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The Big Switch: The War That Came Early, Book Three [Kindle Edition]

Harry Turtledove
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $27.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In 1941 Winston Churchill was Hitler’s worst enemy. Then a Nazi secret agent changed everything.
What if Neville Chamberlain, instead of appeasing Hitler, had stood up to him in 1938? Enraged, Hitler reacts by lashing out at the West, promising his soldiers that they will reach Paris by the new year. Instead, three years pass, and with his genocidal apparatus not fully in place, Hitler barely survives a coup, while Jews cling to survival, and England and France wonder whether the war is still worthwhile. The stage is set for World War II to unfold far differently from the history we know—courtesy of Harry Turtledove, wizard of “what if?,” in the continuation of his thrilling series: The War That Came Early.
Through the eyes of characters ranging from a brawling American serving with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain to a woman who has seen Hitler’s evil face-to-face, The Big Switch rolls relentlessly forward into 1941. As the Germans and their Polish allies slam into the gut of the Soviet Union in the west, Japan pummels away in the east. Meanwhile, in the trenches of France, French and Czech forces are outmanned but not outfought by their Nazi enemy. Then the stalemate is shattered. In England Winston Churchill dies suddenly, leaving the gray men wondering who their real enemy is. And as the USSR makes peace with Japan, the empire of the Rising Sun looks westward—its war with America about to begin.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Harry Turtledove's The War That Came Early: Coup d'Etat.

Books In This Series (6 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews


    “Turtledove is the standard-bearer for alternate history.”—USA Today
    Hitler’s War
    “[Turtledove’s] mastery of the ever-widening ripples that small changes make in history is unchallenged, his storytelling always gripping, and his research impeccable.”—Library Journal
    “Turtledove is always good, but this return to World War II . . . is genuinely brilliant. . . . The characterizations in particular bring the book to extraordinary life and will make most readers hope this is the beginning of another saga.”—Booklist
    West and East
    “There’s plenty to satisfy fans of military strategy, tactics, and armaments.”—Publishers Weekly

    From the Hardcover edition.

    About the Author

    Harry Turtledove is an award-winning and best-selling author of science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. His alternate-history works include The Guns of the South, How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel), The Man with the Iron Heart, the Worldwar saga, the Colonization books, and the Settling Accounts series.

    Former radio broadcaster Todd McLaren has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E and the History Channel; and films. His book narrations have earned him a prestigious Audie Award as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 2134 KB
    • Print Length: 433 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400115876
    • Publisher: Del Rey (July 19, 2011)
    • Sold by: Random House LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B004J4WL4G
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,776 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    3.8 out of 5 stars
    3.8 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars If WWII had started in 1938, continued July 30, 2011
    This is the third book in a series which speculates about what might have happened if World War II had started in 1938 after the Munich peace talks failed.

    The books in the series to date are:

    1) "Hitler's War"

    2) "West and East (War That Came Early)"

    3) This book, "The War that came early: the Big Switch"

    "The War that came early" is yet another alternative version of World War II from Harry Turtledove. It is quite astonishing that he can still find new perspectives from which to write about that war, but he does.

    In the opening paragraphs of the first book Turtledove made two changes in real history, and the first two volumes in the series work from there. First, in 1936 General Jose Sanjuro wasn't killed in a plane crash and consequently Sanjuro rather than Franco becomes leader of the Nationalist side in the Spanish civil war. Secondly, during the Munich negotiations, Henlein (leader of the Sudeten Germans) was assassinated, giving Hitler an excuse to press for even more punitive terms against Czechoslovakia.

    In this history Chamberlain and Daladier finally recognised that Hitler was determined on war, and suspected that he had actually ordered Henlein's murder himself. They found the spine to tell Hitler that if he invaded Czechoslovakia Britain and France would honour their obligations to the Czechs. Hitler did order the invasion of Czechoslovakia on the spot, and the war started a year earlier than in real history.
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars If you can't beat them . . . July 20, 2011
    Harry Turtledove's newest volume in his "War that Came Early" series picks up where his last book, The War That Came Early: West and East, left off with a war grinding on in the harsh winter of 1940. Both Germany and the Soviet Union find themselves facing two-front conflicts, and with the focus increasingly on the clash with each other, their leaders are willing to let go on the other front. For the Soviets, that means allowing Japanese triumphs in Siberia. For the Germans, however, a more radical move is attempted: convincing their opponents Britain and France to change sides and join the Nazis in their war against Communism. Yet as the prospects of an alliance grow increasingly likely, the question posed by Winston Churchill seems increasingly pertinent: can the proverbial lambs lie down with the Nazi lion, or are they just setting themselves up to be consumed in turn?

