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The Two Georges

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  842 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A precious and historic painting has been stolen by terrorists—radical separatists who will stop at nothing to shatter the union. Colonel Thomas Bushell, the government’s most fearless agent, is the only man who can stop them.

But this is not our world. For the stolen painting depicts a treaty between George Washington and King George III—a treaty that has kept America unde
Paperback, 596 pages
Published November 15th 1997 by Tor Books (first published October 5th 1995)
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Ben Babcock
Suppose the United States never gained its independence from Great Britain. Instead, George Washington and King George III forge an alliance that results in the North American Union. Instead of a war that weakens Britain’s grip on North America and contributes to the gradual decline of its world-spanning empire, peace ushers in an era of near-total British domination of North America, Africa, China, and Australia. Only Russia, and the Franco–Spanish “Holy Alliance” can possibly challenge it.

May 09, 2013 Rick rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
I enjoyed The Two Georges. It was a little clunky in places but it had good central characters and a decent plot line. It's real strength lay in its ability to create a very believable world, always the main requirement of a good Alternative History novel. The world of The Two Georges is one in which the American war of independence never happened and America is still part of the British Empire and a very important part at that, with the Franco Spanish Alliance pushing at its borders in the Sout ...more
This book failed for one reason, and one reason only: complete crap for writing.

I could never bring myself to "believe in" the world that the authors created, it never felt real to me. The characters were wooden cardboard cutouts of stereotypes, and would break that only to do something monumentally stupid and completely out of character. One character is described as being the expert on the enemy, yet within the first page of his introduction he acts as if he has no clue what he is up against.
When I saw the name Richard Dreyfuss on the cover on a book in my local library it caught my eye and called me over. Yes, it was in fact the same Hollywood actor we all know (and some love) who apparently co-wrote a book with some guy named Harry Turtledove. OK. I read the back, and WOW! this book sounded interesting. What a concept... It was my first exposure to Alternative History. And Harry Turtledove. I was hooked right from the start. This book was absolutely amazing to me in that here was ...more
Ugh. I thought this would be such an interesting alternate history concept- America stays a British colony rather than gaining independence- that I was willing to overlook having Dreyfuss as a co-author. Never again. This book felt like it was written to be made into a movie starring (surprise surprise) Richard Dreyfus. The movie, like the book, would fail. Awful. Since we didn't gain independence from the british, everyone... flies in dirigibles instead of airplanes? Drives stream powered cars? ...more
Interesting plot idea but this book failed (for me) in the execution.

I can buy into the fact that since wars lead to advances in technology, science and etc. then the lack of these wars would retard progress. So I was okay with the idea of traveling around in dirigibles and steam-powered cars. BUT, the premise that people were still wearing victorian-style clothes (dresses to the floor, corsets? cheroots, hats), and still living with that outmoded social style and its stratifications (IN 1996 NO
Excellent book. The setting is North America if peace had been achieved between the Colonies and King George. The plot involves the theft of a painting called The Two Georges, telling of the meeting between Washington and George III, and the officer of the Royal American Mounted Police's actions in tracking down the thieves. It moves all over the country and is able to showcase much of this alternate America. Sir Martin Luther King as Governor General is one of many well placed touches.

Written b
When Charles (III) stepped off the zeppelin, I felt like I did when Doogie Howser stepped back into the end of the film adaptation of Starship Troopers. I have since learned to appreciate both the Prince of Wales and Neil Patric Harris, especially. Oh, the book? Um, interesting take on a different America, but the necessity of contrasts in timelines lead me to distrust the absence of the sexual revolution and other cultural norms, tech regressiveness (steam punk nod?), etc. Still a fun read in a ...more
Nachman Kataczinsky
The idea behind the book is interesting: what if George III wasn’t crazy and the British Parliament of the time was reasonable? What if this leads to George Washington going to London and (with the support of Franklin and the other rebels) signs a Union agreement with Britain?

In the book this leads to a strange world. Not to spoil the fun for potential readers I won’t go into details but I was somewhat irritated by the inconsistencies of this universe. This is not to say that the book is bad. It
Joseph Harris
I really enjoyed this book, the story was exciting, but I disagree with some of the authors assumptions about what the world would be like in the 1990's if the US had never become an independent nation. For instance, I thought the steam powered cars a bit contrived. And I was personally offended by the suggestion that the entire German speaking world was dismissed as a potential world super power.

The technology seemed to be mostly stuck in the 1930's. Television has been invented but hasn't cau
Okay, here's the thing: alternate history is not usually my bag. It's hard for me to turn off the voice in my head that says "Hey, wait a minute ..."

With that confession out of the way, I have to say that "The Two Georges" was a very entertaining read. It starts off with a murder, and the theft of the titular painting of George Washington and George III. You see, in this world, the American Revolution never really happened, and the United States is the North American Union: a colony of Great Bri
So, what do you get when Oscar Award Winner and a Hugo Award Winner get together?

A pretty good book, actually.

