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Hitler's War (The War That Came Early, Book One) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 4, 2009

3.2 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the War That Came Early Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alternate historian Turtledove (The Man with the Iron Heart) brings the deprivations of war to life in this vision of a very different WWII. After Konrad Henlein is assassinated in Czechoslovakia in 1938, France and England refuse to condone Hitler's plans for annexation, so he invades instead. American Peggy Druce, caught behind the lines, gets a firsthand look at the period military hardware and nationalistic mindsets that Turtledove so expertly describes, though readers looking for more characterization or plotting may be disappointed. Action in the Spanish Civil War and on the Mongolian border muddy the waters, possibly setting up for a clearer plot in subsequent volumes. Until Turtledove reveals more of the direction this scenario will take, there is little to differentiate it from many of his other novels. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for Harry Turtledove’s previous works:

“A magisterial saga of an alternate America. . . . A profoundly thoughtful masterpiece of alternate history.”
—Booklist, on Man with the Iron Heart

“Turtledove’s latest proves that the third time is the charm.”
—Publishers Weekly, on The Grapple

“A fascinating and enthralling work that will grab and keep reader interest.”
—SFRevu.com, on The Grapple

“Turtledove is the standard bearer for alternate history.”
—USA Today

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345491823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345491824
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #963,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Swanson VINE VOICE on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Harry Turtledove, dubbed by some as "the master of alternate history" is at it again. This time it's in the book "Hitler's War", a book that's clearly the start of (yet another), alternate history based around World War II.

The point of departure this time concerns a Spaniard, Sanjurjo, who died in our world but survived in this one. That somehow leads to a Czech assassination of a leading Nazi, which means that, rather than Hitler getting Czechoslovakia as a form of appeasement, he instead has to go to a war that neither he nor the allies are really prepared for.

What follows are the usual multiple POV characters, the standard blood and gore and, for Turtledove at least, a remarkable lack of semi-graphic sex-scenes. We see the war through the eyes of Americans fighting the Spanish Civil War, an American Marine legation in Peking, soldiers on all sides and an American woman stranded in Berlin. Of course there's also the requisite Jewish POV character and a German U-Boat commander who, in this universe as well as ours, sinks a ship called the SS Athenia...

One problem I, and many fans have, is Turtledove's repetitiveness. Did you know, for example, that in the "Worldwar" series, Sam Yeager has false teeth from having the Spanish Flu back in 1918? It's true! You might not notice it since it gets mentioned in every single book. Also, Clarence Potter in the "Timeline 191" series speaks like a Yankee. Again, something you might not notice, since it gets mentioned in every book.

I actually don't have a huge problem with this when it's from book to book. After all, most of these are published a year apart from each other, so little reminders of various things are ok, and it's only an issue when reading them as a group.
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Format: Hardcover
For the past sixty years, the name "Munich" has been synonymous in the historical imagination with the craven surrender of Czechoslovakian territory in return for a peace settlement that proved illusory. But what if it had turned out differently? What if, instead of postponing the Second World War for a year, the conference in Munich between the European leaders had failed? What if war broke out over Czechoslovakia instead of Poland? This is the premise of Harry Turtledove's latest alternate history series.

In it, Turtledove tries something new; instead of positing a single point of divergence, he imagines two: the avoidance of the plane crash in 1936 that killed the Spanish general Jose Sanjurjo and allowed Francisco Franco to take over Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War, and the assassination of Sudeten German leader Konrad Heinlein in the midst of the Munich Conference. Turtledove uses these to create a different Second World War, one in which Germany begins the conflict without some of the advantages they would enjoy a year later, and with the Soviets fighting against the Nazis from the outset.

In narrating this conflict the author uses his usual technique of using the experiences of a series of fictional soldiers and civilians to depict events. While some fans will find this familiarity comforting, it gives the distinct sense of the novel as nothing more than another by-the-numbers alternate history work in the Turtledove mold, with little outside of the premise that is original. This would matter less if the book were up to his earlier standards, yet it is not. Character development is particularly lacking.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think I'll stop reading Turtledove entirely. He's fallen into a lousy habit of repeating himself to "pad" the volume. He must be paid by the word: and they should cut his pay for repeats. Every scene in this book seems to start, or end, with someone lighting up and complaining about the quality of the tobacco. Multiply by about 30 times, and you get really irritated. Well, readers now know that the Ju87 is a slow plane, because he has the characters repeat it a dozen times. Etc. Etc. Guy needs a new shtick.
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Format: Paperback
What if World War Two broke out a year earlier, during the Czech Crisis of 1938? That is the premise of Harry Turtledove's new alternate history novel, Hitler's War. Germany invades Czechoslovakia in September 1938. As a result, Britain, France and the Soviet Union declare war on Germany. Poland more fearful of Stalin than Hitler, ends up going to war against the Soviet Union.

I found this novel an enjoyable read. There are a few subtle differences in the politics of the time. For example, although the Soviet Union is fighting against the Nazis, they are not quite allies with Britain and France.

The action takes place mainly in Europe, with a bit of attention given to the Japan and the Soviet Union's ambitions in the Far East. There is a rarely a dull moment in the storyline, which is a real roller coaster ride, with a large cast of characters.

Unfortunately, which such an vast amount of characters, it is hard for the author to go too much in-depth about each one, but as this is the first volume of series, I am sure we will learn a lot more about them, in future installments.
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