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The Big Switch (The War That Came Early, #3)
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The Big Switch (The War That Came Early #3)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  650 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
In this extraordinary World War II alternate history, master storyteller Harry Turtledove begins with a big switch: what if Neville Chamberlain, instead of appeasing Hitler, had stood up to him in 1938? Enraged, Hitler reacts by lashing out at the West, promising his soldiers that they will reach Paris by the new year. They don’t. Three years later, his genocidal apparatus ...more
Hardcover, 418 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Del Rey
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(showing 1-30 of 1,187)
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Carol Storm
Dec 16, 2014 Carol Storm rated it it was ok
Book after book, I keep paging through Harry Turtledove's WAR THAT CAME EARLY, hoping that something will happen. Something big, explosive, and unexpected. Some huge surprise. And over and over, NOTHING HAPPENS!

Please, please, please don't make me watch the ugly French Lieutenant smoke another Gitane. Please, don't make me listen to cheerful, upbeat Sarah Goldman say once again that things are tough for the Jews. Please, please, can we just stick to the combat, the shooting, the rat-a-tat-tat st
Maddi Sojourner
This is book 3 in Harry Turtledove's War War II series "The War That Came Early." Turtledove has "redone" War War II several times, which is probably why I feel he's phoning these in. Too many of the scenes seem like I've read them before. And I probably have, as I've read pretty much everything Turtledove has published. His earlier takes on WWII include the Worldwar Series, a retelling with an alien invasion that leads to cooperation among what were enemies in our timeline; the Darkness Series, ...more
May 13, 2011 Liviu rated it really liked it
The series that started in Hitler's War chugs along slowly and somewhat repetitively here, though things happen of course and history moves even farther away from our timeline (one hint: Winston Churchill never gets to be PM when Chamberlain's cancer takes him down in 1940)

The main problem with the book is that the format that worked very well in the first volume and reasonably well in the second (multiple pov's from front line grunts - low ranking officers or just regular soldiers - in all thea
Jan 08, 2012 Leons1701 rated it it was ok
Less dragging and repetitive than the previous entries in the series, so that's good. Sadly, the main plot point is absurdly unbelievable. France and England accepting a cease-fire or even a full peace treaty I could accept, actually switching sides to join Germany in a crusade against the Soviets? No way, especially not when they were winning, pushing the Germans back out of France. It's rather rare for nations to switch sides in a war and almost every case that comes to mind in involves a stat ...more
Melinda Seyler
May 29, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it did not like it
Tedious. That's really all I have to say. I love books about WWII. I love historical fiction and alternative histories, but I just could not get into this and finally gave up. There were thousands of characters- or well, not really; it just felt like it. The characters were so flat and one dimensional: American socialite, German sniper, Japanese army, etc. and they all seemed to be drawn as stereotypes. I had a hard time keeping track of them all and ultimately, did not care if I kept track.
Zach Smith
Nov 19, 2014 Zach Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: genre
Book Number 3 in Harry Turtledove’s alternate WWII history overall titled “The War that Came Early.” With the previous two novels in the series, it is kind of hard to tell what happened and what didn’t happen w/r/t actual World War II history. Sure we knew from the onset that the war did not start with Germany invading Czechoslovakia, but as for a lot of the other details it would require a good amount of background research to see for yourself weather if this or that had happened or not. The Bi ...more
Varrick Nunez
Jun 06, 2016 Varrick Nunez rated it liked it
I didn't realize, until after I started it, that I had picked up a story mid-stream in its telling. I have seen Mr. Turtledove's books on the shelf at the library where I work and not having read one, thought I'd give it a try. His books seem popular, circulating quite often.