The premise is that the United States was never formed. The British government dealt fairly with the colonies in the 1760s and the independence movement was stillborn. Instead, what are now the USA & Canada is called the North American Union and are an integral part of the United Kingdom. The UK is a vast world-wide empire led by the King-Emperor. This union is symbolized by the pai
A whodunnit, about a missing painting, in an alternate universe where the American Revolution never happened.
Nick Wallace
The premise was mildly interesting, but ultimately a big bowl of ham and fluff.
This novel is an altered history of the United States that never became the United States. Instead of a 1776 revolution, the U.S. is part of the North American Union linked with the British Empire in a globe where other empires still function. It is set in the 1980’s but it might as well be Victorian England—air ships are the fastest way to travel cross-country, steam cars rule the ground, clunky long distance phone calls are the norm, and the policemen mainly use night sticks and not revolvers. ...more
Up to par Turtledove alternate history novel in a world where the North American British colonies and Britain managed to negotiate a peace and didn't split apart. The symbol of this unity, The Two Georges, a painting of King George and George Washington painted by Gainsborough has been stolen, apparently by a militant separatist organization called the Sons of Liberty.

Leading the investigation to recover it is Tom Bushell, a distinguished but near alcoholic officer in the RAMs, essentially the F
I tried to read this book three separate times and couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I really liked Turtledove’s “Guns of the South”, so I thought I would enjoy this alternative history. I think the difference is that Guns of the South was alternative history as it occurred, and this book was alternative history from two hundred years ago and these are the consequences. I thought the changes Turtledove and Dreyfus envisioned such as the lack of airplanes (air travel via blimps) and lack of int ...more
Tyler Harris
I enjoyed this quite a lot. I'm a sucker for counterfactual fiction, and Turttledove does a great job here, even with that guy from Jaws in tow.
Peter Boyall
Okay, albeit with some strange quirks. Certain an interesting imagination.
What if the American Revolution was peacefully avoided? The stripes and the Union Jack fly in the capital city of Victoria. There was no war of 1812, no war between the states, slavery abolished in 1809 by order of the king, and the westward expansion moved at a more gradual pace, respecting Native American tribes. Now a terrorist group calling themselves "The Sons of Liberty" wants the British out, and will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
Mary JL
Mar 30, 2009 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of alternate history or fantasy
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found at booksale
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This story asks the fascinating questions: What if America had not revolted? What if George III and George washington had made peace with each other?

I like Turtledove's brand of alternate histry and this is o exception. The portrai of the alternate America he desribes I find beleivable and interesting.

The characters are adequtely drawn, but it is the ideas that I find fascinating. It is a bit long but goes really quicly.
Just what I hoped it would be.
I have been waiting to read this book for 5 years.
Searching until finally it arrived as a gift.
Thank you, Paula.
What a great gift it is.

I stopped looking for comparisons to our own America very early and just went along for the ride.
What a great Tale.

Try this one if you really enjoy “What Ifs”

Oh, wait..
There are a few fun historical drop ins.
You’ll see.
This was a fairly good book, but not up to Turtledove's very high standard. I associate that with having collaborated with someone, vice writing it all on his own. An interesting book of an investigation to find a stolen painting that is key to a British/US treaty that saw the US turn out quite differently than history. However, if you like historical fiction, you will like this book.
Carey Taylor-forbes
A delicious look into a "what if" world. Some of the assumptions I found just a little stilted and based on stereotypes, but much of the rest of the characterisation was by turns a gleeful or a serious play on real-life people and events. Altogether very entertaining.
Dave Millard
Sort of a steam punk novel - I enjoy that genre once in a while. Don't know how much Richard Dreyfuss contributed, but I have read a lot of Harry Turtledove, and like his stuff - well researched. Good alternate history police procedural, enjoyed it.
I give the concept higher marks than the excecution, but I read this quite some time ago and it has cemented a place in my mind where the West Coast, airships and rail could/have should have been more important in the development of the Americas!
I really enjoyed this story, though it was a rather frightening notion of what could have happened under different circumstances. It wasn't difficult to suspend reality through this compelling story.
Art Mitchell
One of the worse books ever written. Giving it half a star for the input of Turtledove. Richard Dreyfus can act, but NOT write.
I think that this was one of the better books I have read in the last year. Good plot and character development.
Good story, good job thinking how the changes in history would change technology, but crap writing.
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Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an Academy Award-winning American actor.

Dreyfuss has dabbled with writing, notably teaming up with Harry Turtledove in 1995 to write The Two Georges, a conspiracy thriller set in an alternate reality in which the American colonies remained under British rule.

More about Richard Dreyfuss...
The Two Georges: A Novel of an Alternate America The Word of Promise Complete Audio Bible: NKJV The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Glengarry Glen Ross Julius Caesar (Oxford School Shakespeare)

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“Víte," poznamenal Bushell, když zastavili na semaforu před křižovatkou, "že na vzducholodi se jeden cestující při večeři chlubil, že má doma svůj vlastní televizor?"
Jeho přítel se k němu nevěřícně otočil. "To si děláte legraci, ne?" (...) "K čemu by si někdo takovou věc pořizoval domů?" (...) "Rádio je něco docela jiného, při tom se dá povídat, číst... Ale televizor... Ten přece něco ukazuje a člověk se na to prostě musí dívat! Co když máte hosty? O něčem tak... tak vulgárním jsem snad ještě neslyšel!”
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