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Branch Point Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441002919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441002917
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,204,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ever have the fantasy of going back in time and fixing something from history? My own favorite is trying to prevent the Civil War. Branch Point takes that idea and gives it a twist -- the heroes prevent the nuclear war that (in their alternate future) came from the Cuban Missile Crisis, but then had to keep doing it again and again as the world insisted repeatedly on obliterating itself.
This book, like Overshoot, is probably of more interest to Boomers than younger folks, as much of its appeal comes from the heroes living through the '60s, early and late. I mean, what person now in his or her '40s did not, as a child, want to meet and talk with Jack Kennedy? The treatment of Kennedy, incidentally, is in considerable depth, depicting a realistic outgrowth of his less delightful characteristics as well as the Camelot image. The characters of Jeffrey and of the narrator's Russian lover also come clear and deep.
One of the twists to the story is when the last jump is made, and the last preventive fix is in place, and the book ends -- and you realize where YOU are living, compared to where the heroine now is. Less serious than Overshoot, Branch Point moves faster and is more of a lark.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mona Clee on January 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Since I wrote this book, I have to give it the same number of stars as my readers's average. :-) That said, I would like to point out that on pages 232-235, I briefly introduce the first black President of the United States, as a young child in the mid-1990's. Ladies and Gentlemen, on this day of Barack Obama's inauguration, I can only say: I LOVE being wrong. Please join me in hoping and praying that I'm just as wrong in my second book, Overshoot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By igj on September 24, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Crafting a book to be both idealistic and pessimistic seems like a tall order but Branch Point wrangles with both extreme outlooks. The human race's inability to escape the lure of nuclear destruction pervades this book-in Clee's vision, once we were armed ourselves with these weapons, we were doomed to use them But the notes of hope and grace that her characters express give the book the feel of an idealistic manifesto. Quite a nice balancing act. The addition of historical personages does not distract from the overall picture as in so many books. The private personas of the Kennedy brothers are deftly handled and help flesh out the stresses of the Cuban missile crisis. Although this is clearly the realm of science fiction, there is no science in the book. Scientists create a time machine, full stop. If you want to know how time machines work, pick another book. If you want see what people determined to prevent the earth's destruction do with such an invention, then pick up Branch Point.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll read any novel involving time travel or alternate worlds, but this one's at the top of my list. The depth of historical detail is impressive -- Clee certainly did her homework. As a San Franciscan, I thoroughly enjoyed how the final "branch point" in the book (no spoilers!) made use of a little-known but pivotal event in California history. The characters were vivid and believable (especially the narrator, Anna), the pacing of the story just brisk enough, and the book wound up with a very satisfying ending.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By absent_minded_prof on September 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "Branch Point," two young heroines and a hero live in the year 2062, in a parallel universe. In their universe, President John F. Kennedy severely miscalculated during the Cuban Missile Crisis. There was a catastrophic nuclear war in this universe, and pretty much all surface life was killed off, except for some lichens. The only human survivors are left inside an underground complex, which is simply called The Bunker. Fortunately, this bunker contains some real scientific geniuses, and they are eventually able to create a time machine. They use this time machine to send the three young people back to 1962, where they talk some sense into JFK. This conversation causes a "branch point," which makes the home universe of the three young people forever inaccessible to them, but at least creates a universe where there was no nuclear war. This new universe, incidentally, looks exactly like ours -- until the next time they need the time machine. They use the time machine to prevent war several times, and the branch points they exploit involve Bobby Kennedy's assassination in 1968, and in Russia, Boris Yeltsin's election by acclaim in 1991. Then, in 2013, there's another crisis looming...
Mona Clee has written a book for us about the most important things. Most of us, when we hear the phrase "the most important things," automatically think of some homey image of raising a family in the suburbs, or possibly a religious belief you hold dear, or, if you're incredibly far-seeing, maybe a charitable organization for feeding impoverished children across the world. Mona Clee helps us to see that we're missing the big picture by thinking this way. The most important thing to worry about is nuclear war. None of the other things we imagine to be important will even exist if there's a nuclear war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a time travel/alternate worlds book that is highly entertaining. The cover plug is right on about "beautiful, poetic prose" but the writing style is also very accessible and draws you right into the story. The book has a serious side in addition to the humor and to Clee's vivid re-creation of several period in recent (and not so recent) history. I hate books that are obviously written with sequels in mind, and this isn't one of them. Hopefully there will be one -- I spotted one place where I think Clee left the door open for a second book, not as free of the spectre of nuclear war as the one surviving main character would have wished.
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