Thursday, February 21, 2013

West and East: The War that Came Early

Ostensibly, this is an "alternative" history that contains a fictional account of World War II where the war starts earlier. However, you can hardly tell. The book focuses on the events of individual people. About the only clue you get that it is an alternate history is the mention that Paris wasn't captured by the Nazis. Ok, I'm pretty sure that they captured that early in the war.

As for the other events, it is mostly minor events that are mentioned. Denmark gets captured by the Nazis. Sweden remained nuetral. Hmmm... Well, I think something like that happened. But off hand, I'm not sure of the actual timing.

The story focuses on the people. And the characters here are not really worth focussing on. They all seem to be stereotypical caricatures of world war ii-era people as seen through modern eyes.

Rather than being an "alternative" history, this simply comes across as a "bad" history. It is as if a teacher gave students a brief outline of world war ii and told them to right a history. They might get a few facts right and a few wrong. And the characters would be shallow means of advancing the plot. After reading this, I think I've had enough of Turtledove.

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