IN THE PRESENCE OF MINE ENEMIES

Harry Turtledove, Author . NAL $24.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-451-52902-2

Despite its intriguing alternative premise, Turtledove's lengthy tale of Berlin's Jews hiding in the open long after the Nazis defeated all their WWII enemies plods along in a series of vignettes told from the viewpoints of six different Jewish characters passing as "good Germans": Wehrmacht analyst Heinrich Gimpel, his wife, Lise, and their precocious 10-year-old daughter, Alicia; medieval English scholar Susanna Weiss; and physician's receptionist Esther Stutzman and her husband, Walther, whose computer expertise has helped many Berlin Jews shed their "unclean" ancestry. But as the Gimpels and their friends struggle to keep their secret culture alive, all around them chinks are appearing in the very foundations of the Reich, starting with the death of Hitler's second successor and the selection of a progressive new Führer. Tepid characterizations, clumsy plot devices, interminable bridge sessions between the Gimpels and their Aryan friends, even some dialogue seemingly better suited to a drawling John Wayne than a Wehrmacht panzer commander (who defies the SS with "you're going to be mighty sorry"), all dilute the author's message of hope for these downtrodden remnants of the Chosen People. Closing on a curiously inconclusive note—or is it a lead-in to an equally ponderous sequel?—this account of an unlikely political thaw dribbles off into a puddle of clichés, sentiment and unconvincing coincidence. (Nov. 4)

Forecast: The prolific Turtledove can't produce a winner like last year's Ruled Britannia, about Spanish-occupied Elizabethan England, every time. On the other hand, Steve Stone's striking jacket art, which features a clunky classical building that Albert Speer might have designed, with Nazi banners in front and satellite dishes on the roof, is sure to draw curious browsers.

Reviewed on: 10/20/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
Show other formats
FORMATS
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-8698-1
Open Ebook - 978-0-7865-8697-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 528 pages - 978-0-451-45959-6
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.