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SS-GB
 
by
Len Deighton
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SS-GB

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,228 ratings  ·  89 reviews
It is 1941. England has surrendered to the Nazi's. Churchill has been executed, the King is in the Tower and the SS are in Whitehall. For nine months Britain has been occupied and it's now a blitzed, depressed and dingy country. But in Hitler's Britain, although detection is a little different, murder is still murder...
Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Chivers Audio Books (first published August 24th 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Checkman
Dec 05, 2012 Checkman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alternative History buffs, WWII buffs
In 2012 we are swamped with alternative history novels and/or series. In my opinion what was once an fun little genre has become overloaded and overdone. It's become commercialized and much of the fun has been sucked out as a result. Of course the other possibility is that I've just gotten older and my tastes have changed.

Whatever the reason for my feelings regarding the AH genre I do still enjoy the occasional foray into the field. SS-GB was one of the first AH novels that I ever read and it w
...more
Michael Burnam-fink
I picked this up on a whim, having head Deighton described as a master of the understated spy thriller. This is that, and more. Even in Nazi occupied Germany, peopled are shot and murderers have to be investigated. But this being a novel, nothing is simple, and our protagonist, Douglas Archer, finds himself drawn into a deadly web of intrigue between factions in the SS, Wehrmacht, and the struggling British Resistance.

The characters and plot are nothing that stands out, but that's all part of t
...more
Themistocles
Deighton does a great job in describing a Nazi-occupied Great Britain. Well thought-out, the occupation structure and details could well be real, and this makes this book a very interesting book.

The plot itself is nothing spectacular, but does hold and is entertaining to say the least.

All in all, a page-turner and probably quite better than Jo Walton's Ha'penny and farthing.
Ilya
This is a Cold War espionage thriller transported into an alternative history world. Nazi Germany had invaded Britain; in February 1941 British armed forces surrendered. By November 1941 Britain is completely occupied by the Germans; life there is as pathetic as in occupied France in our timeline. The King is under house arrest at the Tower of London; Winston Churchill has been shot; a Royal Navy Rear Admiral declared himself the leader of Free Britain in Halifax, the way Charles de Gaulle decla ...more
Elliott Cross
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
It's fun to find yourself getting indignant at Deighton's imagined Second World War. Took a bit of Churchill to help me calm down:

"I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to
...more
Iain
Typical Deighton 60's thriller where Britain is under Nazi occupation after defeat in World War 2.

The main character Douglas Archer is a British Scotland Yard detective working under German supervision. As a murder detective he's called to investigate the death of a man in a squalid flat in London and quickly becomes embroiled in a conspiracy involving both the British resistance and German organisations struggling for supremacy in post-war Britain.

The plot is easy to follow with the twists quit
...more
Andrew
This is what Britain could have been like under German occupation in 1940-41 - & it would not have been pretty! Len Deighton marshals all his skills as a story-teller & his deep knowledge of the arcane aspects of the Nazi hierarchy & internecine feuds to thrilling effect.His hero Detective Inspector Douglas Archer of Scotland Yard has to negotiate his way through the minefields & booby-traps of a complex political situation to save the world from evil-minded Germans with atomic w ...more
Pedro Fragoso
Having finished Jo Walton's Small Change Trilogy, about a Britain appeased and at peace with Germany in an imaginary, alternate, aftermath of World War II, and having enjoyed it enormously, I decided to explore more on the subject and identified 3 more books, these with Britain under German occupation. Len Deighton's SS-GB was first in line. I found it surprisingly good. It is an espionage thriller by an author that clearly excels in the genre; but it also has a depth, a gravitas, and a love of ...more
John
I really enjoyed reading this "alternative history" of WWII. England is invaded by Germany early in the war and capitulates without American help or intervention. Within a few months, Scotland Yard is turned into a branch of the SS. The story revolves around four main characters, with Douglas "Archer of the Yard" the main protagonist and detective for the Yard. He still goes about his normal civilian business, solving murders and thefts. His side-kick, a more-experienced and street-wise Harry Wo ...more
Frank Jacobs
As an alternate history classic, SS-GB demonstrates both the genre's strengths and weaknesses: Len Deighton overcomplicates the plot - a mysterious murder, a royal kidnap, transatlantic war strategies and intra-German rivalries - while undercomplicating the story's protagonist, Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer, who is carried along by events he neither understands nor seems to care deeply about; the book's saving grace is its great success at bringing the what ifs of Nazi-occupied London ...more
David Lowther
I first read SS GB thirty years ago and couldn't remember much about it. It belongs in the genre what if ... the Nazis won, rather like Robert Harris' Fatherland and CJ Sansom's Dominion but is not a good as either.

