Bombs Away

Narrated by: Henry Stozier
Series: Hot War, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (400 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Bombs Away

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting take on alt history

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

needs better pauses

Any additional comments?

I would like to see a little more of a pause between sections. Sometimes the narrator goes from one section to another, changing setting and characters, with hardly an intake of breath to indicate the change. It can be a little confusing.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

This Bomb's a dud

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.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Classic Turtledove

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed the book, but it is a little shallow

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Not surprised.

Any additional comments?

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

My Father taught in the Korean war.

My Father was in the Air Force, but was assigned to prepping the new bombers & fighters coming out of Northrop, Lockeed, & Boeing. I was 10 before he could say anything. Like in WWII women ferried some of the craft along with some older piolets. He heard stories & some interesting tidbits about MacArthur before President Harry S. Truman canned him. Like General Patton who wanted to chase the Russians out, MacArthur wanted to cross the river into China (no A Bombs were mentioned). No treaty was ever signed, just a stop at the 38th parallel. So we are technically still at war with North Korea.
So this alternate history changes when the river is crossed & A Bombs are thrown in. Oh & MacArthur keeps his job.
Turtledove & David Drake team up to make a great story. It has the usual multi-story that Harry is so famous for. The way people treat radiation is perfect for the time period. Joeseph & Mao are the same SONs along with the KGB & Chinese Secret Police. Korea takes a back seat, but is not forgotten. Other surprises will keep you glued to the story!
I ended up being a history/social science teacher so this story is fun/entertaining for me. On to book 2!

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Completely unrealistic, not an alternate history

If you know little or nothing about the true events underlying this period of history, then you might find this mildly entertaining. The premise is that history was drastically changed by Harry Truman's decision to go along with General Douglas MacArthur's recommendation to use atomic bombs against the Chinese communists when they entered the conflict as active combatants. History tells us that Truman rejected the use of Atomic bombs. The author of this book wants us to believe that Truman decided to go along with General MacArthur's advice and that one decision set the stage for the nuclear horror that follows on the subsequent pages.

In reality, that decision would not have had the far reaching effects portrayed in this book. Why? Because at the time that Truman was faced with that decision, the Soviet Union had a grand total of FIVE atomic bombs (the Chinese Communists had zero, the same as the rest of the communist states at the time). The author completely ignores this fact and had Stalin dropping Atomic bombs like he got them at a K-Mart blue light special! The Soviets did a great job at making NATO believe that they had more bombs than they actually did and that probably did a lot to keep the Cold War from going hot. It didn't take the Soviets long to increase their stockpile (less than a decade easily), but at the time of the events here, Stalin couldn't retaliate with more than a few Atomic bombs. He never would have blown his limited wad like that. Instead, he would have portrayed the U.S. as warmongers and the Soviets as a tolerant, peace loving government. If you're going to write an alternate history, at least be honest about such a major change (along with an explanation of how the Soviets magically amassed such an impressive stockpile in the blip of time that passed between their first successful test and the events of this story).

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Hard to listen to

The almost constant repetitive anti-Semitic language was rough. It was tough to tell which parts of that were the characters feelings and which part was the authors feelings.

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Uggggggg!

That was 17 hours of hoping it would get better! It never did. I had high hopes but they went up in a nuclear flash.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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jumps around

this book jumps around between a bunch of characters and their struggles. It really didn't cover strategies or leadership. I couldn't wait for the book to end.

1 person found this helpful