The War That Came Early: West and East : War That Came Early

  • by Harry Turtledove
  • Narrated by Todd McLaren
  • Series: War That Came Early
  • 17 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1938, two men held history in their hands. One was Adolf Hitler. The other was British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, who, determined to avoid war at any cost, came to be known as "the great appeaser". But Harry Turtledove, the unrivaled master of alternate history, has launched a gripping saga that springboards from a different fateful act: What if Chamberlain had stood up to Hitler? What would the Nazis' next move have been? And how would the war---which Hitler had always regretted waiting 11 months to start---have unfolded and changed our world?
Here, Turtledove takes us across a panorama of conflict fueled by ideology and demagoguery. Nations are pitted against nations, alliances are forged between old enemies, ordinary men and women are hurled into extraordinary life-and-death situations.
In Japanese-controlled Singapore, an American marine falls in love with a Russian dance-hall hostess, while around him are heard the first explosions of Chinese guerilla resistance. On the frontlines of war-ravaged rural France, a weary soldier perfects the art of using an enormous anti-tank gun as a sniper's tool---while from Germany a killer is sent to hunt him down. And in the icy North Atlantic, a U-boat bearing an experimental device wreaks havoc on British shipping, setting the stage for a Nazi ground invasion of Denmark.
From an American woman trapped in Germany who receives safe passage from Hitler himself to a Jewish family steeped in German culture and facing the hatred rising around them, from Japanese soldiers on the remote edge of Siberia to American volunteers in Spain, The War That Came Early: West and East is the story of a world held hostage by tyrants - Stalin, Hitler, Sanjuro - each holding on to power through lies and terror, even in the face of treacherous plots from within.


What the Critics Say

"And so it whirls on, the suspense building inexorably, thanks to two of Turtledove’s gifts, in particular. One is for portraying so much of the action from the viewpoint of the grunts, or even civilians, who know little of what the Great Ones are up to until the consequences are all over them. The other proceeds from the first and is for envisioning WWII unraveling like an endless ball of yarn in the paws of an intelligent kitten. Keep reading or miss something exceedingly fine." (Booklist)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good, but not one his best

Turtledove is never bad, but I wish that this one had been better. This volume was written to the usual Turtledove formula. If you don't know what that is, you have many hours of excellent reading ahead of you. However, this part of the tale is too much like the real history of World War II. Unlike Turtledove's long series based on a Confederate victory in the Civil War, none of the viewpoint characters is a political leader. As a result, the stories in this book are not so different from any WW II stories of ordinary people. The military positions are different, of course, but the day-to-day stories are about the same as those I heard from everyone in my parents' generation.

Don't let my whining put you off, though. Turtledove is still one of the best story-tellers around. I'd hoped for better. I'm just praising with faint damns.
Read full review

- Augustus T. White "ATW"

Alternate history and elegant story-telling

Even if you don't hear stem-winder lectures (sermons) so often nowadays about the Munich betrayal of Czechoslovakia ("peace in our time" was never quite the same, even as a prayer), there are abstract arguments - Britain had only just begun to build modern fighters, would the German army command have taken action to dump Hitler, was the German build-up itself ready to fight, etc.

Harry Turtledove makes you forget whatever you thought you knew, including real WW II history, and his cast of seriously developed characters live a story where neither you nor they know how it will turn out, let alone details.

His trademark effortless mastery of details runs from the motor, armor and weapons on a panzer Mark 1 or Mark 2, or the early anti-tank weapons (think a .50 calibre machine gun pretending to be a rifle; and here I found the LAAW and 3.5 inch rocket frustrating ;-) through Jewish life in Hitler's Germany. He invents Czech soldiers who fought hard in their own country, and escaped to fight in France - imagine "Good Soldier Schweik' with the same character but with his own country and fighting to keep it.

I just finished the second volume, and will re-audit the first, because Turtledove's prose and imagination richly reward the second reading.
Read full review

- Theodore

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-03-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio