Sunday, August 16, 2009

New this Month: Hitler’s War by Harry Turtledove

There is something vaguely comforting about a Harry Turtledove alternative history. Turtledove has written many, many books and a lot of those books have been set in familiar times, but where some -- or even several -- of the elements have changed. To Turtledove, it seems, the world is a constant Sliding Doors of possibility.

Change one thing

Turtledove’s books are deeply inventive and well thought out but, on a certain level, they are not deeply different from each other. Therein lies the comfort. One can rely on Turtledove. He writes well and with confidence. He develops strong plots. Delivers well considered storylines.

Take the most recent entry, Hitler’s War (DelRey). The novel is predicated on a single question: what would have happened if Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had refused to allow Hitler to annex the Sudetenland? Again, change one thing and, like a kaleidoscope, everything looks different. One piece falls another way and all things are altered.

I enjoyed Hitler’s War. It is solid writing and classic Turtledove. The book didn’t move me greatly, but I didn’t expect it to. I’ve seldom been moved by this writer’s work. But Hitler’s War did make me think and I enjoyed all of the time I invested into this large book.

Turtledove hits it once more.

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