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Fatherland [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Robert Harris , Werner Klemperer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition CDN $9.61  
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Book Description

May 18 1995 Bestseller Collection
Unveils the living nightmare of a world planned by the Nazis in reality, but never achieved. It illuminates the trail taken by the loner March, leading him to the discoveries of wartime corruption, Swiss bank vaults, love, danger, and - most terrifying of all - the black heart of the Nazi state.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

An eerie, detailed alternate history serves as the backdrop for this otherwise conventional crime thriller. The setting is Berlin, 1964, some 20 years after the Third Reich's victory in WW II. Germany and the U.S., the world's two superpowers, find themselves in a cold war resulting from a nuclear stalemate; but U.S. President Joseph P. Kennedy is soon to visit Berlin for an historic summit meeting with Hitler, clearing the way for detente. Meanwhile, cynical police detective Xavier March investigates the drowning of Josef Buhler, former state secretary in the General Government. When the Gestapo takes over the case--ruling it suicide--March continues his investigation at the risk of his life, uncovering a deadly conspiracy at the highest levels of the Reich. With the help of American reporter Charlotte Maguire, he finds hard evidence of the wartime extermination of Europe's Jews, a secret that Buhler and his colleagues have been murdered to protect. Of course March and Maguire fall in love along the way. Harris ( Selling Hitler ) generates little suspense in this tale beyond his piecemeal rendering of the novel's unusual historical setting. The characters are flat and the plot largely predictable. And readers may well question the taste of using the Holocaust as the point of departure for a rather insubstantial, derivative thriller. 75,000 first printing; BOMC selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The year is 1964. The setting is Berlin. JFK's father, Joe Kennedy, is president. Edward VIII is king, Wallis his queen. Adolf Hitler is about to celebrate his 75th birthday. In this thriller with a twist, the stalemate which ended World War II has evolved into a cold war, not between the Soviet Union and the United States, but between the Third Reich and America. Police investigator Xavier March handles a case involving the death of a prominent Nazi, an apparent suicide. The trail leads to other suicides, accidental deaths, a numbered vault in Zurich, and a beautiful American reporter. March discovers the pattern behind the deaths and locates incriminating papers exposing the Holocaust, which, because Germany didn't lose the war, has been kept secret for 20 years. Harris, author of the nonfiction title Selling Hitler ( LJ 5/15/86), is clearly well versed in the operations and machinations of the Nazi regime. He uses this knowledge to create a realistic and frightening world in which we all could be living. Recommended. BOMC selection; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/92.
- C. Christopher Pavek, National Economic Research Assocs. Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternate History, 1964 June 14 2003
Format:Paperback
This is a phenomenal work for a first-time novelist! The book shows the author's knowledge and study of the Nazi system from its inception in the early 1930's until its demise in 1945.
The story takes off on a tangent in which Hitler makes peace with Britain in 1941 or 1942 and later withdraws from France and the Low Countries in favor of his primary goal: "Drang nach Osten". Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, and the western heartland of Russia are conquered by the Wehrmacht. Leningrad and Moscow are taken. After the so-called "peace treaty" the British Crown and loyalists flee to Canada, as do DeGaulle and the French loyalists. North America is the only refuge for a non-socialist/non-fascist free Libertarian ideology which resists totalitarianism. Freedom of the Press still exists in the USA, in this version of 1964.
The Beatles are performing in Hamburg, but they are a bunch of decadent English drug-using musicians from Liverpool. Their music uses savage Negro rhythms. The Jews were relocated to the east, to work camps in eastern Germany and Poland. There was much turmoil in those early years (1940-1945). Who cares, anyway? That's all ancient history.
Anyway... if you want to read and think at the same time, this one is a good one.
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Format:Audio Cassette
The audio cassette reading of this abridgement of _Fatherland_ is read by two-time Emmy Award-winning Werner Klemperer (who won twice for his portrayal of Colonel Wilhelm Klink on the former Television show, "Hogan's Heroes.") His fluency with the German language makes one feel as is one is in the middle of Germany right along side the detective Xavier March, the main character of the story.
I thought that perhaps the alternate history component of the novel--namely, that Germany won World War II--would be a larger part of the story; however, the murder mystery actually has its origins in the 1930s, during the rise to power of Hitler. As March uncovers clues spanning three decades--the action takes place in the mid 1960s--one feels linked not only to the story itself, but the days of a horrible past gone by.
One such clue is a series of diary entries by a visitor to one of the concentration camps the Germany ran to destroy the Jews. The reading of the diary sneaks up on the listener and suddenly the listener is aware that this novel isn't just fiction, but contains a chilling historical account of the life and death of the victims of the Jewish Holocaust by Nazi Germany.
Toward the end of the novel one genuinely wants Marsh and his investigative reporting American ally to succeed in their efforts to uncover the conspiracy and bring the truth to the world. If they succeed it would bring this alternate history closer to reality--in that the real world knows what actually happened to the Jews, that they had not just "disappeared" as this alternate world believes.
