From "the master of alternate history" comes a new trilogy that reimagines a mid-20th century in which General MacArthur, without bothering to consult President Truman, detonates nuclear warheads in several Manchurian cities after China enters the Korean War. In his acclaimed novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove has scrutinized the twisted soul of the 20th century, from the forces that set World War I in motion to the rise of fascism in the decades that followed. Now this masterly storyteller turns his eyes to the aftermath of World War II and asks: In an era of nuclear posturing, what if the Cold War had suddenly turned hot?
©2015 Harry Turtledove (P)2015 Recorded Books
Unlike many alternate history novels, this one was believable and made me care about the characters. There are some glaring historical inaccuracies that undermine the plausibility of the plot, and the issue of Soviet spies was really downplayed, but those sins can be overlooked.
A typical Turtledove effort, chock full of filler designed to stretch an interesting concept into three or more book. Turtledove lavishes time on scenes of ordering beer or planting crops while major cities are blasted into atoms in a paragraph or less.
If you've read a Turtledove book or two you've read this paint-by-numbers instalment.
The story was incredibly interesting. I liked how the author plays with with short period in history where MAD was not quite established, but very much in people's minds. I felt that the author sacrifices deeper involvement in each character for having as many points of view as possible. Characters often repeat experiences without adding to our understanding of the situation.
He sounds a bit like my grandfather after a scotch and just wants to go to bed. Each voice that portrayed distress sounded exactly the same and he got a bit annoying after a while.
Harry Turtledove has a lot of wonderful ideas about alternative history. However, there are many parts of this book where it seems as though he got bored mid paragraph and wanted to end it so that he could move on with his life. He then rapidly ends a story arch without any buildup, like when Captain John McIntyre left MASH. I was often left wondering "what in the world just happened," without any desire to go back and listen to it again.
Hmmm... this is a tough question to answer, probably not. Im going to give the next book in the series a chance and I can probably answer better. Its interesting premise, but I would have liked more depth in terms of explaining the conflict vs. repetitive experiences of different characters just in different places. I also would have liked more depth on the characters feelings about their part in the war. Truman for example basically is just like F it lets start a nuclear holocaust.... its interesting, but don't expect this to make you think too deeply.
If you're expecting alternate history that is going to make you think deeply about what might have been this is NOT the book for you. If you want to listen to a summer blockbuster then this is for you. Its entertaining, its just not what I expected, I thought it was going to be a little smarter and make me think.
So I was hesitant to start another Turtledove book as I thought "supervolcano" was awful.
But this was good. A bit like Clancy's "Red Storm Rising" but in the 50's with Atom bombs!
My only complaint is that it has so many characters and location I wished it was announced when a scene changes. Occasionally hard to follow in audible format due to that. I will be listening to the 2nd part "Fallout" as soon as I finish the new Star Wars novel!
This seems to be the start to another great Harry Turtledove series. The characters will be familiar as they are in all of his books but if your like me and wish you could re read some of them this is a great book.
I enjoyed the authors other novels when I was a teenager and found this to be a very worthwhile and entertaining listen. Performed perfectly and written with the same attention to detail that I came to appreciate as a younger reader. A couple of decades on and the quality of his work has only improved.
Turtledove is really the only alternative history I've read. Hot War relates well to his World War series. The overall mood is darker, perhaps, without the levity of alien invasion to break up the scenes of combat and refugees plights. It's a more adult take with many parallels in today's world.
I cracked up when one of the characters makes a comment about how there should be books where one thing is different and it changes the entire story...
For a book about nuclear war it really didn't. There is some graphic language but nothing I found too extreme. Emotionally it's a roller coaster but it avoids some of the truly awful things you might expect to find in such a book.
I just wish the narrator would have paused a bit between charater changes. that was the only down side great book great fun to listen to. scary as hell.
I'm guessing this is the start of another turtledovology. I don't think he's done a good job with the true horror that cold war going hot would have been,
The book was written in third person with little dialog. The narrator did not really change inflection when switching between the multiple characters and sub plots. I was confused for most of the book. Also, the author didn't find a very effective ending.
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