Fatherland MOBI ↠ Paperback

Fatherland ✤ Fatherland Download ➸ Author Robert Harris – Thomashillier.co.uk 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 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 KennedyMeanwhile 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 routineNow obsessed by the case March teams up with a beautiful young American journalist and starts asking uestionsdangerous uestions 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.


10 thoughts on “Fatherland

  1. Stephen Stephen says:

     I’ve never read a book that starkly highlighted for me how thankful the good people of the world should be that the allies won World War II While my final rating was a somewhat subdued 3 stars there are parts of this story that I found extremely compelling BACKSTORYALTERNATIVE HISTORY Welcome to a very dark future It's 1964 and all of Germany is preparing to celebrate Adolf Shitler’s 75th birthday As part of this national event the President of the United States Joseph P Kennedy JFK’s daddy has agreed to visit Germany in an attempt to warm and toasty up relations between the two countries who've been in “cold war” mode since the end of WWII NOTE In real life Joey P was a rabid  anti semite  a rud Nazi sympathizer and uite a little bootlegger during Prohibitionway to role model for John Robert and Teddy While there are numerous fascinating little details that Harris incorporates into the narrative here are the critical “points of divergence” between this story’s “alternative history” and our reality 1 In the novel German intelligence became aware that the British had cracked the enigma code and use that knowledge to lure the British fleet to destruction via false intelligence Thereafter the German U Boats are able to starve Britain and force them into a demoralizing treaty in 1944 As a result the Normandy invasion never occurs  2 Partially as a result of 1 above in the novel WWII was still ongoing in 1946 when Germany tests its first “atomic bomb” and then fires an unarmed “V 3” rocket to explode over New York City as a demonstration of strength Soon after the US agrees to a peace treaty with the Nazis Germany and the US become the world’s two “superpowers” after the US defeats Japan in 1946 a year later then in reality 3 Regarding Russia in both the book and reality the German armies on the Eastern Front are stopped at the gates of Moscow at the end of 1941 However in the book and unlike reality the “second major offensive” into the Caucasus was far successful and the Nazi’s were able to cut off the flow of oil to the Russian Army This eventually led to a formal surrender orchestrated by a “rump” government However despite the surrender the Russians led by Stalin have continued to wage a guerilla war against the Nazi’s for 20 years much to the pain and angst of the Reich4 In the novel as a result of the Nazi victory the full scope of the Holocaust has been hidden and “explained away” by the German governmentthough rumors of atrocities still exist   PLOT SUMMARY The main character Xavier March Rutger House for those who saw the HBO movie adaptation is a detective with the Kriminalpolizei the German police agency responsible for investigating serious crimes akin to a homicide detective A week before the arrival of the American President March is called in to investigate the suspicious death of Josef Bühler a high ranking Nazi official and real life war criminal The rest of the book takes the form of a standard but interesting  crimemystery novel set against the backdrop of this “alternative” Germany  During March’s investigation he uncovers evidence of a vast conspiracy involving high ranking Nazi Party members and their activities during WWII I won’t say any but I assume most people reading this can guess what the conspiracy involves and I thought this aspect of the story was very well done  THOUGHTS Proscons and why the 3 starsOn the pro side the world imagined by Robert Harris is both frightening and very compelling The evil of the Germany portrayed in the novel ie post war has a very authentic feel to it There is a pervasive attitude of superiority enforced loyalty and “big brother” paranoia along with a whole underclass of minorities from conuered nations forming a permanent underclass It is chilling because you get the sense that it “could have” happened this way Also on the pro side the central mystery is a corker and I loved the way Harris unveiled the underlying thesis behind it In addition the writing is good and the story moves along at a pretty good clip HOWEVEROn the con side I think this book got itself trapped between two different kinds of novels The story is about 400 pages As a mystery this was just too long On the other hand as an “alternative historical fiction” novel 400 pages wasn’t nearly long enough I would have loved to have spent time learning about the details of day to day life inside the author’s Germany and reading descriptions of the geo political dynamic existing as a result of the alternative history  Unfortunately what Harris did was try and marry the two leaving us with a “bloated” mystery with some fascinating but too slim  background details peppering the narrative Don’t get me wrong I still liked it but I was disappointed because I think there are two 5 star stories in there somewhere     SoWhile on the whole I liked the book I think it tried to do too much and ended up being less effective than it should have been as either a mystery or an alternative history Still a good read and thus  30 stars Recommended