So, this is an alternate history of the mid-twentieth century, supposing certain events happened that did not actually occur, or weaving actual events into a different narrative. Here, England and France are at war with Nazi
David Johnston
Mar 24, 2015 David Johnston rated it it was ok
This is a fairly standard Turtledove alt-hist, an alternate World War II seen through the eyes of one person from each of a wide variety of combatant nations. I would have given it 3 stars...except I can't get past the premise. It simply doesn't make sense for the French and British to go that far. Yeah, with no Munich Agreement and subsequent betrayal of that agreement I can see the British seriously considering Hess's peace overture and maybe accepting it along with the French. But switching s ...more
Jul 29, 2015 Georgy_kovacs rated it liked it
Turtledove keeps changing the route of History. It's 1940 and - for some mysterious reason, a very convincing Rudolf Hess not only hammers a peace treaty with Germany's western enemies, but he also drums up England and France military support against Russia. The Big Switch. Turtledove only gives some hints about what the small print of the Big Switch is - maybe the lack of credible detail on that is what made me give him a 3.0 instead of a solid 4.0. Another weak point is his lack of detail on C ...more
Jun 30, 2011 Marrissa marked it as to-read
As of June 30th I haven't received this book from the Goodreads giveaway. :(
Jan 24, 2012 Dave added it
Tried out a new genre and decided I didn't care for it. I've always liked historical fiction, especially stuff set during WWII, but this one didn't do anything for me. I'm not going to give it a star rating because it seems a little unfair since I seem to find this genre [alternative history fiction] unappealing.

The story of the war is told from the point of view of a number of different characters on all sides. Unfortunately, these characters all felt pretty flat and one dimensional to me. No o
Feb 26, 2012 Mark rated it liked it
Blew through this one pretty fast, which is none too surprising considering the prose is not challenging. As well, as I mentioned in the review of the previous volume, it's not so much the little stories for which you'd read these books, it's more what they reveal about the big world plot.

One thing I have noticed is that these books seem to be each following roughly one calendar year of time apiece, rather than following a certain arc of the alternate WWII.

In this third volume, we depart from re
I was going to give up on this series (see my reviews for the first two books) but, if being a completist at heart I hate to stop in the middle. At least this book is marginally better than the others in that there are major alternate historical events occurring to create more interest. The first one hundred fifty pages continue in much the same tedium that readers had to endure in the first two books: battlefield personnel banter, swearing and stereotypical name-calling. Then, thankfully, event ...more
Sep 17, 2011 Aaron rated it really liked it

This is the third installment in one of Turtledove's more recent series: The War That Came Early. The concept behind the series is a proposal to look at what might have happened if the Nazis, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, had started their aggressive invasions in 1936 rather than 1939. The series is expected to have five volumes.

For a great deal of time, not a lot has been all that different. Germany has settled into a draw in France on the Western Front and in Poland on the East, but th
Jan 13, 2013 Jeff rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Tom
Recommended to Jeff by: Found it on the library shelves
Third in the War That Came Early Series, Turtledove sticks to his tried and true formula of short vignettes of common people (military and civilian alike) dealing with the unfolding history all around them Through these numerous vignettes, the reader slowly gets the bigger picture of what is going on...almost at the same pace as the characters themselves. Turtledove's vast - and at the same time intimate - knowledge of the technology, the societies, the cultures, and the politics of this time pe ...more
Aug 07, 2014 Max rated it really liked it
Turtledove does it once more! With this alternate history of World War 2, more and more of the war keeps getting twisted in something outside of what happened in our own timeline.

With Great Britain and France joining Nazi Germany in attacking Soviet Russia, it comes off as somewhat hard to believe. But the masterful writing and plotting of Harry Turtledove actually makes it believable! I eagerly await reading the next volume.
Nov 10, 2014 Dkolacinski rated it really liked it
Finally, the monotony of the first two books in the series is beginning to thaw. Perhaps it's the radical shift from "reality" making room for a true alternative history. Perhaps it's taking more and more of the action into the impact of war on people's lives, outside of the actual war front. Let's see what happens in books 4 through 6.
Feb 09, 2013 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The series continues, with some new view points (and some are no more...).

I have to wonder, would governments be so stupid? Then I have to wonder at myself. Of course, governments could be so stupid! If history can teach us one thing, it's that governments can be anything, from ultimately inspiring to extremely evil, with lots of stupid and short sighted all mixed in.

But then again, governments govern at the will and whim of the people, as long as the people understand that. They are a reflecti
Sep 09, 2011 Jessie marked it as to-read
Friday September 9, 2011 - Just call me "Squeeky Wheel". I recieved the book today via FedEx.

