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Dominion

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  7,232 Ratings  ·  1,002 Reviews
The Great Smog. London. A dense, choking fog engulfs the city and beneath it, history is re-written . . .

1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and
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Hardcover, 593 pages
Published October 25th 2012 by Mantle
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(showing 1-30)
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Stephen King
Great alternate-history novel. The Nazis win, occupy Britain. Check it out.
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
Jan 27, 2013 Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont rated it did not like it
Here are the facts. The year is 1952. In the east the German war with Russia, now eleven years old, shows no sign of ending. On a line roughly extending from Lake Ladoga in the north-west to the Caspian Sea in the south-east, the struggle is in stalemate, a contest punctuated by blows and counter blows which settle nothing.

In the west Britain, having made peace with Germany after the brief war of 1939-40, is governed by a crypto-fascist regime headed by Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, the press m
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Alison
Nov 07, 2012 Alison rated it it was amazing
A tough and powerful word, but an appropriate title for C J Sansom’s new book. Famous for his Shardlake Tudor series, here Sansom brings us to 1952 in an alternate, authoritarian Britain which made peace with Hitler in 1940. Not formally occupied, Britain is nevertheless dominated by the Nazi regime. Its home-grown “milice” – a vastly expanded and violent Special Branch working hand-in-hand with the Gestapo dispensing brutality from the basement of the German Embassy at Senate House – patrols th ...more
Andrew Robins
Sep 23, 2012 Andrew Robins rated it it was ok
I was really surprised how poor this book was. I've given it two stars, but feel the second is probably a bit generous.

I have read CJ Sansom's Shardlake series, and loved them. I've also read his other non-Shardlake book, Winter in Madrid, and thought it was excellent. I have four major issues with this book, though.

Firstly, the story is not only told at such a plodding, dull pace, it is also not actually a particularly enthralling one in the first place. The idea of a Nazi puppet state Britain
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Andrew
Nov 18, 2013 Andrew rated it liked it
"Adverbs can kill a novel", David said quietly. "Yes," Natalia answered heavily. "I agree," Frank observed thoughtfully while smiling sadly. Aaaargh! It's a terrible trap - but the dreadful excessive adverbiage slashes hard at the throat of this book from prolific writer CJ Sansom, draining the lifeblood out of a novel with a fascinating "alternate history" premise.

Counter-factuals are all the rage these days, even creeping into genuine historical accounts: I recently read a (factual) book on t
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Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Thought-provoking, highly atmospheric, novel.

Also, wonderful end papers - maps of Europe and of the world in this fictional 1952.
Robert Ronsson
I have a theory about this book. I think CJ Sansom wrote it a long time ago. It may even have been his first attempt at a novel. If so, I imagine it was rejected many times over for the perceived faults that I'll go into here and other reviewers have commented on. Then, when the counterfactual 'genre' became popular, the author (or his agent) decided it would be a good idea to dust Dominion off, give it a quick read through and get it published on the back of his now-established reputation.
How e
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A.E. Rawson
Jan 11, 2013 A.E. Rawson rated it liked it
Recommended to A.E. by: Phil Woodford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penelope Irving
Nov 24, 2012 Penelope Irving rated it it was ok
This book was a bit - well, miserable. In many ways it was well-written enough, in other ways some things annoyed me. But the fact is, I just didn't really enjoy it very much. I found I had to force myself to plough on to the end, and if I hadn't been listening to the audio book version, I'm pretty sure I would have put it aside for later about halfway through and not bothered to pick it up again.

The premise intrigued me, which is why I chose it in the first place - it's set in a Britain which
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Andy
What IF Churchill had stood aside & let Lord Halifax become PM when Chamberlain resigned? So begins our story & the route of appeasement is followed in 1940 after the fall of Norway & France in the West. Instead of fighting on alone, Britain too accepts an armistice with Germany, falling under her sphere of influence with the Isle of Wight annexed to the German Army. This is the premise that what is too follow is based on.

