Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not Alternate Enough

A few weeks ago I read and wrote about Resistance by Owen Sheers. That book, which is alternate history, led me to The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, which is also alternate history, and is set at about the same time as Resistance. But unlike Resistance, which takes place in far-away (for me) Wales, The Plot Against America takes place in Newark, New Jersey, in the very neighborhood in which my mother-in-law grew up. As I read the first few chapters of this book, I could imagine her parents, Grandpa Max and Grandma Rose, in their clapboard two-flat with the piano on the porch, and it was too close to home. The Nazis were coming! I just couldn't read it.

However, at Petrona I discovered an interesting post about a site that is a guide to alternate history books. Who knew there were so many? I just need to pick one that is a little more alternate, if you know what I mean.


Anonymous said...

Hello Becky. Yes, that is an amazing site, isn't it? Yet more books to read...

I hope you are well. I guess you are well into the summer by now but the schools in the UK don't end until next week.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Assuming an infinite universe, the alternate histories depicted by Owen Sheers and Philip Roth did take place in a world almost like ours, but not quite!!

Anonymous said...

Have you read "The Welsh Girl" by Peter Ho Davies? Similar concept and also in Wales though I think Resistance is a better book. I started the Philip Roth and really liked what I read but got distracted. Also read "Human Smoke" which is non-fiction and looks at all the people who were trying to stop WWII from happening. Makes a very interesting contrast with the alternative books. I will have to check out that website. Thanks.

Becky Holmes said...

Linda, thanks for the recommendations. I miss the daily Capital Times. I read the weekly edition cover to cover, and find more news in that than a whole week's worth of daily WSJs.

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