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Fatherland

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  28,604 ratings  ·  1,729 reviews
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.
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Paperback, 380 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Hartorch (first published May 26th 1992)
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Stephen
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I’ve never read a book that more 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.
 
BACKSTORY/ALTERNATIVE 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. Kenne
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Glenn Russell
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing


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 t
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Bookdragon Sean
“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 conquered at the speed they demonstrated in the 1930s. Their momentum was near unbelievable. The world would be in a terrible sta
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Steven Godin
I am sure it's a question 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 Amazon 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 quartet?, what if Mr and Mrs Hitler senior moved to the ...more
Will Byrnes
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 ...more
Kemper
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 buri
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abby
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 conquered east. Things are so good for the Aryan race, it's almost enough to forget about the attack ...more
Jason Verber
Mar 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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Darwin8u
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
"A police state is a country run by criminals."
-Robert Harris, Fatherland

Nazi Noir + alternative historical fiction is an interesting mix of genres. It's my birthday and late, so I'll review this tomorrow. If Gestapo dreams don't get me. But for now, Robert Harris is definitely a guilty pleasure.
Bill Lynas
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 f ...more
Dimitri
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, fiction
Robert Harris never made me fall in love like this again*.
There are many books out there set in the universe of an Axis victory, but few capture its atmosphere so well: the suffocating conformism that indoctrinates the post-war generation, the casual cruelty of the regime's Praetorians, the ubiquitous double faces and hidden blemishes of the fanatics.

When March travels to Switzerland "from one prison into another" he pretty much sums up the mental state of the dissident in any dictatorship.


*Unt
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Supratim
This book had been on my radar for quite some time and I finally got it from my library. It was a very enjoying read indeed.

The book presents an anternate history scenario where Hitler has won the Second World War and Eastern Europe has been conquered by the Nazis. The nations of Western Europe has been forced into a trading block and the German currency is accepeted all over continental Europe.

Hitler's birthday is approaching and people are getting ready to celebrate. A body has been discovered
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Brandon
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, ebook, fiction
What if Hitler had won?

Author Robert Harris presents a world where Germany came out on top following WWII. Hitler remains as head of Germany’s Western European empire with several of his key associates like Joseph Goebbels and Reinhard Heydrich in positions of power.

Following Germany’s discovery of the cracking of the Enigma Code, the Reich cruised to victory over its enemies in Europe. The United States’ victory over Japan still ended with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it was delay
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Dagio_maya
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parentesi di giudizio
[Sono stata indecisa sulla valutazione tradotta in stelline sonanti in merito a questo libro catalogabile tanto tra le ucronie quanto tra gialli e thriller.
Indecisione tra la piena sufficienza delle tre stelline e una soddisfazione di lettura più completa che si rispecchia nelle quattro stelline che – sinceramente- mi parevano troppo e irrispettose nei confronti di opere con più senso nel mondo della Letteratura. Poi, però, pensando proprio ad un certo appagamento raggiunto
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Mike
Fatherland takes a well worn subject, what if Nazi Germany had been successful in WWII, and takes an unusual avenue to explore it. Unlike other books on the subject Fatherland does not concern itself with the big military picture and it doesn't dally in the political decisions that changed history. It takes the changes as a given and explores this strange and horrifying world through the eyes of a simple police officer trying to solve a crime. It infuses a 1960's Nazi dominated Europe with all t ...more
Dyuti
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I chanced upon this book after reading Stephen's wonderful review while here on Goodreads.