    Longtime fans of Turtledove's alternate history novels will find much that is familiar within the pages of his latest book, as he describes the experiences of a cast of characters struggling to survive in a world where history takes a dramatic new turn. Yet the series does not measure up to his best efforts. The main flaw here seems to be one of characterization: unlike his Timeline-191 series, which offered a range of characters from different backgrounds and positions, nearly all of the characters in this series are enlisted men fighting in the war he described. This has the unfortunate effect of homogenizing the people and the action, as well as creating a similarity of perspective that limits his ability to offer exposition of the broader events that define alternate history.
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    16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars storyline not believable ... August 23, 2011
    By Dahveed
    sorry, but as a longtime fan of Turtledove, I have come to rely on his insight into the machinations of humankind and his characters. whether relying on science fiction and fantasy like extraterrestrials and time travel, or simply taking a subtle change in history and exploring it to its logical conclusions, Turtledove made sense within the confines of his own writing.

    Here he takes a dynamic (European battle for hegemony and the longstanding uneasiness felt by the UK and France about Germany's rise and rearmament), and suddenly throws it under the bus and adopts this Big Switch. Makes no sense ... for one, the French were invaded and would not have jumped into bed with Hitler, for another, if the premise of the book is that Chamberlain had a backbone and stood up to Hitler in 1938, why would he suddenly join sides with him for no reason? Finally, the notion that UK and France would opt to join the military campaign against Russia rather than just seek an armistice and liberation of the Northern and Western European occupied countries, seems wholly unreasonable and fails the basic test of Turtledove readers: is this believable within the world created by the author?

    the answer, sadly, is no.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    Harry Turtledove has proven time and again that he's a really great storyteller, especially when it comes to working with history. Though he's written straight historical novels like Fort Pillow and (as H N Turteltaub), the Hellenic Traders series, he's best known for writing alternate history novels which frequently expand into massive series.

    The War that Came Early: The Big Switch, is the third in a series where World War II, well, comes early. For those not up on the series, it starts when France, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom stand up to Germany after the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938 rather than waiting until the invasion of Poland in 1939. The result is that the war begins before both sides are really ready.

    This leads to a very different sort of war than what we're used to. Fascists and Republicans continue to fight in Spain, Germany faces off against the UK and France (which does not fall as it did in our world), while also invading the Low Countries, Denmark and Norway, Japan invades Siberia and lays siege to Vladivostok, and Poland allies with Germany against Russia, leaving Germany no place to build their planned extermination camps. Something that would be hard to do anyhow, since Poland isn't interested in killing off their Jews. And through it all the United States sides on the sidelines and waits...

    As this book begins, it is 1940 and we get updated on the various characters from the previous books. These include an American civilian stuck in Stockholm, a British soldier on an island off Norway, a Russian pilot from the Caucasus, a Czech fighting in the French army, an American Jew fighting in Spain, a German panzer soldier, as Jewish woman living in Germany, an American Marine in Shanghai, a Japanese soldier in Siberia and others.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Alternate history by a master.
    I have read the entire series so far and am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
    Published 23 days ago by Larry Renger
    4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
    Turtledove work with his characters is outstanding, though the overall plot in this series does stretch the limits of possibilities.
    Published 26 days ago by Patricia VanWiltenburg
    3.0 out of 5 stars Not too shabby
    Not as good as some of Turtledove's other alternate history work, but still a solid read. I'm plugging along through the entire series at a little slower than a book a week.
    Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Simply love the book. Have bought and read the entire series.
    Published 1 month ago by Chris Knecht
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    a good read but need the whole series
    Published 2 months ago by charles
    5.0 out of 5 stars Turtledove IS the writer of history
    LOVE his books!!! And enthralled with this series!!
    Published 7 months ago by Pamela Jones
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Good job
    Published 8 months ago by Brock Beilstein
    3.0 out of 5 stars History gone bad
    I must admit to being a little disappointed with this book having read several others by the same author the best of which by a narrow margin was Guns for the south,
    Published 10 months ago by Adrian G. Moore
    3.0 out of 5 stars It helps the time go by.
    I enjoy this genre, But it is a little repetitious. I would recommend it just don't expect a whole lot out of it.
    Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Well fine
    I look forward to the next one. My only hope is the on and off soap opera pieces , keep their place.
    Published 16 months ago by Kathleen M. Neitzel
    Search Customer Reviews

    More About the Author

    Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

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