Wednesday September 7, 2011 - I have not recieved either a response from the publisher who sponsored the giveaway or a copy of the book.

August 17, 2011 - Email to Del Rey / Spectra Books
Subject: Did Not Recieve Book
I won a copy of The War That Came Early: The Big Switch
by Harry Turtledove. As of August 17, 2011 I have not received a copy. My Address is listed below.

As of Saturday July 16, 2011 I have no
Nov 16, 2011 John rated it liked it
2nd Entry in the "War That Came Early" series which envisions WW2 starting in 1938 over Czechoslovakia. The added twist is that full scale war had also broken out between the Soviet Union and Japan, putting *both* Germany and Japan in a two-front war. The different setup has been and is interesting, but the "Big Switch" alluded to in the title just seems completely unrealistic to me. It's rather hard to explain without giving it away, and I know the whole point is that we're dealing with an alte ...more
Jota Houses
Jul 21, 2016 Jota Houses rated it it was ok
Mas de lo mismo. Hubiera necesitado mucho mas desarrollo para entender como pueden pasar los Aliados de luchar contra los Nazis a atacar Rusia junto a ellos. Una cosa es que Rudof Hess tuviese éxito negociando con Chamberlain en vez de con Churchill y otra es que le saque cuatro divisiones para atacar Rusia.
Edward Fowler
Feb 22, 2014 Edward Fowler rated it it was amazing
I love Turtledove's alternate history. In this episode of "The War That Came Early" the European Allies (sans USA, since the war was early and Japan hasn't initiated hostilities) team up with Nazi Germany to take on the Russians.
Good alternate ending historical fiction set in WWII. I found it a bit overwhelming at first due to all the characters. It seemed to hop around a lot but then it settled down and was much easier to follow.
Jul 27, 2015 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eh. I listened to it while driving back and forth to work. Not a bad way to kill 18 hours or so over a three week stretch, but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it.
Aug 06, 2013 David rated it liked it
Turtledove's new alt history of WWII takes an interesting turn. I had read the first 2 books several years and just re-read them, so I was really looking forward to this book. I was definitely disappointed with this book. He has Winston Churchill assassinated and suddenly in the "Big Switch," France and Great Britain join Germany against the USSR. He shows the troops not being happy with this, but fails to explain why the politicians think this is a good idea. In the book, Germany agrees to give ...more
Dec 21, 2011 Somewhatbent rated it liked it
The War That Came Early: West and East[return]Harry Turtledove[return]Del Rey (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 448 pages[return][return][return]This volume is a bit slower to engage than the first volume of this trilogy, Hitler's War (and I confess I missed the intermediate book entirely - which may or may not affect the overall review). The book stands on it's own well enough, but does take a while to engage the whole cast of characters as we meet them in short vignettes. Once we know who the pla ...more
Eric Hunter
Jul 17, 2015 Eric Hunter rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book more than the first two. There is still an awful lot of repetitive talk about whatever type of cigarette each character is smoking, but things actually happen to move the story along.
Patricia VanWiltenburg
Interesting read

Turtledove work with his characters is outstanding, though the overall plot in this series does stretch the limits of possibilities.
Jan 15, 2013 Leo rated it it was ok
Well written but the author is milking this alternate history of WWII. There are at least two more volumes in this series; one currently out, another due this summer. If this could only be edited into a three or four volumes at most. Right now everything moves at a glacial pace; we don't see the machinations of Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, FDR. Once again, as the story is being told by the grunts on the ground, major events occur off-stage. If you liked the previous volumes in the series, it's more of ...more
Jul 23, 2016 Pohlman rated it did not like it
Could not get passed the first 100 pages, all Turtledove did was introduced so many characters that I lost interest in the story.
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Dr Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, who has produced a sizeable number of works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.

Harry Turtledove attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977.

Turtledove has been dubbed "The Master of Alternate History". Within this genre he is known both for creating original sce
More about Harry Turtledove...

Other Books in the Series

The War That Came Early (6 books)
  • Hitler's War (The War That Came Early, #1)
  • West and East (The War That Came Early, #2)
  • Coup d'Etat (The War That Came Early, #4)
  • Two Fronts (The War That Came Early, #5)
  • Last Orders (The War That Came Early, #6)

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