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Publisher's Summary

1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany. The global economy strains against the weight of the long German war against Russia still raging in the east. The British people find themselves under increasingly authoritarian rule - the press, radio, and television tightly controlled, the British Jews facing ever greater constraints.

But Churchill's Resistance soldiers on. As defiance grows, whispers circulate of a secret that could forever alter the balance of the global struggle. The keeper of that secret? Scientist Frank Muncaster, who languishes in a Birmingham mental hospital.

Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, a spy for the Resistance and University friend of Frank's, is given the mission to rescue Frank and get him out of the country. Hard on his heels is Gestapo agent Gunther Hoth, a brilliant, implacable hunter of men, who soon has Frank and David's innocent wife, Sarah, directly in his sights.

C.J. Sansom's literary thriller Winter in Madrid earned Sansom comparisons to Graham Greene, Sebastian Faulks, and Ernest Hemingway. Now, in his first alternative history epic, Sansom doesn't just recreate the past - he reinvents it. In a spellbinding tale of suspense, oppression and poignant love, Dominion dares to explore how, in moments of crisis, history can turn on the decisions of a few brave men and women - the secrets they choose to keep and the bonds they share.

©2012 C.J. Sansom (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Dominion

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Shardlake, but pretty good...

I am a huge fan of C.J. Sansom's historical mysteries, with the Matthew Shardlake series ranking among my all-time favorites. So, it was an easy decision to see what CJS would make of an alternate history where the British signed a peace treaty with the Nazi's in 1940 instead of going to war as they did.

I found, as I listened, that though all the characters were well realized and though each had some sort of secret, I missed the "mystery" that I'm used to in a Sansom novel. The narrative is split between several main characters, including the Gestapo agent chasing our band of resistance fighters so Dominion was tense all the way through. I wished that the author had split the narrative one more time and shown us more of Winston Churchill leading the resistance. He does finally, but I was waiting most of the book to hear that.

I think to get all the nuances of the story, it helps to have a working knowledge of Britain before, during and after the Second World War. But I'm guessing most fans of historical fiction have that. I liked the book, but didn't love it as I do earlier Sansom books.

Recommend.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • J.
  • 05-13-14

Interesting Alternitive History

Somewhat in the Turtledove tradition. Historical figures intermingle with just plain folk in a Britain that gave into Hitler. Story about how incremental compromises on good and right can lead to a civilized society doing horrific things. The explanation for why it is so important to smuggle one of the characters out of the country is not very convincing. Would have liked to see more of Churchill leading the resistance.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Weak Tale Marred by Bias & Prejudice

I am a great fan of the Matthew Shardlake series and approached this alternative history with the hope that it would rise to the same level of excellence. It did not.

The premise is relatively commonplace: how would history develop if Britain had not fought on against Nazi Germany following the twin debacles in Norway and at Dunkirk. We learn the answer as we follow an intrepid group of soon-to-be resistance figures who must strive to keep an important nuclear secret out of Nazi hands.

This is a very fragile plot line. For it to work, we must believe that a few sentences passed between brothers would have been sufficient to advance the Nazi search for atomic weaponry by years or decades. In itself, that is foolish to the point of absurdity.

What's more, these brothers, presumably capable scientists, seem unable to differentiate between atomic and nuclear weapons, using the terms almost interchangeably. (Atomic weapons are a subset of nuclear weapons, which also include hydrogen bombs. Yes, a pedantic point, but one a scientist would likely make.)

More distracting than any of this, though, is the rampant bias we find throughout the narrative. With a single exception, every reference to the Catholic Church is negative. Every reference to American Republicans paints them as isolationist Nazi collaborators (or useful idiots). Almost every reference to organized religion in general is disparaging or negative, most characters have fallen away from their faith and religious faith almost never (with a single Anglican exception) plays any role in the resistance (completely at odds with the actual history of WWII resistance).

It is a shame that Sansom, the careful historian, who painted such a convincing tale of Tudor England should offer Dominion to his fans. Better that we receive another installment of the Shardlake series than any more work of this disappointing quality.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Story- Not sure about the Narrator

Would you listen to Dominion again? Why?

I probably would not listen to this story again if I had a choice as I am not a fan of the narrator. I usually listen to to audio books while I am at work and this one nearly put me to sleep.

Any additional comments?

The idea behind the story is fascinating- all of the what-ifs and how the world would be different. The author does a good job with this idea. I can't help but think I would like it a little better if I was reading this instead of listening.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing suspense.

Using real events in an alternate history is powerful. There was a time when I was glad I knew this author well enough that I didn't think he would go with a trick and terrible ending. Even though it is fiction, you know whose side you are on from the beginning, and it matters. Read it. You'll like it.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not worth the listen

What was most disappointing about C.J. Sansom’s story?

It seemed very trite and took place in too short a time frame.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I love the experience of hearing accents in different languages - the narration of this book ruined the enjoyment of the story for me. Worst German, Irish and Scottish accents ever.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent and believable alternate history story

a mystery and a thriller set in an alternative reality where the UK lost at Dunkirk and sued for peace. This story takes place 12 years later in an increasingly more Fascist Britain.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Glad that never happened!

Well worth listening to. Story very good, so many characters but each well formed. The narrator is so good.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking thriller

A fascinating story well performed. The "what ifs" abound give you the chills. Samson is a master!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story

This was really enjoyable and thought provoking.
As a Brit I was blown away by how close to perfect the regional accents were;
he even nailed the voices of the historical figures, such as Enoch Powell.
Very well done.

1 person found this helpful

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