Book Review: Hitler’s War by Harry Turtledove (Four Stars)

Book Review: Hitler’s War (The War That Came Early #1) by Harry Turtledove (Four Stars)

“‘We already had one war this century. Wasn’t that enough to teach the whole world we don’t need another one?’ Well…no.”

Classic alternative history from the master of the genre. Retelling World War Two without (so far) any supernatural twists. Things kick off a year earlier and don’t turn out the way they did in our universe. The action spreads across the whole world; most of it disjointed in this volume. The more readers know about World War Two, the more they will enjoy this volume; but even non-scholars will appreciate the story.

“People couldn’t have screwed up the treaties at the end of the war much worse than they did, could they?” “Never imagine things can’t be screwed up worse than they are already. But, that said, in this particular case I have trouble imagining how they could be.”

Turtledove creates believable characters who are archetypes as much as stereotypes. A few, based on actual historical people, are as unique as those he imagined. He seems to go out of his way envisioning Jews in non-stereotypical settings.

“Sergei ended up keeping quiet. Mouradian was bound to be right. If the authorities told lies and you pointed it out, who would get in trouble? The authorities? Or you? Asking the question was the same as answering it.”

Much repetition among episodic experiences of a large, dispersed cast. Some of it establishes the universal experiences of soldier regardless of country or creed; some is merely sloppy writing.

“If we were fighting the Kaiser’s army, we’d wallop the snot out of it. It’s the curse of winning—you get ready to do the same damn thing over again. The Germans lost, so they figured they’d better try something new. Now we’re on the receiving end.” “Lucky us.”

1 thought on “Book Review: Hitler’s War by Harry Turtledove (Four Stars)

  1. I’ve read quite a few books about Nazis and WWII. Not the alternatives. While it looks like a good read, probably I won’t buy the book. Have new books I haven’t even got to yet! Interesting review, though.

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