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1901: A Novel de Robert Conroy

1901: A Novel (original: 1995; edição: 1995)

de Robert Conroy (Autor)

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244384,838 (3.25)11
In 1901 Germany invades the United States when the U.S. refuses to give up Cuba and the Philippines. New York is taken and a prolonged conflict follows. The hero is General Patrick Mahan, commander of the Bastard Brigade, made up of German-American and African-American regiments.
Título:1901: A Novel
Autores:Robert Conroy (Autor)
Informação:Berkley Pub Group (1995)
Coleções:What If, World War I (1914-1918), Sua biblioteca

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1901 de Robert Conroy (1995)


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One of the great problems with alternative history is the lack of imagination. All too often, the novels of the genre begin with a divergence, usually involving the Civil War or World War II, and lead to a result that is not unfamiliar to a student of our history. In this respect, Robert Conroy’s book is a refreshing change of pace with its intriguing premise: what if the German kaiser had decided to attack the United States in an effort to take over its recently acquired colonies? As ideas go, it is imaginative enough to be refreshing, yet plausible enough to work. Conroy follows this up with a believable plot that details the consequences of this decision on the world and on the cast of characters he assembles.

Nevertheless, this is the limit of Conroy’s achievement, as having avoided one pitfall he ends up stumbling into others. Though the plot is engaging the writing is not, as Conroy’s insertion of details often gives passages the feel of a textbook. A similar problem exists with the characters; while his main hero and heroine are well fleshed out, the rest often come across as underdeveloped and stereotypical.

The greatest problem with Conroy’s novel, though, is its lack of respect for the historical background. Though this might seem counter-intuitive in a novel of alternative history, it is one of the keys to a successful alternative history novel. Yet Conroy seems uninterested in this. All too often he infuses his characters with more modern sensibilities (such as attitudes towards blacks and immigrant Germans) which no event could have created back then. Doing so robs them of their distinctive voice, and strong historical personalities such as Theodore Roosevelt seem to be little more than two-dimensional mouthpieces used to offer expositions on the plot. He also falls victim to name-dropping, introducing other famous figures no matter how implausible their participation in events might have been, apparently for no reason other than to give him an excuse to crowd his narrative with a “who’s-who” of historical characters.

As a consequence, the novel fails to live up to the promise of the plot. Readers drawn to the genre by the works of authors like Harry Turtledove will find Conroy’s novel a pale imitation of their best efforts. Though entertaining in some respects, it lacks the vivid evocation of an alternate past that makes such books compelling reading. I only hope that other, better writers of the field will be inspired to make similar bold leaps of the imagination when defining “what might have been.” ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
This was Conroy's first attempt at alternate history. His other books are better. ( )
  velopunk | Dec 15, 2010 |
Just a fun read! This was Mr. Conroy's first book and while the prose was not the best it held my interest and kept me turning the pages. The alternate history point of departure is very unique (Germans invading the US in 1901.) I like his more narrative approach to unfolding the story and found the plot engaging, believable, and historically accurate. The book also has interesting extrapolation ideas and alludes to some interesting changes in the future because of the departure. This is the third book of Mr. Conroy I've read and I look forward to reading his latest book 1942. ( )
  stevetempo | Jul 29, 2009 |
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In 1901 Germany invades the United States when the U.S. refuses to give up Cuba and the Philippines. New York is taken and a prolonged conflict follows. The hero is General Patrick Mahan, commander of the Bastard Brigade, made up of German-American and African-American regiments.

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