  2. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    Fatherland by Robert Harris a 1992 novel of alternate history conceived as What might have happened if the Nazis won World War II? Set in 1964 Berlin all the novel's characters are sharply drawn and passionately motivated in decidedly political directions The author has done his research and knows the Nazi world inside out sticking with a number of actual high ranking Nazis such as Reinhard Heydrich and Wilhelm Stuckart imaginatively projected into his fictional Germany Other Nazis in the novel are consistent with those who followed their Führer back in the day The novelist's language is as crisp as a Nazi goosestep making for one fast paced page turnerAt the center of the action is Xavier March homicide investigator with the Nazi SS applying his detective skills to crack a case uickly spiraling into a complex political drama Along the way March teams up with young attractive American journalist Charlotte Maguire thus this Harris tale is not only alternate twentieth century history but a sexy international thriller That’s all I intend to say about plot since my specific interest in reading this novel was to see how all the arts are faring in the land of Hitler and the Nazis thirty years after the war To this end below are some uotes along with my commentsThe image of the superior blonde blue eyed Ayran is still alive and kicking We read “The press portrayed Reinhard Heydrich as Nietzsche’s Superman sprung to life Heydrich in his pilot’s uniform he had flown combat missions on the eastern front Heydrich in his fencing gear he had fenced for Germany in the Olympics Heydrich with his violin he could reduce audiences to tears by the pathos of his playing” Hitler despised modern music actually any music other than ninteenth century classical usually saccharine operas such as The Merry Widow by Franz Lehár Most Nazis in 1964 Germany still share their seventy five year old Führer’s musical taste And alas there is mention of a group of young Englishmen from Liverpool with their “pernicious Negroid wailings” a clear example of modern degenerate music singing I Want To Hold Your HandA tour guide talks about the main buildings of the new Berlin to all the foreigners on a tour bus “Construction of the Arch of Triumph was commenced in 1946 and work was completed in time for the Day of National Reawakening in 1950” Actually that appalling monolithic architecture Hitler envisioned including the 1000 ft Great Hall designed by Albert Speer a building that can hold 150000 participants is very much part of the novel The book’s inner cover has a two page drawing of Hitler’s main buildings including Great Hall Grand Plaza Hitler Palace and the 400 ft Arch of TriumphOther than a slight reference to the subversive novels of such writers as Günter Grass there isn’t that much mention of literature and for good reason – this is a tightly controlled police state similar to Stalinist Russia Any novels or stories that do not adhere to the official party line are deemed subversive perverted the products of sick minds Such was the language used by the Nazis when they staged their infamous exhibit of Degenerate Art in 1937When main character March enters the office of a leader of the Gestapo he observes “On the walls were prints of Thorak’s sculptures herculean figures with gargantuan torsos rolled boulders up steep hills in celebration of the building of the Autobahnen The immensity of Thorak’s statuary was a whispered joke” Ah the aesthetics of the Nazis is showing some cracks at the foundation Thorak was a prime Nazi sculptor one of Hitler’s very favorites However his Nazi versions of cartoon superheroes left many Germans cold back in the 1930s; by the 1960s even the Germans in Harris’ novel could see the silliness of such bloated muscle bound monstrositiesAnd March views the paintings on another wall “Schmutzler’s Farm Girls Returning from the Fields Padua’s The Führer Speaks – ghastly orthodox muck” How about that even a no nonsense action oriented SS detective judges the official Nazi art as orthodox muck The German Hall of Art right across the street from the exhibit of Degenerate Art featuring such moderns as Marc Nolde Kandinsky Chagall Grozz exhibited what Hitler decreed as acceptable art In the 1930s many art critics judged this Nazi art as at best mediocre and by the 1960s a clearer vision has reached the man and SS officer in the street – all that realist art that Hitler loves is so much schmaltzy crapToward the end of the novel March and Charlotte Maguire enter an empty elementary school where March makes the observation “Childish paintings decorated the walls – blue meadows green skies clouds of sulfur yellow Children’s art was perilously close to degenerate art; such perversity would have to be knocked out of them” The author did his homework Hitler an aspiring artist himself as young man so much will; so little talent loathed the expressionists painting grass that was not green skies that were not blue clouds that were not white – he simply could not enter the imaginative world of a true artist; and he would become violent when someone suggested he had provincial limited tastesThis is a fascinating novel on a number of levels I focused on the arts since this is one of my main interests and as Frederic Spotts demonstrated in his well researched Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics Hitler valued art as the ultimate end of his world vision In Harris’ 1964 alternative history his vision proved to be narrow lackluster the product of a totalitarian police state Thank goodness a 1964 Nazi Germany never became a reality