Indeed, the blurb got me so hooked, that for the next four months I tried to hunt it down. But after futile visits to ALL the city bookstores with my boyfriend, who is also an avid reader, I finally gave up! Apparently, it was out of circulation. And right when I thought I would never be able lay my hands on it, I found a copy on sale on the Internet. A brand new 20th anniversary edition that too. So, I s
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Jon(athan) Nakapalau
As Hitler's 75th birthday approaches the murder of a man who has hidden ties to the top of the party is discovered. Detective Xavier March must now walk a tightrope over the chasm of state secrets as the Gestapo tries to cut the rope...having him fall may be the zugzwang the state wants to play.
Vaso
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readathon-17
Έχοντας διαβάσει ήδη 2 βιβλία του Robert Harris, ήρθε κ η σειρά του Fatherland, ενός βιβλίου που συνδυάζει την εναλλακτική ιστορία με το αστυνομικό μυθιστόρημα με ένα ιδιαιτέρως απολαυστικό τρόπο.
Η Γερμανία έχει νικήσει στο Β'ΠΠ κι έχει εγείρει μνημεία ή κατασκεύασε λεωφόρους μεγαλύτερα από τα αντίστοιχα των άλλων χωρών. Ο ανακριτής Μαρτς καλείται στον τόπο ανεύρεσης ενός πτώματος κι από εκεί κι έπειτα η ανεύρεση ενός δεύτερου πτώματος αντίστοιχου βεληνεκούς, τον βάζει σε υποψίες ότι οι δύο υπο
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James
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Harris' brilliantly thrilling and thought-provoking debut novel - set in a post WWII (1960's) alternative Germany; one where Nazi Germany had previously won the war. An excellent thriller set against a wonderfully imagined and evoked backdrop of a world that so very easily might have been...

The first of many excellent thrillers from the pen of Robert Harris, but this is where it all started.

Not to be missed.
مروان البلوشي
الرواية الأولى للصحافي السياسي البريطاني روبرت هاريس، وهي الرواية التي جلبت له الشهرة والكثير من المال (باعت ٣ ملايين نسخة) وهي أيضا الرواية الرائدة في فن روائي جديد نسبيا وهو "رواية التاريخ البديل". أي آنها تحاول إعادة سرد وحبك أحداث التاريخ المنتهية التي حصلت بطريقة ومسار جديد غير متوقع.

التاريخ المذكور هنا هو نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية، والرواية تسرد انتصار ألمانيا النازية في الحرب وسيطرتها على أوروبا والعالم. ورغم ذلك كله إلا أن هناك مؤامرة شنيعة داخل النظام النازي للتخلص من الزعيم العالمي
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Jill Hutchinson
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, wwi-wwii
Since history is so interesting I often wonder why I pick up a a"what if" book based on a mix of fact and fiction. But after seeing some good reviews on this book, I thought I would give it a chance and am glad that I did.

Basically the story is a police procedural but it is set in a Europe which is now under Nazi rule. It is set in 1964 and Europe is preparing to celebrate Hitler's 74th birthday. Xavier March is an officer in the Kripo, a police unit one step below the Gestapo and is called to t
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Andrew
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fatherland by Robert Harris, is a book of alternate history set in 1964 Germany. This is a Germany where the Nazi's won WWII, took large swathes of territory, reorganized Europe in their own image, and continue to fight Russian partisans in the Ural mountains. The book follows a German Kripo, Xavier March, who is called to inspect a dead body in a river in Berlin. The body is of one Josef Buhler, who was a member an administrator in the General Government region in WWII. Buhler is a top Nazi pol ...more
Kim
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: three-star-yes, r-r
Fatherland is a 1992 detective novel by English writer Robert Harris. In this book Nazi Germany won World War II, making the world not the nicest place for everybody else, at least I wouldn't be thrilled. The story's main character, Detective Xavier March, is an SS officer, police person, apparently they are not quiet the same thing, investigating the murder of a Nazi government official who was one of the participants at the Wannsee Conference, none of that I knew for awhile anyway, all we know ...more
Roopkumar Balachandran
I have to thank Leah for her beautiful review of Fatherland which piqued my interest in alternate history.

The story is police procedural and based on the alternate history, if German had won the Second World War, the protagonist Herr Sturmbannfuhrer Xavier March, homicide investigator with the Berlin Kriminalpolizei, he previously worked in Kriegsmarine during WWII, married to Klara had a son named Pili, after promoted to Berlin his marriage failed.

