In this alternate history Franklin D. Roosevelt loses the 1940 presidential election to Charles A. Lindbergh unleashing a wave of initially subtle but ultimately violent anti-Semitism. The story is told by a young Jewish boy growing up in Newark, NJ.
Roth does an excellent job of portraying both public and family events through the eyes of a child. The political story, as sinister as it is, never overwhelms the personal story of the narrator and the shattering effects history has on his family.
Roth’s skill makes this a far better book than the typical alternate history, though I thought it ended too suddenly.
This novel completes the story begun in “I, Claudius“. In it, Claudius chronicles his reign as emperor, during which he finds many reasons not to restore the Republic. Parts of this book are very dry; the story wouldn’t have suffered had half the book been edited out.
In this historical novel Claudius, the man everyone dismissed because his physical infirmities were thought to reflect mental deficiency, tells the story of his life up to the time he became emperor. Claudius’ story is set against the later years of his great-grand-uncle Augustus’ reign and the reigns of his uncle Tiberius and his nephew Caligula. It’s a somewhat dry account of an interesting period.
This is an excellent historical novel about the early years of Christianity. The story is narrated by Theophilus, the person for whom Luke wrote his gospel “Acts of the Apostles”. Theophilus is a wealthy man, a reluctant almost-Christian who resists the faith despite being pursued by Christ. It’s both a vivid novel and a thought-provoking meditation on faith.
This is an old-school historical novel about the life of Christ told from the perspective of a Roman centurion who is not only the centurion who asked Christ to heal his servant, but also the one who crucified Him.
John Julius Norwich
I’m fascinated by the period and the characters that are the subject of this book. It has some value as thin overview of the period and I appreciated the chapters about Suleiman, since I didn’t previously know that much about him, but I was disappointed at the English bias of the book and weakness of the chapters on Charles V.
This is the story of Ford’s effort to mark the 50th anniversary of their epic 1966 victory at LeMans by returning to the famous circuit in 2016. It’s a good book, but DeBord underemphsizes the fact that while Ford was number one overall in 1966 they were only first in their class – and 18th overall – in 2016. That fact doesn’t diminish Ford’s victory, since LeMans is a multi-class race, but Ford in 2016 is just not as good a story as Ford vs. Ferrari in 1966.
This book opens with Gaius Valerius Verrens’ execution in this sequel to “Sword of Rome”. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t die. His survival is good news for the reader since the story of Verrens’ threading the needle between emperors Aulus Vitellius and Vespasian make for a good read.
Whenever I review one of Poyer’s Dan Lenson books I always say how much I like them. Well, this is no exception. As usual with the Lenson books, it’s not just a techno-thriller: it’s a book about people. Oh, there’s also an epidemic in this one – I’m glad I read it before the coronavirus hit.
Eric L. Harry
North Korea’s invasion of South Korea leads to global nuclear war via a chain of “Guns of August” style errors and bad decisions. This is not only one of the best speculative US vs. USSR war novels I’ve read but also one of the most utterly terrifying depictions of nuclear war I’ve ever read.