Fatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War. It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler's 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin's most prestigious suburb.
As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth - a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history
©1992 Robert Harris (P)2014 AudioGo Ltd. Published by Random House Audiobooks
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"Not the counterfactual I'd been hoping for"
The strapline for this novel "What if Hitler had won?" is misleading. I bought this hoping that it might be a counterfactual or work of speculative fiction such as Christian Nation by Frederic C. Rich, or the grandfather of all speculative fictions George Orwell's 1984, or even something like Time And Again by Ben Elton. Each of these deals with that "What if...?" question thoroughly and in a way that makes it the focus of the narrative. In Fatherland, we get a half decent whodunnit that just happens to be set in a post WWII Germany where the Nazi's had won. Not enough of what that would have meant to Europe and the rest of the world was explored. There were some nods to the relationship a victorious post-war Germany might have had with other governments, but these were incidental to the plot. To have lived up to the premise, these would have needed to have been explored in much more depth. Basically, this story could have been set in Germany during the war, or in any despotic surveillance society in the present (think N Korea, China, Thailand) and remained essentially unchanged. So, for a politically tinged crime thriller, it's an ok read. For a meditation on what might have become of Europe and the world had Hitler indeed won, this fails to live up to the advertising.
loved the story but really needed fleshing out the plot and characters just that bit more. Still a great listen though
"I liked the idea of it but so boring"
the concept of the book was good but the story was very boring could not blame the narrator for that I would recommend man in the high Castle instead .
"Formidable story, gripping and frighteningly realistic"
I remember seeing a movie about alternative history, world in which Germany won the war and Hitler triumphed with his sick ideas and philosophy. Great Reich without Poland, Russia, Baltic States and all other Slavic countries. And without Jews.
Now I found a book on which that movie was based. And the story is much more terrifying and only now I realise that movie didn't do it justice.
Germany 1960s. Grey world full of uniformed people, buildings bigger and talked then anywhere else and in their shadows police investigation. One corpse leads to another, and another, and another. An American journalist, an officer of SS, friends, traitors, corruption, betrayal, death. And at the fringes, slowly coming to the front, dug out from the past the terrible truth: what has happened to all the Jews from Europe.
Gripping. And terrifyingly good.
An amazing story ,set in an alternate chilling history. The depth of characters and the descriptive settings really do conjure up a frightening alternate Europe, with Berlin being the jewel in the crown of nazi germany that is desperately trying to rewrite the past . If you like your history and fancy a twist that is not to farfetched then this is the book for you .
A decent journey to be sure, often interesting and gripping at times, but it's a film noir story and suffers from the sameness of the genre; fine, but nothing to write home about
"Reads like a vintage Le Carre"
The alternate history only provides the platform on which is built an excellent story of subterfuge and pursuit. This is not a WWII novel- it is much more a Cold War novel of Le Carre - think of A Small Town In Germany. Jayston is terrific as always - and this is altogether a dark and thought provoking listen - particularly so in these dark times...
Totally absorbing story. Fantastically written and the orator is exceptional.
The story starts slow and builds pace and excitement. I'm gutted the story has finished.
If you've not read/listened to this, you're in for an absorbing treat.
Imagined with such conviction that it becomes alive and true. A powerful novel from a great writer.
"A brilliant way to bring history to life"
A brilliant way to bring history to life. A gripping detective story set in one of the biggest real crimes ever committed.
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