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Surrounded by Enemies: A Breakpoint Novel Paperback – November 3, 2015
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"I have some experience with shattered timelines and altered realities but this one kept me guessing every page.”―Damon Lindelof, writer/producer of LOST, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
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Top Customer Reviews
For the past half century, books and films have debated whether JFK was the victim of a lone assassin or a far-reaching conspiracy. No matter what you believe, you will find novelist Bryce Zabel's perspective an intriguing fantasy of a Kennedy administration that never was but might have been. And it's not what you might expect, as the president's peccadilloes and darkest secrets, which have come to light over the past half-century, ultimately lead to his undoing.
You can tell that Zabel is an award-winning Hollywood producer and screenwriter, because, even with all the historical research he has put into creating this thriller, his novel's scenes have a cinematic flow and structure. These are not ossified wax-museum figures -- JFK and Jackie and Bobby, and all their family, friends, enemies, colleagues, and political associates literally come to life on these pages, with fast-paced action and dialog.Read more ›
Yes, life is full of "What ifs." Some are of little consequence. Some are quite big. And some are very, very big - like the one posed by seasoned screenwriter and professional journalist Bryce Zabel in his latest book, "Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?"
This is heady stuff, indeed, and to be a successful writer of alternative history one must accomplish several things: Is the book Meticulously Researched? Is the storytelling Thought-Provoking? Plausible? Provocative? And a non-stop Page-Turner? The answer in this case is yes, yes, yes, yes and hell yes.
Zabel elects to cleverly present his vision by way of a commemorative retrospective by the journalists working on the staff of a fictitious newsmagazine. After all, it will be 50 years since the tragic events in Big D snuffed out the life of one of America's most beloved Presidents. Fifty years since the hopeful, optimistic days of Camelot. And five decades for the majority of Americans who still can't help but wonder what really transpired at Dealey Plaza and then, just a day or so later, at the Dallas Police Station.
Clearly President Kennedy had enemies, powerful enemies within the Secret Service, the FBI, the Pentagon, the Mob, the Federal Reserve, as well as Pro and Anti-Castro Factions, Texas Millionaires and, of course, the Vice President himself, Lyndon Baines Johnson. All had motive and means to remove JFK from office, whether it be, initially, by bullets, or, by resorting to exposing the scandalous, emotionally-charged dark secrets of the Kennedy administration to an unsuspecting and naive nation.Read more ›
"Surrounded by Enemies" is honest enough to avoid sanctifying President Kennedy. Hardly a saint, he and Robert Kennedy are portrayed as only too human, possessed of less-elevated passions and a palpable desire for revenge. The strategies and events play out with a strong sense of verisimilitude. You can believe in events that could not happen.
That is the beauty of "Surrounded by Enemies." In many regards, it just feels right. A fictitious newsmagazine Zabel creates to relate this reimagined history brilliantly helps readers suspend any nagging disbelief. As a work of written art it stands apart from the shrill and paranoid that populate the genre of speculative literature.
Buy this book. Read "Surrounded by Enemies" and, like me, wonder: What if.
This one is different than all the others that I've read, in that it provides an alternate or parallel history on the events of 11/22/63 and beyond. The author does a fabulous job of intermixing both real and fictional events. The research behind this book is superb and the material is presented in such an expert manner that you'd be hard pressed to realize that you're reading a book of fiction.
The political climate of the sixties was fraught with tension. The Vietnam war was escalating, civil rights were in jeopardy and the world was in chaos. What would have happened to change the course of history had JFK lived? While no one knows the answer to this question, the author certainly spent a lot of time thinking about what might have been.
Kennedy had a lot of enemies and based on what we know now, was certainly not a faithful husband. This is mentioned throughout the book. Incorporating known facts, such as these with pure fiction makes for a very interesting read. The most amazing thing about this book is that it's very easy to find yourself forgetting what actually happened and replace those facts with the alternate history provided here.
Not only is it possible to imagine how things could have turned out differently, but the presentation in this book is so plausible as to make you feel as if they actually did. The author has created an all out believable portrayal of how the course of history would have changed had JFK lived. This is one of the best books that I've read about JFK and definitely the most unique. It's an important read for those who are interested in how different the world would be had JFK lived.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"What if JFK lived" is one of those oft-examined alternate history questions, like a different outcome to the American Civil War or World War II. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Peter J. Orvetti
Liked the story and liked the characters! Liked the story flow. Hard to put down. Great read! Given copy from NetGalley for honest review.Published 2 months ago by Granny Loves to Read
This was quite good. I was a 10 year old fifth grader when Dallas took place....an event I remember all too well. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. Houston
I gave it only two stars because what could have been a great book turned out to be a great disappointment. Mr. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jason
Bryce Zabel in his new book, "Surrounded by Enemies" Book One in the Breakpoint series published by Diversion Books gives us What if Kennedy survived Dallas? Read morePublished 8 months ago by VicG
I've been a "What If?" person as long as I can remember: the kind of individual with a curious bent of mind who needs to examine the road not taken. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mallory Heart Reviews
I enjoy alternative histories, and I tend to read every book I can get my hands on about the Kennedy family. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Teresa Kander
Having lived through the time of the assassination of JFK, I was intrigued to see what came out of the "if only story". Read morePublished 9 months ago by Leyla
What garbage. If he survived, he would likey have been impeached, or he would have resigned for jeopardizing state secrets through affairs with spies. Read morePublished 11 months ago by frank