On April 14th 1964 he was called to investiga
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Arnab Paul
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
The man in the high castle নামের TV series দেখে এর নেপথযের শিরোনাম বইটি পড়ার ইচছা জাগে। এই বইটিও সাথে নামাই।Alternative history জনরাটা খুব রোমাঞচকর।ধরুন ইতিহাসের কোন বড় ঘটনা এখনকার মত না হয়ে যদি ভিননরকম হতো,তবে কেমন হতো আজকের পৃথিবীটা? বইটার কাহিনি এমন এক পৃথিবীর ,যেখানে হিটলারের নাজি বাহিনী দবিতীয় বিশবযুদধে বিজয়ী হয়।শীতল সনায়ুযুদধ চলে মারকিন ও নাজি-জারমানদের মাঝে।ইউরোপের ইহুদিদের ওপর নেমে আসে নিশচিহন হবার খড়গ।
সতযঘটনার আলোকে লেখা হারডবয়েলড উপনযাস (বাংলাটা কী হতে পারে?) এটি।হাইডরিখ,হিমলার,গোয়েব
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Richard
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
8.5/10

This turned into a gripping read and by the end I was well and truly absorbed in this alternative reality and “what if” scenario of Germany winning the war. Although, I’ve read two books recently where Germany won the war. I’m starting to doubt my knowledge now…did the Axis powers really win?!

It took a while to get going in this book, presumably because a lot of information was provided in this alternative reality and making the reader aware of the police state and nervousness of any non-c
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Jean
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book, fiction
Fatherland is a speculative fiction. Harris has the Nazis winning World War II. Our protagonist is Xavier March, a policeman. He is investigating the murder of an old man who was once an important Nazi bureaucrat. The timeline of the story is 1964.

The book is well written and researched. I believe that Harris had George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in mind when writing this story. Considering what is happening in the world today, I found this book most interesting. I also found it intriguing
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George K.
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Το Fatherland, το πρώτο βιβλίο του Ρόμπερτ Χάρις που διαβάζω και ένα από τα πιο πολυδιαβασμένα έργα του, συνδυάζει το αστυνομικό θρίλερ με την εναλλακτική ιστορία, με το τελικό αποτέλεσμα να είναι άκρως συναρπαστικό και απολαυστικό. Ειλικρινά δεν κατάλαβα πότε το τελείωσα το βιβλίο και στεναχωρήθηκα που δεν ήταν μεγαλύτερο.

Λοιπόν, βρισκόμαστε στο 1964, η Γερμανία έχει κερδίσει τον πόλεμο, έχει κατακτήσει διάφορες χώρες, κάτι σκληρές μάχες συνεχίζονται στην Ρωσία, που πολλά εδάφη της βρίσκονται υ
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Grumpus
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was ok
Again, as in the case of Simple Genius, this is the reason I don’t read more fiction. Even the historical fiction nature of the book, (Germany wins WWII, it’s a different world, yada, yada, yada—you can read more of the storyline in the reviews others have written) couldn’t save it for me.

I thought that both this book and Simple Genius had excellent premises but the stories failed to draw me in like a good Dean Koontz book.

Oh, and I am very literal. The book ends sort of like the movie Field
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Cphe
Interesting premise to this mystery/police procedural. There are none so blind as those who don't want to see. Enjoyed the world building and atmosphere of the novel. Chilling when you think about it.
Interesting primary character in March, a man outside of the norm, dogged and persistent to bring the truth to light.

Well written, enjoyed the ending, it was fitting to the tone of the novel overall although it did drag a bit in the middle.
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ROBERT HARRIS is the author of nine best-selling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, The Fear Index, and An Officer and a Spy. Several of his books have been adapted to film, most recently The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, England, with his ...more
“A police state is a country run by criminals” 17 likes
“Down in the cellar the Gestapo were licensed to practice was the Ministry of Justice called ‘heightened interrogation’. The rules had been drawn up by civilised men in warm offices and they stipulated the presence of a doctor.” 6 likes
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