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How Few Remain (Timeline-191, #1)
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How Few Remain

(Timeline-191 #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,704 ratings  ·  207 reviews
From the master of alternate history comes an epic of the second Civil War. It was an epoch of glory and success, of disaster and despair...

1881: A generation after the South won the Civil War, America writhed once more in the bloody throes of battle. Furious over the annexation of key Mexican territory, the United States declared total war against the Confederate States o
Mass Market Paperback, 596 pages
Published April 29th 1998 by Del Rey Books (first published September 8th 1997)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  4,704 ratings  ·  207 reviews

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1.5 stars. Pretty well written, but DRY as a desert. Great setting for the future novels but this book was a SLOG, SLOG, SLOG to get through. I will probably read the next book in the series at some point because I love the premise (and I am obviously a glutton for punishment) but I did not really like this one.

Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1999)
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Harry Turtledove specializes in writing "Counter-Factuals", an overly pretentious term for alternative history. In "How Few Remain" we are treated to a very different world in which the Confederacy didn't lose the Civil War.

A bit of an explanation is required. The book starts in Fredrick, Maryland in 1862. Soldiers from the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of General Robert E. Lee are moving towards Hagerstown. A Lieutenant, riding through the camp, is stopped by some soldiers who ret
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
RE-READ REVIEW: I’m not sure what motivated me to read this one again. As you can see by my review below, I was bored to tears by it the first time around. I guess I just had a nagging feeling I didn’t approach it correctly or expected something different. Not hurting matters is the fact that I already bought the second book in the series and its concept (WW1 fought between the CSA and USA) is a great one. Well, it certainly was more of a fun read this time around.

It’s just not really about act
I consider myself a Civil War history nut. One of the things that has always fascinated me is the fact that there are SO many "what-ifs." So many things happened, as if by chance, that if they wouldn't have occurred the way they did, the entire war might have ended differently. "What if Lost Order No. 191 was never lost?" and "What if Stonewall Jackson had lived?" are two big ones many people have wondered about.

Here Harry Turtledove examines what might have happened if the "Lost Order" was nev
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-and-enjoyed
This book really made me think. I'd read one of his other novels, Guns of the South, in which time travellers bring the AK-47 to the Confederacy, allowing them to win the Civil War.

This novel was quite different. It starts with a simple premise; what if Lee's orders hadn't been lost and recovered by the North? In Turtledove's eyes, it allowed the South to pull off a win, and backed by the recognition of the British and French governments, were able to establish and solidify the Confederate State
Chen-song Qin
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in Harry Turtledove's alternate history TL-191 (Timeline-191) series, which consists of this stand-alone volume, plus two further trilogies, the American Front series and the American Empire series.

