This may not be the best alternate history novel ever written, but I’d call it one of the best. There are three big tests in this genre. The first is how well the author creates his world after the Point of Departure. The second is whether the plot is interesting. The third is whether the characters are real people, or just convenient mouths of the author’s point of view.
In my opinion, this passes all three tests. England in a 1959 where no WWII had happened is entirely convincing (though perhaps a bit less wonderful than he evidently thinks it). The plot is interesting; it bounces along like a combination of John Buchan and P.G. Wodehouse. Gabb can, incidentally, be very funny. The characters are real – often horribly. Turning Harold Macmillan into an effete homosexual, and Michael Foot into a psychopathic acid-bath strangler, and then putting them together in the same novel, is a mark of genius.
My only complaint is that a sequel to this kind of inspired lunacy would be bloody hard to follow – which may be why Gabb hasn’t bothered.
Published on Amazon on the 21st February 2018
© 2018, seangabb.
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