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Walk In Hell (The Great War, Book 2) de…
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Walk In Hell (The Great War, Book 2) (edició 1999)

de Harry Turtledove (Autor)

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744425,988 (3.53)14
An alternate-history novel on World War I in which the United States and the Confederate States are on opposite sides, the latter having won independence during the Civil War. Complicating the Confederate war effort is a socialist revolution by blacks.
Membre:alexblue
Títol:Walk In Hell (The Great War, Book 2)
Autors:Harry Turtledove (Autor)
Informació:Del Rey (1999), Edition: 1st, 484 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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The Great War: Walk In Hell de Harry Turtledove

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"Walk in Hell" opens with a poem from noted WWI poet Wilfred Owen, who died on the French front 11/4/1918. The poem quoted is from "Mental Case" and sets the mood for the book. One of the horrors of the First World War was so bad that using gas in warfare is considered heinous today. Another is that no one uses trench warfare either.

Just like in any war, WWI brought innovation. Harry Turtledove incorporated them into the story naturally. I especially like how he has shown the development of aircraft.
airplanes in war (balloons were used in the civil war)
aerial photography
interrupter gear
aircraft carriers
u-boats were a proven part of the navy (also first used in the civil war)
hydrophone (for locating subs)
depth charges, tanks
flamethrowers
tracer bullets
gas
trench warfare
wristwatches

A reoccurring theme is Country and race count for more than class. During the previous era, class counted, now there is a sea-change to race counting for more. As more black and brown people have money or even the right to vote, white people still want to be higher than them. Black and brown people are set on vengeance for wrongs they have suffered or thought to have suffered for years.

It is a long book with many characters, not all of which get a lot of ink. Just like the war it depicts, the book drags on. I hope that the next in the series spends some more time on all the characters. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
My reaction to reading this novel in 1999. Spoilers follow.

In this alternate history series and Turtledove’s Worldwar series, Turtledove’s narrative technique of giving a worm’s-eye view of events has certain advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, constantly viewing events in these alternate history series from the viewpoint of several characters not only is a copy of the large cast, multiple viewpoint, fast paced style of some bestsellers, but it also means each scene advances plot and, usually, characterization (especially since both series are heavily preoccupied with the changing racial attitudes of their characters). The negative aspect is that we never get epic, omniscient, godlike perspectives of the kind seen in so many disaster novels or in an alternate history like, say Ward Moore’s Bring the Jubilee (my favorite alternate history). Battles for cities and countries are cramped into the limited perspective of this technique; important, epic events are covered in a sentence frequently. For instance, we only find about out about the war between Argentina and Chile in a few sentences. In a previous novel of the series, we got a cramped perspective on the taking of Washington, DC (courtesy of Nellie Semproch). It would be nice, at times, to get the big, epic picture (the closest we come is US General Staff discussions).

This is a middle book in the series and little is resolved. Even the Red Rebellion in the South that began at the end of the previous book isn’t concluded here. Cassius, at novel’s end, is still conducting a last ditch guerilla campaign in the swamps for his Congaree Socialist Republic. The only character from the first novel that dies is Paul Mantarakis. I suspect Turtledove killed him off (after his viewpoint showed us the interesting suppression of the Mormon rebellion – Mormon uprisings being a believable and interesting part of this series) just to prove his characters are always in danger. Oddly enough, he switches to Gordon McSweeney (a fellow platoon member of Mantarakis) as a viewpoint character. McSeeney is a humorless, self-righteous, and rather frightening religious fanatic of the Presbyterian persuasion. (Presbyterians are usually not thought of as radical, and this may be Turtledove’s first use of a stock sf character – the religious fanatic. He usually treats religion matter-of-factly if not sympathetically.)

The other points of interest in the novel are the introduction of tanks (here, Turtledove wryly has them referred to as “barrels”). George Armstrong Custer (along with Theodore Roosevelt, the main historical here though Eugene Debs and Douglas McArthur – who Custer predictably hates – make appearances). Custer predictably and understandably sees them as a new incarnation of cavalry. His attitude has less to do with any prescience on his part and more to do with a desperate nostalgia perhaps not justified by the feeble mechanical abilities and speed of the new weapons. Scipio’s role and flight after the Reds are all but vanquished in the Confederacy was interesting. Turtledove’s depiction of Southern employers, desperate for labor, granting an unofficial, de facto amnesty to Red rebels was probably inspired by South African employers ignoring labor laws under apartheid in order to hire blacks at illegal wages. Eventually, the Confederates take the expedient steps (as they did in the last days of our Civil War) of arming blacks. Flora Hamburger wins a Senate seat. The unpleasant Annie Colleton (my least favorite character) escapes a murder attempt by Cassius and vows vengeance.

The conquered gradually accommodate themselves to the vanquishers as evidenced by Cincinnatus finding a white man who treats him as an equal, and Quebcour Lucien Galtier finds some things to like about the Yankees who occupy his land. Nellie Semphroch’s daughter threatens to marry a Confederate. Arthur McGregor and his family don’t accommodate themselves to the Americans. He becomes a saboteur after they execute his son. Jake Featherston starts to develop a nastier hatred toward blacks and his superiors after he is denied justifiable promotions. Irving Morrell moves higher in the ranks of the US army after successes in Canada. The book ends with the balance seem to tip towards the US. ( )
  RandyStafford | Nov 4, 2013 |
The Middle volume of a trilogy stemming from the Southern Survival scenario outlined in "How Few Remain", it continues the story as the USA starts to exert its strategic advantages. Sadly HT has some weaknesses regarding Canadian geography, but this kind of "War at Home " is open to such criticism. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 8, 2013 |
This one's the second in The Great War trilogy, following on the heels of American Front. It picks up the tale of World War I fought in a world where the Confederate States of America had won the American Civil War--oh, excuse me. I mean, the War of Secession. Anyway, the USA and the CSA are on opposing sides in this conflict and North America gets to experience the full horrors of the "Great War". Like the first volume in the trilogy, the tale is told through the eyes of various folk. It's well written, but didn't excite me as much as its predecessor. Still, I'm glad I checked it out and look forward to reading part three.
--J. ( )
  Hamburgerclan | Aug 8, 2007 |
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An alternate-history novel on World War I in which the United States and the Confederate States are on opposite sides, the latter having won independence during the Civil War. Complicating the Confederate war effort is a socialist revolution by blacks.

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