By Robert Harris
Well, I had decided to lay off Harris for a few months, but given how Fatherland is widely considered his best work, how could I resist? And indeed, it certainly lived up to its reputation. Under the genre of alternative history, this novel tells the tale of the life of an SS Office in the Greater German Reich, a full 20 years after Nazi Germany emerged victorious in World War II and soon entered a Cold War with America (which still managed to defeat Japan though). The sheer courage needed to write a novel with this interpretation makes it difficult - but surely Harris was cut out for that?
Unlike many of his other works, this novel singularly follows one character and is written from his eyes throughout. This is actually important for a novel such as this because Harris not only presents facts but also seeks to build perspective on what common German citizens knew, or pretended not to know, about the most tragic aspect of the War - the Jewish Holocaust.
In terms of sheer breadth, the novel takes your breath away. Indeed, just getting used to seeing 'Heil Hitler!' written with every greeting was a task in itself. Overall, an excellent novel and certainly the finest work from this author. Now, I really will lay off him for sometime (till I can get a hold of Imperium, that is!).