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Reich TV (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 23 mar 2011

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5.0 su 5 stelle Sublime alternate history 19 luglio 2012
Di Puna J - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
No doubt this is the best book I've read in years! The previous reviewer has pretty much said it all (and very well indeed) so I just want to encourage anyone checking out this book to take the plunge. The incredible amount of research that went into this book and the wonderfully smooth flow of the story should be reason enough to read Reich TV. I truly hope for more alternate histories like this one from Jeff Pearce.
4.0 su 5 stelle Finely Tuned Alt History 30 dicembre 2012
Di E'ville - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
Worth the read. Well researched and well executed. Author has a lot to offer and appears to be headed for great things.
4.0 su 5 stelle A new look at the NSDAP 5 luglio 2012
Di Hugh Ashton - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
This was a fascinating book - not least because I have also written an alternate history about many of the same characters. However, while I restricted my real-life characters to the Germans who led the Nazi party, Pearce has broadened his canvas and included many of the British literary, and some of the entertainment figures of the period, as well as some American political figures.

For the most part, these seem to follow the characters of the real-life personages, and though Pearce and I may disagree in our writings on the precise characterisation of some of the Nazis, and their exact motivations, we share the same basic opinions regarding these monsters from history. Pearce's Nazis are more articulate about their goals and objectives than mine, and his Hitler comes over as a real person with a precise hideously warped outlook on life and power, and not just a symbol of evil (his final speeches are an excellent attempt by the author to understand evil from the inside).

The time is vague, but the real-life events can be pinned down to 1933 - and the story develops very fast, fast-forwarding a little too much for plausibility, in my opinion, but not outrageously so (the Alien Space Bats of bad alternate history are missing, though radio technology is a lot more advanced in this universe than ours).

Like all good alternate histories (in my opinion), parallels are drawn between the events and the personages of the 1930s, and the problems and issues of today. They're not overt, for the most part, but they are there, and alert readers will find them, and with luck, will learn from them.

There are also a number of literary allusions and jokes thrown in for good measure, which show that Pearce is not simply name-dropping when he uses his literary characters - there is an understanding of their characters and their work.

Although the plot gets ferociously tangled towards the end, it has to be said that the politics of that day was indeed ferociously tangled, and Pearce's explanation of the chief real-life event driving the plot (the Reichstag fire) is as good as any I have read anywhere, in history or fiction.

A highly recommended read.
5.0 su 5 stelle Witty alternate history novel that reads like a thriller. Great characters and bursting with ideas to reflect on. 18 luglio 2011
Di Amazon Customer - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle
Reich TV is a witty alternate history novel that reads like a thriller. It explores how advances in technology could have changed the events of World War II with developments in television, broadcast journalism, and even mobile phones. The story follows George Orwell, Groucho Marx, Dylan Thomas, and a host of other A-list characters as they play their roles in the information war against the Hitler regime.

I don't give five stars easily, but Reich TV is an impressive read. I read all 120,000+ words in three sittings and it disrupted my sleep schedule for days, but I regret nothing.

The characters are outstanding. The author writes George Orwell convincingly as a foreign correspondent who investigates the Reichstag Fire, snoops about Berlin, and generally gets himself into trouble. Orwell's political views drive his actions, and he decides to do some chilling things that are too reminiscent of scenes from 1984.

I was instantly charmed by Groucho Marx and the rest of the troupe in London as they deal with politics through the BBC and politics in the BBC. The behind the scenes events in the studio and their private lives were just as fascinating as their efforts to undermine Nazi support through subversive television programming. The vivacious prose and wisecracking dialogue had me chuckling constantly. Other interesting characters end up playing a part (mostly writerly types), including Erich Maria Remarque who races the pirate broadcasters' getaway car, to the point that it made me exclaim, "Man, who isn't in this book?!"

