Miles's Reviews > The Afrika Reich

The Afrika Reich by Guy Saville
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Feb 18, 11

bookshelves: reviews
Read from February 15 to 18, 2011

Full Review on my blog :- http://www.milorambles.com/2011/02/18...

I’ve always had a fascination for history, an interest my father instilled in me as a kid growing up, at a time when the only history taught in my school was that of the Norman’s and Saxons – I was more of a Great War and Second World War reader – I had no time for the Saxons and my exam results clearly showed that! I would have bitten someone’s hand off to read a book on the Anzacs or the history of The Battle of the Somme – alas we were stuck with Norman Conquest of 1066!

When Hodder & Stoughton sent me a copy of Guy Seville’s debut novel “Afrika Reich” I was immediately struck by a cover design that was so tactile with its velvet like touch it begged to be read! Utilising a dark granite black for its primary colour, the front cover has two vibrant and distinctive red “SS” letters atop of a palm tree and skull.

Set in 1952 in an alternative universe, Hitler has proven too strong for Britain, the European Jews have been deported to Madagascar and a reluctant peace agreement between Germany and Britain has been signed. Despite Japan’s attack on the United States in December 1941, Congress voted to remain neutral in Europe and Asia due to the weakened economy at home. The events all add up to paint a picture of German superiority and dominance.

“1952. It is more than a decade since the Dunkirk fiasco marked the end of Britain's war and an uneasy peace with Hitler.

In Africa, the swastika flies from the Sahara to the Indian Ocean. Gleaming autobahns bisect the jungle and jet fighters patrol the skies. Britain and the Nazis have divided the continent but now the demonic plans of Walter Hochburg - architect of Nazi Africa - threaten Britain's ailing colonies.

In England, ex-mercenary Burton Cole is offered one last contract. Burton grabs the chance to settle an old score with Hochburg, despite his own misgivings and the protests of the woman he loves. If Burton fails, unimaginable horrors will be unleashed in Africa. No one - black or white - will be spared.

But when his mission turns to disaster, Burton is forced to flee for his life.

His flight takes him from the unholy killing ground of Kongo to SS slave camps and on to war-torn Angola, finally reaching its thrilling climax in a conspiracy that leads to the dark heart of the Reich itself.”

“Afrika Reich” is a graphic novel with its fair share of violence leaving nothing to the imagination. The deaths are horrific and all the while I felt a great deal of animosity towards the German soldiers who appeared to take great satisfaction in brutalising their captives – it truly was a feeling I found hard to shake throughout.

The language, along with the murders, is colourful but is always within keeping of a book of this genre – I never felt Guy Saville overstepped the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable – the balance was just about right. Words such as “Niggers”, “Negros” – both shunned in today’s society for the most part – add a certain credibility to the narrative not to mention augment the feeling of realism when dealing with the sensitive issues of racial cleansing.
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