Fatherland; Robert Harris

#1
This book's story revolves around 'what if Hitler won WW2', establishing a reign in 1960's Europe by Germany.

I found this book fascinating, however, I also was having some trouble losing myself within the plot because I kept correcting the history in my own mind. But to me, this was a good read, full of secrets to be uncovered and political intrigue, the book was hard to put down.

It was a strong book but the ending was a little too weak for my liking, however, Robert Harris had put a believable spin on something that could have happened.

Has anyone else read this book and what were your thoughts?
 
#3
I read it many years ago and found it a very good book. I do believe that a film was made as an adaptation of the book.
 
#4
VanHelsing said:
I read it many years ago and found it a very good book. I do believe that a film was made as an adaptation of the book.
I also found the book to be a very good read and much better than the film (which i found as a slight let down). Did it star Rutgar Huer?
 
#5
HBO made the film adaptation, starring Rutger Hauer.

Bit of a novelty, having an SS officer as the hero.

Harris hated it, but many think the film's ending was far better.
 
#6
I really enjoyed the book, and fund the "what if Germany had won" plot to be food for thought.

It sent me on a bit of a Robert Harris Binge, but found some of his others to be disappointing (especially Archangel (stalins secret son hidden in the woods))

I think Fatherland was by far his best. (ive not seen the film)
 
#7
I enjoyed the book Fatherland.
I read a similar book to Fatherland set in the UK (i.e. Germany winning the war) .
It was about a British Detective with a son (no mother on the scene), who worked with/under the Gestapo.
There was something to do with "prosthetic limbs" being vital to the case as well IIRC.
 
#8
welldai said:
VanHelsing said:
I read it many years ago and found it a very good book. I do believe that a film was made as an adaptation of the book.
I also found the book to be a very good read and much better than the film (which i found as a slight let down). Did it star Rutgar Huer?
Yep it starred Rutger, shame the SS caps looked more like Milkmens than the Waffen SS style you would have xpected them to wear! British made (BBC with HBO money) movie - Miranda Richardson (Queenie from Black Adder) was very good as the American journo.
 
#11
Miner said:
I enjoyed the book Fatherland.
I read a similar book to Fatherland set in the UK (i.e. Germany winning the war) .
It was about a British Detective with a son (no mother on the scene), who worked with/under the Gestapo.
There was something to do with "prosthetic limbs" being vital to the case as well IIRC.
Miner - the book was called "SS-GB". I think it was by Frederick Forsythe.
 
#12
Uncivil_Servant said:
Miner said:
I enjoyed the book Fatherland.
I read a similar book to Fatherland set in the UK (i.e. Germany winning the war) .
It was about a British Detective with a son (no mother on the scene), who worked with/under the Gestapo.
There was something to do with "prosthetic limbs" being vital to the case as well IIRC.
Miner - the book was called "SS-GB". I think it was by Frederick Forsythe.
Thats the fella!!
By Len Deighton.
 
#13
Miner said:
Uncivil_Servant said:
Miner said:
I enjoyed the book Fatherland.
I read a similar book to Fatherland set in the UK (i.e. Germany winning the war) .
It was about a British Detective with a son (no mother on the scene), who worked with/under the Gestapo.
There was something to do with "prosthetic limbs" being vital to the case as well IIRC.
Miner - the book was called "SS-GB". I think it was by Frederick Forsythe.
Thats the fella!!
By Len Deighton.
Ooops - indeed it was. Long time since I read it.
 
#14
Miner said:
I enjoyed the book Fatherland.
I read a similar book to Fatherland set in the UK (i.e. Germany winning the war) .
It was about a British Detective with a son (no mother on the scene), who worked with/under the Gestapo.
There was something to do with "prosthetic limbs" being vital to the case as well IIRC.
Think that was SS-GB by Len Deighton

Edited to add: damn you beat me to it
 
#16
I love alternate history novels! Has anyone read the Southern Victory/Timeline 101 series by Harry Turtledove, about the South winning the American civil war, then it goes forward to WW1 and the South is allied with Britain, France and Russia whilst the north is on the German side?
 
#17
johnboyzzz said:
Miner said:
I enjoyed the book Fatherland.
I read a similar book to Fatherland set in the UK (i.e. Germany winning the war) .
It was about a British Detective with a son (no mother on the scene), who worked with/under the Gestapo.
There was something to do with "prosthetic limbs" being vital to the case as well IIRC.
Think that was SS-GB by Len Deighton

Edited to add: damn you beat me to it
I think there was a similar book, post war Nazi Britain novel, in the 1970s. Buggered if I can remember the title/author now. I'll just roll my cap again - eh!
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Bradstyley said:
I love alternate history novels! Has anyone read the Southern Victory/Timeline 101 series by Harry Turtledove, about the South winning the American civil war, then it goes forward to WW1 and the South is allied with Britain, France and Russia whilst the north is on the German side?
I have read most of them, although i got a bit bored, as the US always won every battle (it seemed). Plus you could usually see what was going to happen next.
His WorldWar series is pretty good though, although not exactly alternate history. A bunch of lizard aliens invade earth in midst of WW2, with the equivalent of modern technology and predictably kick arse. However, they have only a finite amount of tanks, soldiers and aircraft etc, and progress technologically very very slowly (They cannot comprehend how humans have gone from armoured knights on horseback to atomics weapons in only 800 years!).
Sounds weird, but is actually rather good, with some good battle scenes.

Back to original post, i liked the book more than the film. A sequence that stands out for me is when the "hero" realises with horror that the clothes he wore while on the uboats were made from human hair from the concentration camps, as the german people have generally no idea of the extermination programme.
Another book in the what if mould is Golgotha by John Gardner, in which an isolationist USA withdraws from Europe, prompting a soviet invasion. UK undergoes some kind of coup and the russians are invited in. The US realise their mistake and send a number of spies in to activate "Golgotha". Very good spy book...
 
#20
chrisg46 said:
Bradstyley said:
I love alternate history novels! Has anyone read the Southern Victory/Timeline 101 series by Harry Turtledove, about the South winning the American civil war, then it goes forward to WW1 and the South is allied with Britain, France and Russia whilst the north is on the German side?
I have read most of them, although i got a bit bored, as the US always won every battle (it seemed). Plus you could usually see what was going to happen next.
His WorldWar series is pretty good though, although not exactly alternate history. A bunch of lizard aliens invade earth in midst of WW2, with the equivalent of modern technology and predictably kick arse. However, they have only a finite amount of tanks, soldiers and aircraft etc, and progress technologically very very slowly (They cannot comprehend how humans have gone from armoured knights on horseback to atomics weapons in only 800 years!).
Sounds weird, but is actually rather good, with some good battle scenes.

...
I thought that 'How Few Remain' (the one set in 1881) was absolutely excellent, the WW1 & interwar years dealing with the rise of the Freedom Party pretty good, and the WW2 ones not so good-it gets a bit implausible when he starts positing a US with only 2/3rds the population and economy, invaded on the ground and subject to a strategic bombing campaign somehow building 3 A-bombs quicker then in real life. But its the racial politics and attack on american exceptionalism that make it a good series, with the Holocaust against black people and showing how easily racism can be turned into fascism and genocide...
 
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