Len Deighton, who is a terrific writer, lets the plotting slip so that the ending is neither altogether clear and less than satisfactory. Otherwise the atmosphere is menacing and depressing as it should be in a book of this nature. The characters too are varied and interesting but, s
...more
Stefan Percy
I have wanted to read this book for some time now. Even more so after I had read C.J. Sansom's Dominion, Robert Harris' Fatherland and to some extent E.R. Everett's Stormfuhrer. So I tracked down a copy, thinking that when the time was right, I would read it. I didn't have to wait long.

In late November 2014, I read on the TVWise.com website that BBC One had commissioned a five part series based on the SS-GB novel, so I took that as my cue to read it. I wanted to make sure I read it before the se
...more
Kyle
It is late 1941. The war in Europe is over. Nazi Germany has defeated Great Britain and France, and an occupying force managed by the SS is headquartered in London. The British people eke out a bleak existence and dream of better days. In this setting, we meet homicide detective Douglas Archer, who has retained his job at Scotland Yard in the new regime due to his professional focus and lack of partisan sentiments. Archer is tasked to team up with a ruthless party official from Berlin to solve a ...more
Indah Threez Lestari
1035 - 2014

Aku suka berandai-andai.

Karena itu, aku termasuk yang menyukai cerita dengan setting What-If, atau alternate history.

Serial TV Sliders (1995-2000) yang bercerita tentang parallel universes, di mana sejarah di dunia-dunia lain berjalan ke arah yang berbeda-beda dengan dunia kita, juga salah satu serial TV favoritku. Untuk komik, serial Elseworlds-nya DC atau manga Zipang juga jadi bacaan favoritku.

Bagaimana dengan novel?

Sejauh ini Fatherland-nya Robert Harris, yang bersetting di Jerman
...more
Sean E.
“SS-GB” Is a book about Englishman and detective Douglas Archer. The book picks up in England after an unfortunate twist of events where the U.S. stays out of WWII and the Soviets join with Hitler. England has been captured by the Germans but that is the least of the “Archer of the yard”, Douglas Archer, Who is wrapped up in one of the largest murder cases he has ever been assigned. One day Douglas comes across the murder of a mystery man who deals weapons to the underground resistance who fight ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in July 2004.

Because of Deighton's long history as a successful thriller writer before the appearance of SS-GB, it is packaged as a thriller; but in fact it is science fiction dealing with a classic theme of that genre, and would doubtless have been classified as such if it had been a first novel. For this is alternative history, set in a Britain occupied by the Third Reich after a successful 1941 German invasion. Central character Douglas Archer is a senior
...more
Nathaniel
Entertaining alternate history from a time before alternate history scenarios (of WWII in particular) were overdone. Deighton actually lived in Britain during WWII and has the integrity to do his homework before writing, so this actually is a fairly plausible idea of what would have happened to Britain if the Nazis had successfully conquered it - needless to say, it ends very (but not universally) badly for the British. A few plot points were obviously conflated for the sake of drama, but the ma ...more
Speesh
I think reading a classic Len Deighton must be like watching one of the old master painters in action. There's the preparation, the background, the deft brushstrokes, building up layer on layer of colours and nuance in perfect harmony. And then you finally take a step back, reveals a masterpiece.

Or maybe it's like watching a master magician? There's slight of hand, deception, concealment and finally slapping of the forehead 'oh, you got me!'

That apart...

SS-GB is set in 1941 and the book opens wi
...more
S.
reads like Agatha Christie imagines a Great Britain under Nazi rule. in other words, a police procedural/ detective story set against a German victory over Great Britain. Overall Len Deighton's work is fairly unimpressive, although not without merit, containing twists, drama, and a measure of plausibility.

