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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2000
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. Having seen Hollywood's latest rewriting of History where an American submarine crew do what the British actually did, having heard that the Americans are about to escape from Colditz in a new Hollywood film, something they never did 60 years ago (but, again, the British did), I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to see the USA inventing Tanks. But I find it unforgivable. Tanks were a British invention, a very secret British invention and the idea that both the USA and Britain could simultaneously develop Tanks... well it's ridiculous. It would have been far better to have had the CSA deploy Tanks in America first, having got them from their British Ally.
That's the main reason I downgraded my review to 3 instead of 4. Also annoying, though acceptable, are the tantalising hints of what is happening in Europe. Italy stays neutral, the Irish Rebellion continues past Easter as the rebels are armed by the USA and the French lose Verdun. The last is the first major indication of how a Western front lacking the Canadians and some British would go different to how it went. On the other hand, the Blockade of Germany still continues and that was crucial in winning the war. Though I complain about this, I find it fascinating and really do want to see what will happen. I will by the next book.
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on 26 July 2016
With the second part of the "Great War" trilogy, Harry Turtledove takes us deeper into the alternate universe, reuniting us with familiar faces from across the divide in this conflict. My one issue from last time about not enough from the Canadian front was tackled somewhat by this book and I am hoping that he keeps it up with some more in the final volume of this trilogy.
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on 3 October 2013
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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on 19 April 2012
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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on 28 August 1999
"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..." Oh well, I suppose those of us who eagerly await each of Turtledove's new alternate history novels know he's not Tolstoy. And we don't care. "Walk in Hell" is not for people who demand tight dialog and great narrative storytelling. But for those of us interested in history, as well as intellegent speculation about what easily could have been, "Walk in Hell" and its predecessors are as good as gold. I can't wait for the next one!
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on 26 August 1999
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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on 26 September 2000
Turtledove has made the second installment of his Great War series much better than the first. Before the author had the attention mostly focusing on the war in the trenches and the sea, this time he focuses on the different troubles the two American states are having. The CSA has a coloureed uprising and the USA has a Mormon uprising. He also changes the course of the war with the USA no longer winning near enough hands down against the CSA and Canada but having to azctually fight for the territory they hold. He does spoil it by talking of the old general, the woman who owns the coffeeshop and the woman whose husband has gone to war as they are rather boring and merely slow the novel down. I persoanlly am rooting for the CSA as I would like to discover what would happen if they did win the war because they no longer exist and it will be a test for Turtledoves skills to make it convincing enough to be believed.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 August 2004
In "The Great War: Walk in Hell," Harry Turtledove continues his tale of an alternate world in which the United States and Confederate States fight the "war to end all wars." From the vantage point of the characters he introduced in The Great War: American Front (The Great War), the reader follows events from the fall of 1915 - with the sides deadlocked in a bloody stalemate and facing rebellions at home - to the end of 1916. Though some characters are better defined than others, the overall depictions are strong enough to sustain a reader's interest throughout the novel. Together their experiences convey the grinding misery of the conflict, with the deaths of a couple of his main characters effectively underlining the tragedy of war. As a result, while suffering from some of the drag inherent in any middle novel of a series that seeks to sustain action without reaching conclusion, "Walk in Hell" is an entertaining read and a good addition to his developing tetralogy.
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on 12 August 1999
I thoroughly enjoyed this second volume and I'm excited and somewhat frustrated at having to wait another year for the third. Still the characters shifting locations provides additonal light on how the war is going on all fronts. I look forward to getting a look at how the South American war is going first hand as Sam Carsten and the USS Dakota are heading there. I hope maybe a character could go into Europe to provide a more in depth look into that war. Also a question: Why did the US flag in the begining have 34 stars before Kentucky returned? I believe it should've been 33. Still a wonderful novel recommended to all history lovers! Go USA!
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on 11 August 1999
In the second volume of his alternate history of World War I Harry Turtledove continues to intrigue and delight me. As a 15th generation Southerner and descendant of 7 Confederate soldiers, I cannot help but be a little delighted by Turtledove's alternate world with a CSA twice victorious over the USA. But reading these books has helped me to further recognize the positive role the USA has played in the twentieth century of our own world. Turtledove's world is poorer and bloodier than our world. Would I trade worlds and go to live in his? Not a chance, but I'll continue to enjoy reading about his.
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