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Fatherland  By  cover art

Fatherland

By: Robert Harris
Narrated by: Michael Jayston
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling classic of alternate history, a murder mystery set in a world where the Nazis won World War II - for fans of The Plot Against America and The Man in the High Castle.

Berlin, 1964. The Greater German Reich stretches from the Rhine to the Urals and keeps an uneasy peace with its nuclear rival, the United States. As the Fatherland prepares for a grand celebration honoring Adolf Hitler's 75th birthday and anticipates a conciliatory visit from US president Joseph Kennedy and ambassador Charles Lindbergh, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin's most prestigious suburb.

But when Xavier March discovers the identity of the body, he also uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with the American journalist Charlotte Maguire, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth - a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history.

©2017 Robert Harris (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A singular achievement displaying original and carefully wrought suspense... Fatherland easily transcends convention." ( The Washington Post)
"Ingenious...a triumph...suspenseful and elegant." ( San Francisco Chronicle)

What listeners say about Fatherland

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

1960's Nazi Germany comes alive

The world created by Robert Harris is wholly believable and the inclusion of historical figures, locations, newspapers, streets, etc. make it all the more believable. I thought the narration by Michael Jayston was superb and seemed to give Xavier March the tone and manner I would have expected from a forty-something divorced, disillusioned cop who has lived under Nazi oppression his entire life. The story is well paced and keeps you guessing. If you are into alternate history, KGB type thrillers, "who done it" murder mysteries, or intrigues surrounding the Third Reich, then this book is for you. I'm an avid reader of all things World War II and it was very interesting, yet easily envisioned, to temporarily live in a world of 1960's Nazi Germany.

23 people found this helpful

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A Tense and Exciting Detective Story

Fatherland is a noir detective novel set in an alternate 1964 in which Germany won the 2nd World War. Harris fleshes out this alternate world in a convincing and chilling way, giving the reader clues as to why Germany might have won the war. We glimpse a world in which the Cold War is between the U.S. and Germany, and in which Joseph Kennedy is President of the U.S. instead of his son, and in which Edward VIII did not abdicate, but rules a fascist Great Britain from which Winston Churchill was obliged to flee.

With Adolph Hitler's 75th birthday celebrations about to begin, detective Xavier March of the Berlin Kripo stumbles into the investigation of the suspicious drowning death of an old Nazi party stalwart in the face of Gestapo resistance. Harris's story of one honest man in a regime built on widespread corruption and dishonesty is a compelling read. The novel compares well to Phillip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, not to mention Alan Furst's fine series of thrillers set in WWII. Harris recently returned to Nazi Germany with his latest novel, Munich, set firmly in the real world, but just as taut and disturbing.

15 people found this helpful

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Excellent combination of Bernie Gunther and The Man In The High Tower

I accidentally bought the Audible version of Fatherland, a book I had read over 20 years ago and thought I knew well. Turned out I didn’t remember much at all about Fatherland, which is an excellent thriller. There are a couple of amazing similarities to other historical fiction. Over the last few years, I’ve read Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels about the Berlin police detective before, during and after WWII and also watched the amazing Amazon TV series The Man In The High Tower about an alternative history where Germany and Japan won WWII. Fatherland is about about an alternative history where Germany won WWII and a Berlin police detective uncovering the Final Solution 20 years after the war. Excellent story, highly recommended!

15 people found this helpful

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An excellent what-if narrative

This book is wonderfully written and performed. Like Le Carre, Harris writes superb fiction disguised as a mystery-thriller. Fatherland is an alternative history with strong echoes of today’s jackbooted politics.

11 people found this helpful

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Loved it.

Easy read. Never got board. Enjoyed every moment. Felt a little like a better version of a certain book that was turned into a TV show.

9 people found this helpful

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  • E.
  • 12-17-17

Huge Letdown, Lame Story, Don’t waste your time!

The story really builds into what seems like a thrilling whodunnit. But, the author uses a well known meeting and events surrounding it as motives for the murder. There was a Made for TV movie about this meeting of high ranking Nazi officers discussing the final solution for the “Jewish problem.” So, once we get near the end, it is a huge letdown. I am NOT making light of downplaying the Holocaust. But, the author used it and a few changes in history for a weak premise wrapped in high expectations. It’s not the worse book I’ve listened to, but it was a waste of time I can’t get back. The reader’s pronunciation was very good for the most part. German names take some practice and are easy to mess up. His performance was the only thing positive about this mess, except that the author did get things correct about how terrible life in Germany would be if Hitler and the Reich were still in power.

9 people found this helpful

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Best Historic Fiction Ever

Any additional comments?

This is officially alternative history but there is nothing sci fi or unbelievable about it. It is a gripping suspenseful thriller, about a German police detective who stumbles onto something dangerous, twenty years after the war.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent History (Both Real and Alternate)

Robert Harris excels with this novel. It combines a police procedural with the actual history of the ``Final Solution'' along with an equally chilling alternate history of Nazi Germany in 1965. I read the novel when it was first published and was happy to find it on Audible along with excellent narration by Michael Jayston. After finishing ``Fatherland'' I'm now listening to Robert Harris' recent book ``Munich.'' I trust that ``Munich'' will be just as excellent as ``Fatherland.''

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant.

Really tautly written (and read) thriller in a very believable fictional 1960s victorious Nazi Germany. Highly recommended. The murder plot is excellent and although ones credibility might be stretched a little here and there not so much as to spoil it. Nice twists too.

6 people found this helpful

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An Old Tale With a New Twist

Fatherland is a book that would appeal to the consumers that lightly dabbled In WWII history, the basic plot and character development are sound, however the story feels generic and does not give the reader a comprehensive view on a potentially intricate alternate world. The book is better than Man in High Castle because the story in which you experiance the world is coherent and relative.

4 people found this helpful