  3. Sean Barrs Sean Barrs says:

    “What do you do’ he said ‘if you devote your life to discovering criminals and it gradually occurs to you that the real criminals are the people you work for? Fartherland offers a dismaying vision of what could have been If the Nazis had won world war two if their power had continued to spread they would have owned half the world perhaps even all of it if they conuered at the speed they demonstrated in the 1930s Their momentum was near unbelievable The world would be in a terrible state today; it would be universally unrecognisable and utterly oppressed Murder butchery and politicsHitler is still Fuhrer The book opens with his 75th birthday celebration; the entirety of Germany is out in celebration of their leader it’s a national holiday one all must celebrate A body is found floating in the dark murky waters of a lake near Berlin It’s nothing new nothing remarkable The Gestapo murder freuently silencing any who show a lack of patriotism Brutality is everywhere The detective investigating the scene March is about to have his world transformed by the secrets he finds which threaten to expose his own lacklustre approach to policing a country he has grown to hate March is not a member of the Nazi party; he dares not to speak against them at least openly but nor does he care to speak for them Such a thing is as bad as open revolution in their eyes so March has always been monitored heavily by the Gestapo they don’t trust him or even allow him to advance in his line of profession despite his capabilities The murder investigation thrusts him into a situation where he is forced to consider his actions most carefully; his line of inuiry casts into suspicion some rather high ranking officials The cold gaze of the Nazi’s intensifiesIt's an impossible situation What would you do?Would you risk your life for justice? The criminals March is chasing down are way beyond his reach; however he has a duty to perform a service to the real law and to society But such things have been twisted beyond all recognition; the law now protects the Nazis essentially allowing them to get away with murder He has a very tricky decision to make one that will either cost him his life or his morals And the ending we do get is the one I wanted to see; it was strong and everything it ought to have been to show exactly how far the world has fallen Harris shows us a grim world that might have been and it’s uite scary to think how easily it could have been If Hitler did not decide to attack Russia forcing his armies to fight on two fronts and if he did not antagonise the USA he might have had time to lick his wounds after Europe’s conuest and regather his strength before tackling bigger foes Harris provides a grim cold mechanical vision of society that would have followed in such an aftermath of Hitler's absolute victory Once this has been read it certainly cannot be un read I finished this back in 2013 and I still remember the entrapped noir feel the streets oozed with


