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Fatherland by Robert Harris

Fatherland (1992)

by Robert Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (67)  French (6)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (79)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
On an alternate Earth where Hitler's Third Reich conquered Europe, a lone policeman sets out against all odds to find out the truth behind a man's murder, and in the process discovers a horrifying truth.
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
I first read this book back in the early 90s, so, maybe 25 years ago? I always remembered it as a book that knocked my socks off, and when The Housemate and I compared notes, I discovered that she'd felt the same. We had been utterly wowed by Fatherland. So recently I picked up a used copy, and began to reread it, and I discovered that while I still enjoyed the story, it was not the WOW AMAZING book I remembered.

That's not to say it's not a good book, even a great one, and it's probably the book that made me love alternate histories. In brief, it's 1964, the Nazis won WWII, and now pretty much control Europe, and their influence has spread around the globe. In the lead up to Hitler's 75th birthday celebration, Xavier March, a Berlin detective, is called in on a case of what looks like accidental drowning of an elderly man who was once a high-ranking Nazi official. Then another former Nazi bigwig is discovered in an apparent murder-suicide situation, and something doesn't feel right to March. You know where this is going, right? Disaffected war hero investigates, discovers wrong-doing which then explodes into a conspiracy that may well turn the Reich upside down.

There's something deeply disturbing about the book that transcends the classic thriller formula. It's life-and-death on a huge scale, and not just for March and the people who are helping him investigate. That's really what kept me reading this time, the sense of a conspiracy too big and too horrible to ignore. And yet, the cost of exposing it? Certainly worth it to a man who has become increasingly disillusioned by his country.

Fatherland still affects me all these years later, though my response is more low-key. Or maybe it's just that in the last quarter century I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about what human beings are capable of. This time around, it was still well worth my time, but it made me more sad than anything else. ( )
  Tracy_Rowan | Jul 26, 2018 |
Alternative histories are fascinating. As Hitler's 75th birthday and the state visit of President (Joseph) Kennedy to Berlin loom, then the last thing that the authorities want revealed is a series of deaths linked to a policy enacted during the war. Xavier March is an SS officer investigating the murder of a Nazi government official who was one of the participants at the Wannsee Conference. In so doing, he discovers a plot to eliminate all attendees of the conference in order to help Germany establish better political relations with the United States.

Most German citizens were unaware of this conference held in 1943 to ratify "the final solution" to the Jewish problem and now Germany is trying to proved that it was never acted upon.

Excellently read by Michael Jayston. ( )
  smik | Dec 10, 2017 |
Fatherland is a brilliantly written novel that asks the question so many other alternate history books like to ask - what if Germany had won WW2? - and leads the reader to an answer that they already know, yet still manages to shock and intrigue.

The novel seems to start off like your standard detective story, but gradually unfolds into something much more interesting. I really liked March, the protagonist, and the way he develops throughout the book. I also liked the cast of supporting characters, some of whom aren't quite what they seem. I found it quite difficult to spot which ones fell into this category!

Above all, the writing is excellent. I read Munich, my first Harris novel, fairly recently and was impressed by his quiet, restrained style. Fatherland is written in a similar way - you don't need to resort to cliché or bombastic metaphors to convey a sense of dread and impending doom when you can do it in the way Harris does!

I very much enjoyed Fatherland and will be moving on to other Harris novels soon. ( )
  mooingzelda | Dec 4, 2017 |
Fatherland takes place in a 1964 Germany that didn't lose World War II. Europe is under the control of Germany, Hitler is 75 and president of the greater German protectorate, England is ruled by King Edward and Queen Wallis, and Joseph P. Kennedy is President of the United States .

Xavier March is a good detective despite his SS uniform. Working late one night he is called to a crime scene where the body of an elderly Party functionary has been found floating in a lake. Before too long the investigation is taken over by the Gestapo. When a second and third mysterious death occur, March teams up with an American journalist to discover what is actually going on.

This was an interesting combination of pure detective story and alternate history. I thought the story was fast-paced and thrilling. There are a number of historical figures woven into the plot and my knowledge of World War II added a lot to my overall enjoyment. Originally published in 1992, I found it to be a fascinating concept with compelling characters and unbelievable ending. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galle, HubertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindholm, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rambelli, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reinert, KirkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The hundred million self-confident German masters were to be brutally installed in Europe, and secured in power by a monopoly of technical civilisation and the slave-labour of a dwindling native population of neglected, diseased, illiterate cretins, in order that they might have the leisure to buzz along infinite Autobahnen, admire the Strength-Through-Joy Hostel, the Party headquarters, the Military Museum and the Planetarium which their Führer would have built in Linz (his new Hitleropolis), trot round local picture-galleries, and listen over their cream buns to endless recordings of The Merry Widow. This was to be the German Millenium, from which even the imagination was to have no means of escape.
Hugh Trevor-Roper
The Mind of Adolf Hitler
People sometimes say to me: 'Be careful! You will have twenty years of guerilla warfare on your hands!' I am delighted at the prospect ... Germany will remain in a state of perpetual alertness.
Adolf Hitler
29 August 1942
To Gill
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Thick cloud had pressed down on Berlin all night, and now it was lingering into what passed for the morning.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061006629, Mass Market Paperback)

It is twenty years after Nazi Germany's triumphant victory in World War II and the entire country is preparing for the grand celebration of the FÜhrer's seventy-fifth birthday, as well as the imminent peacemaking visit from President Kennedy.

Meanwhile, Berlin Detective Xavier March -- a disillusioned but talented investigation of a corpse washed up on the shore of a lake. When a dead man turns out to be a high-ranking Nazi commander, the Gestapo orders March off the case immediately. Suddenly other unrelated deaths are anything but routine.

Now obsessed by the case, March teams up with a beautiful, young American journalist and starts asking questions...dangerous questions. What they uncover is a terrifying and long-concealed conspiracy of such astonding and mind-numbing terror that is it certain to spell the end of the Third Reich -- if they can live long enough to tell the world about it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:59 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"IFatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War. It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler's 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin's most prestigious suburb. As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth - a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history". -- Amazon.… (more)

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