The research and the realism are noteworthy. I'm not an expert, but I thought Pearce captures the era well and provides a good sense of the politics in both Germany and the UK. The Nazis aren't caricature villains either; they're very real individuals who are interested in furthering their own ambitions, with their own philosophies--and of course, that results in a lot of infighting amongst themselves. While part of the fun of alternate history is examining how fictional events deviate from our own and why, readers don't need to be familiar with the history to enjoy this novel. It's all addressed in a special section at the end, explaining which parts are real and which parts are fiction. But really, it's all parts awesome.

With regards to pacing, Reich TV moves like a thriller (especially with Orwell's section). While the characters are fixated on the same clues in some chapters, there are always enough character interactions, ideas about journalism and politics, and unexpected twists to keep the reader engaged. I thought the resolution felt a bit long as I was surprised that there were more pages to turn, but that delighted me more than anything.

Reich TV is one of the most enjoyable books I've read, and it's highly recommended. I recommend it to readers who are interested in the relationship between technology and journalism, this portion of world history, the A-list cast this book boasts, a thriller with lively characters, or even just a brilliant SF/F novel that's out of the ordinary. It's one of the books that I hope more people would read, so when I quote lines, people will understand what I'm referencing. If the premise of George Orwell versus the Nazis can't get you intrigued, I don't know what will.

Note: a free review copy was provided by the author.
5.0 su 5 stelle Indispensable alternate history. 18 maggio 2011
Di Matthew Heckler - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Alternate history is a crowded and often quite useless genre. How much can we really learn from aliens from the future giving gamma rays to the Viet Cong? It may have entertainment value, but the best in alternate history takes a bigger approach than this. Classics like Philip K. Dick's Hugo award winning novel The Man in the High Castle and Philip Roth's The Plot Against America spring to mind. I don't think Jeff Pearce's Reich TV is quite The Man in the High Castle, but I think I liked it just as much as The Plot Against America, if not more.

Unlike any of the alternate histories I had read prior to Reich TV, Pearce's novel uses real life public figures as his main characters rather than his own creations. In one aspect, it makes the characterization process easier; you don't have to create them yourself. On the other, though, it adds a lot of required research to a genre that by definition requires more in-depth study than any other genre of fiction. In the case of Reich TV, this use of real people is brilliantly executed. This is an outstandingly well-researched piece of speculative fiction.

At its core, I think Reich TV is a story about the way technology changes everything. Just in case it isn't already obvious from the title and cover, Reich TV is set during World War II. The biggest technology advances of the century have come to be earlier than in reality, and this leads to a much larger influence of media on the scheme of things, on the ebb and flow of the conflict. Essayist and novelist George Orwell is a journalist from England, in Germany investigating the circumstances surrounding some mysterious deaths. The Marx Brothers are performing a weekly variety show in London being transmitted in Berlin that causes enough controversy to put their lives in danger. Dylan Thomas is their producer, who tears himself away from booze and women just long enough to focus on a new obsession: stopping the Nazis.

There are times in Reich TV where I wish the pace had been just a bit faster, especially around the middle third. It starts out very strong, and I found myself immersed in the story very quickly. There's a bit of a slowing around the middle, but it was still very enjoyable. Pearce writes wonderfully, so well that I'm actually quite surprised this wasn't published by a more traditional, larger publishing company.

The strongest aspect of Reich TV is the characterization. Pearce's portrayal of all of these seemingly larger than life figures is picture perfect. In reading the novel, I could entirely believe that Dylan Thomas, George Orwell, and Groucho Marx were exactly as Pearce wrote them and participated in the events as written. Pearce did an excellent job of immersing me in the world, and completely squelching any disbelief that I might have had reading another alternate history book.

Of particular interest, aside from the great novel itself, is the section at the end when Pearce explains how much of the novel is based on reality, and how much his own creation. The inclusion of this several pages of explanation really managed to deepen my appreciation for the novel and how it was written. It was certainly no small task, and not something everyone could do. Reich TV is a pretty special book. Pearce is a brilliant and talented writer, as well as being spectacularly diverse: he has a couple other novels out that are in completely different subgenres of speculative fiction, but they intrigue nonetheless. I would definitely recommend Reich TV to anyone with an interest in alternate history.

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