  4. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    I am sure it's a uestion that's been pondered on by countless many just what if Hitler had really won the war? or even worse taken over the planet Would we be in a state of total autocracy? would Companies like and Microsoft be run by the Third Reich? would the gestapo be snooping on emails? Or the flip side to that what if no war at all? what if Hitler Himmler Bormann and Goebbels were pacifist jazz musicians and started a uartet? what if Mr and Mrs Hitler senior moved to the south pacific where a young Adolf swam happily with turtles during his youth? When dealing with 'what if' then the list is pretty much endlessSo then Robert Harris's Fatherland is speculative fiction that contains historical scenarios based on an alternative pre and post war Europe Taking place in Berlin 1964 it's the upcoming birthday of the Führer and President Kennedy is also due a visit it's a Berlin that reminds me of the dull grey East Germany of the 1980's Fatherland is singular in the rigour with which it imagines an alternative history in which the Greater German Reich stretches from the Low Countries to Russia other countries are of little interest to the Nation apart from Switzerland where important people within the Reich dump there treasures or money in secret bank accounts Britain is nothing than a client state America remains in the backgroundIn this alternative history Xavier March a cop is one of the good guys despite his SS uniform and is sent one gloomy morning to a lake on the outskirts of Berlin after a body is discovered this then turns into a murder investigation as the old man washed up turns out to be a once important Nazi bureaucrat From here the plot thickens adding deaths a run in with a hulking Gestapo called Globus who may be involved deeper than March thinks an American reporter Charlotte Magiure who becomes his ally and just like in the movies they end up under the sheets together along with all the other normal formalities like who can he trust? can he take beating? and when the chips are down still courageously solve the mystery and become cult status? It's chilling in it's depiction of what happened before and after the war it's thrilling and filled with plenty of tension One thing it isn't is better than I expectedAlthough it kept me on tenterhooks far too many moments were predictable and had me almost yelling at the pages no don't do that or stay away from there it's obvious what's going to happen It's a tried and tested formula that works yes but has been done better in terms of the crimemystery page turning thriller genre I said to myself prior to reading as long as it's a better read than The Da Vinci Code I would be happy I am happy not bouncing around with joy happy just happy


  5. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    It is the 1960’s in Berlin American President and Nazi sympathizer Joseph Kennedy has at long last agreed to meet with the Fuehrer Fatherland presents an alternate history in which Germany won WW II without taking out China or the United States A Berlin detective is called to investigate a murder sees connections among various disappearances and follows them despite interference from his superiors He encounters a young American journalist who turns out to be key to the whole caper What is the great secret that the SS does not want him to find? We know but the world in this environment does not Will he get the information out in time to foil the meeting and corresponding approval and label the Nazis for the psycho killers they really are? It is a fast paced fun read even though we can guess much The characters are simple without being ridiculous A film was made of this with Rutger Hauer in the lead I recall it was ok but nothing special It certainly left behind much of the detail of the book Although I read the book and wrote the above in 2008 it appears that it was never posted Oops


  6. Kemper Kemper says:

    Sometimes it seems like every Tom Phillip K Dick and Harry Turtledove wrote books that asked what would have happened if Hitler won the war It’s 1964 and Germany is preparing to celebrate Hitler’s 75th birthday Police detective Xavier March is called in when a body is pulled out of a river and he soon discovers that the dead man was a prominent member of the Nazi party March’s investigation eventually leads him to secrets going back to the war that his government is desperate to keep buriedSo yes this is another book about the most asked uestion in alternate history What if the Nazis won World War II? But by framing this as mystery thriller Robert Harris has taken a different approach to it by using March as tour guide of a victorious Germany We eventually have the bigger picture of what the rest of the world is like and there are some interesting elements like the US did fight and defeat Japan yet Europe is Nazi controlled so that America and Germany have had an extended Cold WarWhile the details of the world are well done this is really of a story about what life would be like in this society It’s all well ordered prosperity on the surface but the police state nature of it all lurks just below the surface with the average citizen’s paranoia encouraged by the government to keep them fearful and obedientMarch is an interesting character in this as a man who did his part in the war on board a U boat but he doesn’t much like the SS uniform he wears now He reminded me a lot of the series by Martin Cruz Smith about Russian detective Arkady Renko Like Renko March is a basically good man who knows he’s working for a bad system but he’s too cynical to think of trying to change it Instead he just tries to find what justice he can even as he still has too much integrity to entirely go along with the program which is something that the true believers can sense and hateThis all sounds like a 4 or 5 star book especially in the capable hands of Robert Harris but unfortunately it’s one of those where I liked the idea of it than the actual finished product This alternate world is intriguing and well thought out and March is an interesting lead character but the actual plot just seems kind of flat and obvious You can tell much of what’s coming for a good long while so there’s not much suspense or shock to it