The premise is that Special Order 191 (thus TL-191) by General Robert Lee was not lost as in actual history, but was put into action and caused the defeat of Union forces. Ultimately this caused the recognition of the Confederacy by Great Britain and France, creating two major A
Ronnica Z.
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
At first I was disappointed that the book focused almost exclusively on historical people, because I was interested in imagining what life would be like for the common person if the South had won the Civil War. But I soon realized that the people who were made famous in our history weren't necessarily rising to fame in this alternative history. Where would Mark Twain be without a defeated South? A newspaper editor in San Francisco. Where would Lincoln be if the North hadn't defeated the South? A ...more
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
I recently started listening to books on CD in my car. The second one I worked through is How Few Remain, which is an alternate history novel based on the assumption that the South won the Civil War. First of all, I have a problem with the plausibility of the premise. I don't think one minor event (as in the book) could have changed the course of the war -- I think the industrial might of the North pre-determined the outcome. I was glad to see an essay in the book Alternate Gettysburgs from a pr ...more
Brian Eshleman
The variety of historical figures he uses in order to fully portray this alternative era and the authenticity of their voices are both compelling. The author's decision not to continue it as a direct sequel to Guns of the South is a little jarring at first, but in this new beginning he lays of a lot of interesting characters.
Clay Davis
Oct 29, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting story about a world war between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. Probably the best in the series
Beth Cato
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A highly-enjoyable and thoroughly-researched alt history jaunt that explores the repercussions of a Confederate victory during the Civil War. The book jumps between perspectives on both sides of the conflict, and is wonderfully nuanced. People are people, and are complex creatures... though Custer is the easiest one to hate, no question. I do wish there had been some female perspectives as well, but I understand why there were not because of the tight military and political focus, mostly on men ...more
All fiction asks "what if?" (What if a boy named Huck Finn ran away with a slave named Jim and sailed the Mississippi?) Science Fiction and Fantasy do this to an even greater extent (What if a scientist was able to re-animate a human corpse using lightning?) Within Sci-Fi & Fantasy the sub-genre of Alternative History takes actual events from History and asks what if they had happened differently (What if Hitler's Germany had won World War II?) Harry Turtledove is considered the master of Altern ...more
Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Alternate history is such a complicated but interesting field of writing. I love imagining the world as it might have been, and from Turtledove's more wild flights of fantasy (The World War II series where aliens invade in 1942, for instance) to his more pointed, alternate-for-the-sake-of-reading-historical-figures pieces (like the excellent "Guns of the South") he proves himself a thorough historian and an imaginative fiction writer.

I have my issues with the way Turtledove likes to write from s
Arsalan Khan
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a person who enjoys history, this book is an absolute treat. I started getting into Alternate History a while back and slowly I started discovering the genre from the 'The Man in the High Castle.’ However, my passion for alternate history solely focused on either TV series, movies or even small YouTube videos. In no way, I would have considered dedicating my time towards reading something as a hobby. Neither did I consider 'historical fiction' was a genre.

I must give Harry Turtledove credit
Jan 05, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm actually a little shocked that I hadn't read this before. Seriously? Revisionist history about if the South had won? Lincoln a Socialist? Custer a crazy person? Stonewall Jackson alive? FREAKING LONGSTREET FOR PRESIDENT?!?!?!

So yeah, the book is pretty much right up my alley.

But the book is LOOOOOOONG. And I read trashy fantasy, so I have a pretty high tolerance for lengthy books. Even I started to fade about 60% in (according to my Kindle). It's possible I just wasn't in the mood for such
Ali Thompson
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. Unfortunately, Harry Turtledove's writing style as well as themes do get repetitive. However, this is more than made up for by his spectacular glimpses into what-if. I recommend the entire 11 book saga.

The Great War: American Front The Great War: Walk in HellThe Great War: BreakthroughsBlood & Iron The Center Cannot Hold The Victorious Opposition Return EngagementThe GrappleDrive to the EastIn at the Death
The other John
Nov 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
I'm afraid I read this one out of order. Back last year, I happened to stumble across The Great War: American Front, which tells a tale of World War I in a world where the Confederate States of America is an actuality. The characters in the book referred, from time to time, about a second War between the States that had occurred in the 1880s and had served to create deeper divisions between the North and the South. I found myself wishing that I could also read that tale, foolishly unaware that i ...more
Alexander Seifert
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The first piece of Turtledove I've ever read, and--I would argue--still one of my favorites.

I think Turtledove is his best when he combines historical and non-historical characters. Furthermore, I appreciate when he gives a little more variability to those he selects as viewpoint characters. In this work, we have Abraham Lincoln, the disgraced former President, and Frederick Douglass, to provide the reader with two immensely unique views. I think I enjoy it more because, by actually telling the
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
It's been a good many years since I've cracked a Turtledove book, and this one, like a lot of his work, has left me with mixed feelings.