For the protagonists we have the British divided into pro/anti
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Paul
Oct 29, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2014
It is 1952 and in the UK the people are ruled by a puppet government that submitted to the Nazi government in 1940 after the disaster of Dunkirk. Churchill is in hiding, and the anti German feeling and the boldness of the UK resistance is growing week on week. Germany is fighting Russia, still, a long and protracted war that seems to have no end. Hitler is still in charge of most of Europe, but is suffering from health issues and hasn’t been seen for a long time. As his power wains, the jostle b ...more
Roger Brunyate
Jun 11, 2016 Roger Brunyate rated it really liked it
Not So Imaginary
All events that take place after 5:00 p.m. on 9 May 1940 are imaginary.
The moment that the author refers to in his disclaimer is the scene which forms the brilliant climax to Michael Dobbs' Winston's War, the British cabinet meeting at which Neville Chamberlain, the discredited appeaser, resigns and Winston Churchill takes over as Prime Minister. But in Sansom's book, he doesn't; the job goes instead to Lord Halifax, better connected and the safer bet. Halifax, though, has less
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happy
Mar 15, 2014 happy rated it liked it
I found this an interesting premise for an Alt History novel. It is set in 1952 England, where instead of Churchill becoming Prime Minister when Chamberlain falls – Lord Halifax does. This sets in motion a chain of events that when France falls 2 months later England quits the war instead of fighting on. Western Europe, including England is dominated by Germany who is fighting an endless war in Russia. England becomes a Vichy state. As the novel opens the Germany is just starting to round up the ...more
Fiona
Dec 01, 2013 Fiona rated it it was ok
I'd had enough of this book by about a quarter of the way through. The constant flashbacks and reminiscences became annoying interruptions to the flow of the story. I began to wonder if the author was being paid by the word like Dickens because there was so much irrelevant background. The final straw was when Frank reminisced about his schooldays in Edinburgh. Sansom has Frank's brother and other pupils saying 'disnae' for doesn't and 'ye' for you. It's a private boarding school in Edinburgh, fo ...more
Paul Fulcher
Jan 14, 2014 Paul Fulcher rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014
A well researched alternative history marred by being delivered as a tawdry thriller, and with too much of a modern-day political hidden agenda.

CJ Sansom has clearly done a lot of research and given a lot of thought to how history might have panned out had Lord Halifax rather than Churchill become Prime Minister in 1940 and had Britain gone on to sue for peace following Dunkirk.

Had he simply written a fictional-history of the subsequent events, then I suspect this would have been a 4 star review
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L.K. Jay
Mar 16, 2013 L.K. Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I am a fan of the Shardlake novels and so I was really looking forward to this Sansom novel. I like that his novels are slow burners, that you take time to get to know the characters and become immersed in the plot. But despite being long, the novel is always a page turner and I'm always slightly despondent when it ends as I know that it'll be another couple of years before another one comes out.

This one was the same, I was just hoping for another Shardlake novel but that is just me being selfis
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Iain
Nov 15, 2012 Iain rated it liked it
Good, but flawed.

The world Sansom creates is excellent: a British Empire that has capitulated after Dunkirk, collaborating with a Greater Germany ruled by an ailing Hitler. It avoids many of the cliches in the counter-factual fiction genre and the nastiness of the British regime at home and abroad is made clear.

The characters are good and sympathetic, not really compelling. The protagonist has two longstanding connections to the plot, as a friend of a key character with a secret, and as a civil
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John
Sep 15, 2013 John rated it it was amazing
Dominion presents half an hour of real history: from 4.30 to 5. pm 9th May 1940. After 5 is fiction: Churchill does not become PM, Halifax does. Sansom builds his what-if history around real characters, their psychology and how they probably would have behaved in these new circumstance, which gives a brilliant new insight into the history and the people of the time. Halifax, a known appeaser, signs the (fictitious) Treaty of Berlin whereby England becomes a German satellite and England is not in ...more
Gary
May 26, 2013 Gary rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gerald Sinstadt
Oct 29, 2012 Gerald Sinstadt rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-general
Can there be two authors writing under the same name? C J Sansom's Shardlake books were evocative adventures with vivid invented characters (the hunchback lawyer, Barak his henchman, Guy the former monk) beside real figures from Tudor England.

C J Sansom's Dominion takes the reader back no further than an imagined May 1940 to postulate Britain after Hitler has won the war. The research, as in the Shardlake series, has been done exhaustively, but here it is plastered on in great slabs that slow do
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Dave
Nov 27, 2012 Dave rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing book, it was so 'unputdownable' I even read it as I walked to the toilet I was that capitivated!!!

Enough people have described the plot so I'll skip that here, but the character development is brilliant, slowly teasing out key details about each person and weaving their lives together. OK so some arts were a little predictable, and could have taken a bit of a different turn but there's only so many different alternative history themes that could be wrote about.

