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Stars and Stripes in Peril Mass Market Paperback – Oct 2 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (Oct. 2 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345409361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345409362
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 172 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,553,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael N. Ryan on July 29 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am truly glad I did not purchase this one at full price. I only regret what I wasted buying it.
I thought the first novel of this series was pathetic. This one is not up to that standard.
The story line of this one is as waterlogged as the Merrimac's engines the author arranges to have salvaged and put into another ship, and just as bad in performance.
It gets nowhere for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PATRICK OHANNIGAN on July 29 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is alternate history as snack food: quick and clever but ultimately unsatisfying. Harrison's vision of nineteenth-century blitzkrieg warfare is plausible and sometimes fascinating, but his pacing is off, and the well-known characters throughout this book seem no livelier than figures in a diorama. What little character development we have to go on suggests that Harrison's views of Lincoln, Lee, Grant, and Sherman are entirely conventional.

A subplot involving Jefferson Davis becomes a botched attempt to add a bass line to a narrative that somehow couldn't find one in the carnage of war. In fairness, however, the book does entertain, and it might be too much to expect Harrison to rise above the commonplace wisdom he affirms here. Having established that Mexico is hot, Ireland is green, and American audacity is not to be trifled with, I look forward to more gripping summer reads from other books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 3 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is more of a commentary on both books in the series to date, but I'll focus on Peril for the sake of relevance. Up until recently, most of my alternate history experience has been limited to Turtledove, who, although he overlooks many small points about causality, paints a picture of an interesting and fairly believable world.
Then, I began reading the S&S series, expecting an informative development to an interesting idea (Britain attacking the U.S. during the Civil War). It was a total letdown. I have never read any of Mr. Harrison's works previous to this, but I do not feel any particular desire to now.
He portrays every character in one-dimensional descriptions, based along the lines of U.S. = good, everyone else = bad. He doesn't even take the time to develop any of the non-U.S.-and-allied characters beyond their immediate motives relating to the war and their own pompous convictions, regardless of what kind of person they were in reality. Though I know little about the actual Queen Victoria, I am more than a little suspicious that she did slightly more than scream at bad news and throw incessant fits.
Likewise, the lack of real development of civil issues in the reunified U.S., primarily the treatment of freed slaves, was irritating. That most people would practically ignore the existance of a problem save for philosophical argument is almost mind-boggling, and the section dealing with a negro teacher in Mississippi is resolved with impossible simplicity. Why no social backlash? It wasn't even mentioned again, and given the magnitude of what happened it could easily have sparked major riots at the very least.
Finally, issues abroad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Bloomer on Jan. 4 2001
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to see if it was as bad as the first.
It was, but in a different way.
None of what happened makes any historical or military sense. For instance the US invasion of Ireland flies in the face of believability (a landing overnight, landing tens of thousands of troops on unknown shores, without error or mishap?, followed by Blitzkrieg by steam train? why does no one notice?).
The British actions are nonsensical (a road accross Mexico! 250 miles of jungle and mountain!, why not use transport ships? just how many troops does Britain have?, there must be around 200-400,000 men guarding the road to garrison if it as densely as implied in the book).
I'm afraid this book just made me laugh aloud when I was'nt puzzled by Harrisons'latest plot warps. It makes about as much sense as an episode of "Time Tunnel" and is about as historically accurate. All it needed was stupidly costumed aliens backing the British.
Most of the plot was childish wish fulfillment.
The military research, particularly regarding Britain, was poor.
Steam Punk novels like "the Difference engine" I can enjoy, if the world of the past is changed by a writer who knows his business. But the new world needs laws and rules and consistency, this one is chaotic.
This book seems to be another exercise in hating the "evil English", an increasingly common US entertainment trait.
I think its' about time Harrison grew up and realised that the War of Independence happened a very long time ago, and that Britain did good as well as bad in the past, and that the USA also commited its share of despicable acts throughout its' history.
I'm just glad that no Britsh writer has sunk to this puerile level of revilement of another country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joe Childers on Dec 19 2000
Format: Hardcover
Although I have not read the first book, nothing in the second makes me want to.
First, the lame writing. The characters bear resemblance to their historical name-sakes in name only. There are a couple of clever manuevers pulled off in the invasion of Ireland, but there is next to no interesting narration of the events. The battle scenes are like reading a narration of a turn-based military simulation board game--and one with divisions as the smallest unit, at that! Events happen, and we are told how they happen, in the style and detail of a introductory-level history textbook. Little in this book draws me in and inspires me to invest much emotion in either the plot or characters.
I find it inconceivable that Britain, wholly dependent on its Navy for its world-power status as it is, would allow its ships to become so outclassed, or that it would seek war when even the crudest espionage service would conclude that America's ships were superior.
Lastly, the laughable "happy-ever-after" independent Ireland forming under America's sheltering wing is simply ludicrous. Um, a few hundred years worth of religious animosity evaporates overnight by chanting the "Sepration of Church and State" mantra? Now I'll grant that America's Navy is keeping Britain from invading but surely it will not be able to stop them from smuggling in guns and agents. And once the US finds out its Navy isn't big enough to guard its own two coasts and Ireland (we're ignoring logistics here that it can protect Ireland for any length of time) Britian hops back across the Irish sea and whomps the Irish.
I used to think Turtledove didn't do too well with alternate history, but now I see how a really bad AH novel is written.
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