In a rainy, perpetually night-time UK, the German invasion has come, and the population, mostly, is cowed and obedient. America remain neutral and although poised against Japan; Germany and the
...more
Andrew
this review first appeared on [http://intraspace.blogspot.com]

and now, for something completely different. in need of a little light relief, i read this novel that anna picked up at an op-shop for a few cents.

len deighton is actually quite an established author and is known for meticulous research.

anyway, the interesting thing about this book is that it is set in great britain after it has fallen to the nazis in ww2. it is the story of a scotland yard detective who finds himself working for the
...more
David
Having enjoyed Robert Harris’s Fatherland, I decided to check out SS-GB on the basis of Harris’s recommendation. Harris’s debt (which he has acknowledged) is obvious – in a sense Fatherland is merely a retelling of SS-GB, with key elements (premise, characters) transposed from early-1940s London to early-1960s Berlin. But aided by the shift in setting and (or so I would judge) Harris’s greater imagination, Fatherland portrays a world both more vivid world and more horrifying.

That’s not to say SS
...more
Ian
This is the granddaddy of alternate history stories: Hitler wins World War II. In this case, Britain surrenders after the farce that was the BEF, and the UK is now an occupied country. The protagonist of SS-GB is a Scotland Yard detective, working under the SS, but still solving the sort of crimes he solved before the war. The plot kicks off when the body of a dead scientist is found in a flat above an antique shop in London, and goes on to take in the German Army's secret research in atom bombs ...more
Aurelien
A very nice thriller, set in a Britain occupied by the Nazis. Len Deighton is not only good at building a sharp plot -a murder investigation linked to one of the most crucial scientific discovery of the time- he also displays a great understanding of how was the Nazi system, using the rivalries between Wehrmacht, SD and SS to fit them all like magic in his very clever story. The puzzle thus being built is a thrilling achievement that, his constant play with human psychology and motivations in su ...more
James
A superb police thriller set in post-war London - but in this timeline, the Nazis won the war and occupied Britain. As the SS work hand in hand with the Metropolitan Police to solve a politically-charged murder, we are treated to a brilliantly imaginative view of what might have been. Think of it as a London version of Robert Harris's Fatherland.
Tim Owen
This was the first book of Deighton's that I read. It was a first class read and very very thought provoking. What would happen if the Nazis had of invaded and taken over the UK and then forced a peace with the USA? From this novel I then went on to read many Deighton books.
Bob Koelle
I probably would have enjoyed this more under different circumstances, but the since the quality of writing was good and the story reasonably complex, I'll give it thumbs up. Just be aware that the complexity stems from rival high-ranking Nazis, one SS and one not, who are both using Douglas Archer, "Archer of the Yard," to undermine the position of the other. Lots of bureaucratic intrigue between rival power within the Reich, which makes sense because as Archer observes at one point, the German ...more
Paul Hebron
Reasonably good detective story set in an alternate universe Britain where the Nazis invaded in the 40s. Characters aren't too convincing, or at least the main character isn't: the Nazi superiors with departmental rivalries come across as more interesting. The atmosphere of Nazi London, with deprivation, curfews, and spivs, isn't as detailed or involving as it could be. The main plot is faintly ludicrous, but that's not really a big problem except when it becomes difficult to remember who's moti ...more
Mark
While this wasn't bad - the surprise ending in particular was good - I was somehow disappointed with this. The characters were bland and the story unremarkable, apart from its setting.

So, Robert Harris's Fatherland remains the best work I've read in this sort of alternative history.
Dr. Stanley
An outstanding alternate history novel in which Germany occupies Great Britain in 1941 and hope is lost until... I've read it three or four times over the years and own both print and digital copies. What makes this book so good is that it's a combination of history and mystery and romance with psychologically well-detailed characters and an ending which will stun you. Not to be missed if you're into the alternate history genre, and maybe even if you're not. I first read this book in 1979 when b ...more
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Deighton was born in Marylebone, London, in 1929. His father was a chauffeur and mechanic, and his mother was a part-time cook.After leaving school, Deighton worked as a railway clerk before performing his National Service, which he spent as a photographer for the Royal Air Force's Special Investigation Branch. After discharge from the RAF, he studied at St Martin's School of Art in London in 1949 ...more
More about Len Deighton...
The Ipcress File (Secret File, #1) Berlin Game (Bernard Samson, #1) Mexico Set (Bernard Samson, #2) London Match (Bernard Samson, #3) Funeral in Berlin

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