First, it's most important to point out that this novel is the first in a longer series (the "Southern Victory" or "Timeline-191" series for which Turtledove is probably most widely known). The series is an attempt at a sort of overarching epic that spans 80-ish years of alternate history, and is as far as I know unique in the genre for its reach and popularity.
Meredith Landow

I have read almost every book by turtledove. I enjoy his work. This book was not as good as most of his writings. It is certainly worth reading if you plan to read the rest of the series, which is great.
Nathan wilson
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Better than guns of the south. Turtledove is a talented writer despite the book being a bit dull and dragging on at points. Will continue the series.
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, novels, ebook
Alternate history has been something I have, with some notable exceptions, shunned since its rise to prominence in the early '90s on the assumption that it lends itself to lazy writing: don't like the circumstances? just change the world to suit!

The exceptions prove the rule: Robert Harris' 'Fatherland' and Philip K. Dick's 'The Man in the High Castle'.

As Turtledove is the name most associated with the form I felt the need to read something by him to validate my assumptions.

The setting of the st
Kristen Schrader (Wenke)
While well-written, deeply descriptive, and obviously thoroughly researched - the novel left me feeling just ho-hum. While the premise of the South winning the civil war, and then another war breaking out is intriguing and exciting, I feel this book doesn't live up to the potential.

I love the characters in this book. All are well-developed. The narrative is descriptive to the point that I can see it clearly in my mind.

However, it fails to live up to the grand scope that "second civil war" brin
Carolyn Fitzpatrick
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fun alternative history! Pivotal event is during the Civil War, just prior to Antietam, when an aide to Lee drops the battle plans for Union troops to find later. As a result, the North wins Antietam, England and France comes in on the Union side, and the South ultimately loses the war. In this version, those papers are NOT dropped, and the South wins the war in 1862. The major part of this book takes place in 1881, when the CSA purchases the states of Sonora and Chihuahua from Mexico, enabling ...more
Bob H
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An alternate history, the start of a multi-volume Harry Turtledove series based on this first one. The premise: a Confederate army message on the road to Antietam that didn't go missing in this time-line and a war that went in a different direction. It's now 1881, the USA and CSA are close to war again, and some figures that didn't survive our history are very much, vividly alive here and still going: George Armstrong Custer, still fighting Indians, and Stonewall Jackson, now leading the Confede ...more
Will Mego
In all honesty, the character development as well as the writing itself wasn't of a standard that made me want to continue reading a ELEVEN or so book series. Lazy repetition, characters which all seemed the same.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book, (thought the premise was brilliant,) but his writing style did not work at all with my brain. Every page was a struggle. Too bad.
Luke Johnson
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a stand-alone alternative history novel about the Civil War, this is a good choice.
Kerry Gibbons
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I’m aware that this is NOT the longest book I’ve ever read cover-to-cover, it FEELS like it is. Obviously, it took me a very very long time to finish it. But I think the pacing and language were largely to blame for this. Switching between characters as the book so frequently does (with a frequently unfortunate lack of formatting in the e-book) is disorienting and at times jarring. There were definitely characters and storylines I cared a whole hell of a lot more about than others.

Kate Sherrod
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Would have been four stars, but took away half a star in revenge for sex It was a near miss for the Confederacy when General Robert E. Lee's aide recovered a document he'd lost, that detailed Lee's entire plan for the invasion of the Union in 1862. Just imagine the disaster that would have befallen those brave Southern boys had that document fallen into Yankee hands! Mercy!

Oh wait, that's not how it happened? Pardon me. I'm from Wyoming. Our school system teaches Wyoming history, to which accoun
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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

Other books in the series

Timeline-191 (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • American Front (The Great War, #1)
  • Walk in Hell (Great War, #2)
  • Breakthroughs (The Great War, #3)
  • Blood & Iron (American Empire, #1)
  • The Center Cannot Hold (American Empire, #2)
  • The Victorious Opposition (American Empire, #3)
  • Return Engagement (Settling Accounts, #1)
  • Drive to the East (Settling Accounts, #2)
  • The Grapple (Settling Accounts, #3)
  • In at the Death (Settling Accounts, #4)

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