I knew the book would be a challenge. Surely only software setup routines refer to "British English", not a character in 1938 Europe, let alone in the UK or Europe today.

I finally shut up shop just a few pages further on as an American character was given respite from walking on her bleeding feet when.... "Somebody gave her a pair of flats".

Sorry Harry, this is written in far too modern a style for my personal tastes, and reminds me of someone that has never ventured beyond the continental United States in his life. One whose diction and written style plus understanding of his own native tongue is far too localised for me to portray a convincing set of characters involved in war torn 1930's Europe.
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