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Days of Infamy (Pearl Harbor) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Alternate-history master Turtledove (Ruled Britannia) presents a starkly realistic view of what might have been had the Japanese followed the bombing of Pearl Harbor with a land invasion and occupied Hawaii. U.S. airman Fletch Armitage, held in a POW camp under horrifying conditions (the Japanese never signed the Geneva Convention), keeps hope alive even as he slowly starves. His ex-wife, Jane, keeps her head down in occupied Wahiawa, tending her assigned garden plot and hoping she won't be raped. Fisherman Jiro Takahashi, a native Japanese, welcomes the Rising Sun in Hawaii, but his sons, who consider themselves American, aren't so sure, even though the white Americans begin treating Japanese-Americans with contempt, particularly those who act as translators for the invaders, further widening the racial divide and increasing tensions. As the Japanese strengthen their hold on the islands, each side comes to grudgingly accept the courage of the other, despite the cultural chasms that separate them. The Americans vow to retake the islands, setting the scene for a final showdown that pits mastermind Commander Genda and maneuverable Zero airplanes against American strategy that includes technology the Japanese lack: radar. A less than neatly wrapped-up ending leaves room for a sequel. With an emphasis on tactics and warfare technology, this exciting, well-researched alternate history will please history buffs and SF fans alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Turtledove's latest twist on history has the Japanese invading Hawaii in December 1941. It recalls most closely Ruled Britannia (2002), except that this book is almost certainly the first volume of another WWII alternate history. The strategic consequences of the U.S. being backed up against its own West Coast, with most of its navy's aircraft carriers sunk, are too extensive to be dealt with in one novel, and one viewpoint character, Joe Crosetti, is training as a naval aviator for the battles to come. But as usual, Turtledove provides an extensive range of characters, civilian and military, of both sides and all ranks. Minoru Genda and Mitsuo Fuchida, both real historical Japanese officers, perform with their expected brilliance. On the other hand, Corporal Shimizu rides ashore in a landing barge and gives a grunt's-eye view of the Japanese army, whose motto is, quite understandably, "Hard work!" U.S. artillery officer Fletcher Armitage and his wife, Jane, were on the verge of divorce when the balloon went up and are now even more thoroughly separated as he labors in a POW camp, and she survives off her turnip patch. Oscar van der Klerk goes from surf bum to amateur spy, and the fishermen of the Takahashi family are divided, father Jiro favoring the Japanese occupiers, and his sons, who considered themselves Americans, disgruntled, to say the least. Demanding, irresistible, and magisterial--to say the very least. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Characters are not Turtledove's strong point, but the characters here are among his strongest.
It was a good, solid read that kept me picking it up and staying up past my bed time.
Sadly, I was not as impressed with "Infamy" as I am with his "American Front" series. Although this might well be the first in a new series of novels, I felt that, at least to this point, Turtledove had not warmed to this subject matter nearly to the extent that he did his "American Front" series.
I felt that he did a very good job of portraying individual characters as he usually does, but I found that many of the events and their sequence, which do have to happen in the order he envisions for the story to advance as it does, highly implausible, based on what we know factually of US and Japanese capabilities at the time. I felt that lack of plausibility made my suspension of disbelief- a necessity in stories such as this- virtually impossible.
Conversely, if you are not well versed in Pearl Harbor lore, the story can captivate you. The Japanese are portrayed fairly, neither Supermen nor thoughtless butchers. Americans are not portrayed universally as heroes but are more realistically depicted as being at first confident and then resigned to their fate, but seldom cowardly. In fact, his non-military event story is perhaps the strongest portion of the entire novel.
While "Infamy" is, in my opinion, not up to his best books, it is an entertaining read and sets the table for additional books to follow that may more closely match the depth of detail that makes his "American Front" series one of the genre's Must Reads.
Obviously the situation about the Japanese Invasion of Hawaii is based on the other invasions that happened at the same time- more than likely the Battle for Singapore. I enjoyed the realistic assumptions made and that people acted like people and not stereotypes.
I would say that this and the sequel were certainly good books on the subject I would say. Another good Turtledove book.
I had it, then saw it in a book look up and for some reason thought I didn't have it. LoL
Turtledove is EXTRODINARY at what he does! HIGHLY recommend his alternate history stories.
His sci-fi...I'm not as keen on. His sci-fi writting doesn't have the depth or detail that his history books do.