  7. Bill Lynas Bill Lynas says:

    Can you read a book too many times ? Well I have to admit that this is the seventh time I've read Fatherland I still thinks it's as fresh as when I first read it over twenty years ago The story just seems to grip me from first page to last Harris seamlessly blends fact fiction as his thriller takes us through Berlin in 1964 in the week leading up to Adolf Hitler's 75th birthday This alternative history is so believable without being cliched the characters are as much of a focus as the setting I urge anyone to read this novel who has not done so already However if lack of time prevents you doing this there is also an excellent audio version read by a Werner Klemperer a very good full cast BBC audio version a gripping TV movie starring the ever dependable Rutger Hauer I wonder if there's a format I've not experienced this on ?


  8. abby abby says:

    It's 1964 and Germany has reason to celebrate Fuhrer Adolph Hitler 75th's birthday is on the horizon and the cold war with America is starting to thaw President Kennedy Joseph P Kennedy Sr that is has planned a much hyped visit to Berlin Germany is the center of Europe with independent satellite states like France and Britain to the west and plenty of Lebensraum living space to the conuered east Things are so good for the Aryan race it's almost enough to forget about the attacks from partisans and Slavic forced laborers the never ending war in the Urals and the suicide rateOne thing Germany does not have is Jews No one knows what happened to them There are whispered rumors but no one knows for sure Like Hitler once predicted the Nazis got away with itIn this Germany Xavier March is a homicide cop called to investigate a body pulled from the river It's not an usual occurrence except this victim turns out to be a powerful party member Then another high ranking Nazi is murdered and another has disappeared In his investigation March finds himself on the wrong side of the Gestapo His only chance to escape a concentration camp or worse is to find the missing Nazi He teams up with an American journalist and together they undercover the Riech's most dangerous buried secretI loved this book's world building I think sometimes alt history books can be very heavy handed and writers give into the temptation to info dump to impress upon the reader the creativity of their alt world vision Robert Harris is restrained leaking details slowly and purposely Readers start to feel like they live in this reality where Germany won WWIIThe mystery in this book is based on real history the 1942 Wannsee Conferrence when 14 men gathered around a table and casually decided to send all of Europe's Jews to their deaths For those interested in the history I highly recommend the 2001 HBO movie Conspiracy which is a reenactment of that conference And I'm not recommending this just because Colin Firth is in it but it doesn't hurtThis is my first Robert Harris book but it won't be my last


  9. Jason Verber Jason Verber says:

    A murder in 1960s Nazi Germany draws one Berlin detective into a greater mystery than he could have ever imagined Or could he?The great thing about Fatherland is that Robert Harris doesn't try to do too much with the counterfactual history It's definitely there of course but the reader discovers it naturally as fictional historical details come up in the flow of the novel There is no heavy handed explanation of how this alternate history diverged from the history we know no listing of all the important differences as a result of that divergence etc And that leaves the reader wanting to know excited whenever details are revealed The fact that the novel also features a great story that is interesting both on its own and in relation to this counterfactual history also helps of course


  10. Kate Quinn Kate Quinn says:

    A chilling alternate history that poses the uestion what if Hitler won? A German investigator named March tries to solve a murder but what really rivets the attention is the world he takes for granted This is a world where the German Reich has swallowed France England and Russia President Kennedy Joe not JFK is meeting with Hitler to declare a pact between nations and a typical personals ad in the newspaper reads Pure Aryan doctor desires male progeny through marriage with healthy Aryan virginal young unassuming thrifty woman; broad hipped flat heeled and earringless essential March makes a riveting hero cool remote detached and no fervent Nazi which is unhealthy in Hitler's Berlin and his stubborn investigation into a routine murder uncovers the appalling buried truth of what happened to all of Europe's Jews This is a book to read in a growing daze of horror; you will flip the last page with a shudder of thanks that this world if just barely didn't happen


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