My major critici
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Ian
Nov 23, 2012 Ian rated it it was amazing
In this alternative history of Britain post the 2nd World War, Churchill never became Prime Minister and Britain and Germany made peace in 1940 after Dunkirk. The US stayed neutral as Pearl Harbour never happened. Twelve years later in 1952, Germany is still at war with the Soviet Union, the Holocaust has happened, though covered up and despite the promises made by Hitler about British democracy, Britain is gradually becoming a puppet Nazi state with it's people more and more indoctrinated with ...more
Chris Taylor
Dec 05, 2012 Chris Taylor rated it it was ok
I don't really know what to say about this book, maybe reading it on the back of Fatherland by Robert Harris was a mistake as it didn't really compare in terms of imagery or story strength. It was okay... if asked i'd refer to it as "meh" i read it quickly and its a large book, but i'm rather indifferent over it to be honest. I think it could have been shorter, more edgey...the point of London during Smog was overnarrated...i didn't need to be so detailed smog is smog at the end of the day. I al ...more
Doreen Petersen
Oct 06, 2016 Doreen Petersen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Excellent "what if" book. I really enjoyed it.
Billy Roper
Mar 23, 2017 Billy Roper rated it really liked it
I give this book four stars because it opened my eyes to some of the factional imperfections of the Third Reich which might have paved the way for splintering and infighting, almost inevitably, following Hitler's death. I've seen enough cults of personality fall soon after the personality reached the end of their mortal tether (Dr. Pierce, Commander Rockwell, Pastor Butler) for that to ring true. I withheld the fifth star because, as with almost all Alternate History novels except for mine, the ...more
Janette Fleming
Sep 24, 2013 Janette Fleming rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers, and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and television are controlled; the streets patrolled by violent auxiliary police and British Jews face ever greater constraints. There are terrible rumours too about what is happening in the basement of the German Embassy at Senate ...more
Patrick
Apr 13, 2014 Patrick rated it liked it
A while back, I was involved at the margins of a consultation about introducing the legal concept of defamation of the dead. Something I don't remember anyone bringing up was the question of the potential impact on writers of alternate histories. Nonetheless, I could imagine the relatives of Lord Beaverbrook, Marie Stopes and Enoch Powell might feel they have grounds for consulting their lawyers after reading this book...

The book imagines a Britain which arrived at a truce - effectively a surre
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Johanne
Hmmm I liked this but something was off - I didn't really warm to the characters and didn't really care about their fate. Some of the editing was iffy too; there were passages I am sure that were repeated practically verbatim at points - particularly in the first half of the book. I thought the central plot premise was feeble in the extreme and was not wholly convinced by his repositioning of key political players. In its favour was the detail about what would have happened had Britain capitulat ...more
John Lee
Nov 25, 2012 John Lee rated it it was amazing
Some of my favourite authors produce lots of books. Other like CJ Sansom write only a few and when you see a new one published it becomes an immediate 'must read' as you know you wont be disappointed.
This was the case here even though after thoroughly enjoying the Shardlake books, I didn't get on as well with 'Winter in Madrid' as I had expected.
I have read 'Fatherland' by Robert Harris some time ago and it was interesting to see the acknowledgement to that book here.
I admire the care which had
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Dominion Timeline: 1940-1952 2 44 Feb 27, 2016 04:40AM  
  • Potsdam Station (John Russell, #4)
  • Treachery (Giordano Bruno, #4)
  • SS-GB
  • Jackboot Britain
  • Red Inferno: 1945
  • The Second Son (Berlin Trilogy, #3)
  • Europe at Midnight
  • Resurrection Day
  • Half a Crown (Small Change, #3)
  • The Windsor Faction: A Novel
  • The Afrika Reich
  • The Gallows Curse
  • Zagreb Cowboy
  • Plague Child (Tom Neave, #1)
  • Devoured
  • Rome: The Eagle of the Twelfth (Rome, #3)
  • Prince of Darkness  (Justin de Quincy, #4)
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Christopher John "C.J." Sansom is an English writer of crime novels. He was born in 1952 and was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to retrain as a solicitor. He practised for a while in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, before quitting in order to work full-time as a writer.
He came to promi
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More about C.J. Sansom...

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“Whenever a party tells you national identity matters more than anything else in politics, that nationalism can sort out all the other problems, then watch out, because you’re on a road that can end with fascism.” 9 likes
“The lives God gives to us, the awful things we can’t escape from. Sometimes I think that sort of God would enjoy making hell for us after we die.” 3 likes
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