The running time of this audio abridgement is three hours. I wish it had run longer as I was hooked into the plot and characters by the novel's end.
I highly recommended this story, but for mature listeners only. This story contains foul language (in English and German!), as well as graphic descriptions of violence and death.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant concept. Nov. 26 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Brilliant. No, not the plot, which is certainly above average, but mostly typical of a good suspense thriller. What's brilliant about Robert Harris' "Fatherland" is the concept. The events of this suspense thriller are set in 1964, in post World War II Germany. Nothing unusual so far. Until you realize that Germany has won the war, Europe is dominated by the victorious German reich, and that celebrations are underway for Hitler's 75th birthday. It is this alternate history that makes "Fatherland" a thriller that stands out from the average.
Is it plausible? Harris is well-qualified to write such an alternate history, having written a well-researched non-fiction book on Hitler. In fact the events of "Fatherland" are mostly rooted in history, as Harris notes at the end of the book that many of the characters whose names are used in this novel actually existed, and many of the documents quoted in the text are authentic. The novel centers around the historic Wannsee Conference of 1942, where Hitler's top men met to decide on a permanent solution to the Jewish question: extermination in the horrific gas chambers in places like Auschwitz.
The plot itself is credible and fast moving, although those who are offended by vulgar language, blasphemy and immorality will find these occurring rather too frequently. Xavier March is a criminal investigator who is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery around the body of an old man found floating in a lake outside Berlin. His investigation leads him to discover a series of deaths of high ranking officials. Together with Charlotte Maguire, an American journalist, he uncovers the chilling truth and the heart of the dark conspiracy behind these deaths.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!! Nov. 12 2001
By Jodi
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am still trying to absorb everything that this book had to offer: a murder of two very high ranking political officials, art fraud, government cover-up, betrayal & a little bit of romance..."Fatherland" has it all!
This is not an alternate history novel...the war is over & Germany has won. That is the setting. Harris uses great detail to describe how Germany looks "today" (1964), the way Albert Speer (Hitler's favorite architect) planned to build it. Harris also gives us a real character, Xavier March, to empathize & sympathize with, which I certainly did. March is an overworked, underpaid officer who has no life outside of work. He is divorced & his son hates him, giving him nothing to really live for. He is assigned to the case of the murder of the first political official but quickly gets taken off of it. March (who has nothing else to do) decides to keep investigating this case & soon realizes that he is on to something big. The "higher-ups" have a lot to lose in this case & will stop at nothing to get March out of the way. March manages to stay just one small step ahead of those who are trying to kill him, but the reader doesn't find out just how small that step is until the end of the novel. I must admit that I really wanted a happy ending in this novel, but I guess a happy ending wouldn't have been very believable. When dealing with a huge cover up like this, and given the powerful people who are after March, the ending that Harris provided the reader with is entirely plausible, as well as likely.
I felt soooo incredibly sorry for March, which made this story all the better for me. Everytime he turned around, something negative was happening to him...he just couldn't get a break anywhere.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue décevante
Quelle intrigue décevante... avec une si bonne description et immersion de l'ambiance de surveillance constante, de dénonciation, de tromperie, le dénouement... Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2012 by J. Beauchesne
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enthusiastic Fiver Stars
I give Fatherland an enthusiastic five stars and two very big thumbs up! I have read a lot of World War II novels, and a lot of alternate history novels, and this one stands at the... Read more
Published on March 20 2011 by Natgeo
5.0 out of 5 stars True thriller
Alternate history provides the freedom to explore the possibilities of what could have been. Anyone interested in WWII and Nazi ideology will get right into this thriller. Read more
Published on March 18 2010 by S Svendsen
5.0 out of 5 stars It is absolutely remarkable!!!
I have read this novel for the first time many years ago, and it had a profound impact on me. I re-read it a few days ago and the impact of this story on me was even grater than... Read more
Published on April 23 2007 by Matthew Gawelczyk
5.0 out of 5 stars All Around Great Story
Hey, wait a minute, am I confused or did somebody write a dark, spooky alternate history novel that can actually claim to be at the same level as Gorky Park? Read more
Published on April 11 2002 by John G. Hilliard
3.0 out of 5 stars Stale Land
The first 50 or so pages were great!
But then, it started to feel more like a history lesson. There was really no reason why it had to take place in a gigantic Nazi state. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2002 by John Marsten
5.0 out of 5 stars Speer's Metropolis
Seeing as WW2 was such a damn close run thing, it's not surprising that there are very, very many "what if" books speculating on the alternative outcomes. Read more
Published on Dec 7 2001 by Matherson
4.0 out of 5 stars A Chilling Reminder Of What Might Have Been
Robert Harris is one hell of a writer, who certainly knows his stuff and has researched meticulously for this novel, which is both scary and an interesting alternative history. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2001 by Ken Searle
3.0 out of 5 stars Overpraised
Fatherland is overpraised as a work of alternate history, but is still a good yarn. I was disappointed largely because Harris seems less interested in his setting -- Berlin in... Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2001
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