Turtledove Book--In the Presence of Mine Enemies

Great alternate history. I know that there are some Turtledove fans on this board, and I just finished this one. Can’t help but see the Gorbachev and Yeltsin parallels, but it was a great story and an inspiring one.

He seemed to be getting dry through the Timeline-191 series, but he hit a home run here.

For those who don’t know the book…it assumes that the US stayed neutral in WWII. The Germans and the Japanese had a truce through the 1960s. Then Germany nuked the crap out of and conquered the US. Jews are thought to be extinct, but the main character is a secret Jew pretending to be an Aryan, working for the Third Reich in 2010 Berlin.

Is this the same series that started with the South winning the Civil War?

Oh, god, I think I picked that up when my boyfriend was reading it and I’d already read everything in the bathroom. The writing was atrocious. I read and enjoyed The Guns of the South years ago and this might have had a decent story, couldn’t tell you - I never could have gotten past the awful, terrible, no good, very bad prose.

You know, I almost gave up after 100 pages because it started very badly with repetitive stuff. But it picked up and did a great job after that. Should have cut out about 25 of those first hundred.

No. The Timeline 191 series did that. This is a standalone book…

It’s a novelization of a short story.

The short story was much better. Much more evocative of the adaptations Jews would need to make to survive as a people in a modern Nazi state.

The expansion to novel length suffered from Turtledove Bloat, and a bad habit of filing the serial numbers off real history and acting as if its his own story.

I have a copy of it in, um, I think “Departures.” (Not near my bookcases right now and too lazy to look it up on Amazon.)

The short story was much better. If anybody is curious, the short story is just the first chapter of the novel (I think the short story is only one chapter in the novel. The short story ends with Mr. and Mrs. Gimpel going to bed).

I just can’t read alternate histories that start with that kind of idea. The premise is just too depressing to contemplate. But I guess that’s just me.

Then trust me when I say, never, ever pick up Jo Walton’s Farthing, Ha’penny, or Half a Crown. Great writing, but they make In the Presence of Mine Enemies seem almost giddy in comparison.