An Honorable German

An Honorable German

3.8 25
by Charles L. McCain
     
 

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In the tradition of Das Boot and The Hunt for Red October comes a sweeping saga of World War II, featuring a heroic and conflicted German U-Boat commander.

An Honorable German

When World War II begins, Max Brekendorf, a proud young German naval officer, fights for his country with honor and courage. With the unstoppable German war machine overrunning Europe,

Overview

In the tradition of Das Boot and The Hunt for Red October comes a sweeping saga of World War II, featuring a heroic and conflicted German U-Boat commander.

An Honorable German

When World War II begins, Max Brekendorf, a proud young German naval officer, fights for his country with honor and courage. With the unstoppable German war machine overrunning Europe, Max looks ahead to a bright future with his fiancée, Mareth.
But as the war progresses, their future together becomes less and less certain. German victories begin to fade. In the North Atlantic, Max must face the increasing strength of the Allies on ever more harrowing missions. Berlin itself is savaged by bombing, making life for Mareth increasingly dangerous and desperate. And as the Third Reich steadily crumbles, Nazi loyalists begin to infiltrate Max's crew and turn their terror on Germany's own armed forces.
Recognizing what his nation has become, Max is forced to make a choice between his own sense of morality, and his duty to the Reich.
With its stirring, rarely seen glimpse of the German home front during WWII, vivid characters, and evocation of the drama and terror of war at sea, An Honorable German is a suspense-filled story of adventure, of love and loss, and of honor and redemption.

Editorial Reviews

Christopher Reich
"A fast paced, old fashioned naval yarn that crackles with authenticity, AN HONORABLE GERMAN will leave the taste of salt on your tongue as you breathlessly turn the pages. A first-class tale that afficionnados of the Second World War will find especially satisfying. I enjoyed it immensely!"
Nelson DeMille
"A truly epic and stirring tale of war, love, and the sea. AN HONORABLE GERMAN is a remarkable debut novel by a writer who has done his homework so well that it seems he was an eyewitness to the history he portrays in such vivid detail. An original and surprising look at World War II from the other side. "
From the Publisher
"Novels of naval warfare have long captured readers' attention and imagination, perhaps because many of them, in addition to simply being great yarns, illuminate the moral dilemmas of command, offer glimpses of social and political history, and describe life at sea. An Honorable German does all those things... A gripping and eye-opening first novel."—Booklist"

The action sequences are undeniably stunning...Fans of naval fiction couldn't ask for more authentic action."—Publishers Weekly"

A fast paced, old fashioned naval yarn that crackles with authenticity, AN HONORABLE GERMAN will leave the taste of salt on your tongue as you breathlessly turn the pages. A first-class tale that afficionnados of the Second World War will find especially satisfying. I enjoyed it immensely!"—Christopher Reich"

A truly epic and stirring tale of war, love, and the sea. AN HONORABLE GERMAN is a remarkable debut novel by a writer who has done his homework so well that it seems he was an eyewitness to the history he portrays in such vivid detail. An original and surprising look at World War II from the other side. "
Nelson DeMille

Booklist
"Novels of naval warfare have long captured readers' attention and imagination, perhaps because many of them, in addition to simply being great yarns, illuminate the moral dilemmas of command, offer glimpses of social and political history, and describe life at sea. An Honorable German does all those things... A gripping and eye-opening first novel."
Publishers Weekly

Outstanding maritime action sequences are the high points of McCain's otherwise naïve-feeling debut. Max Brekendorf, a young German naval officer during WWII, serves on a battleship in the Atlantic, a merchant raider in the Indian Ocean and, after being adrift in a lifeboat and a convalescence in Paris, he volunteers for the U-boat force. As the war wears on, the navy, an institution that once forbade officers from joining political parties, becomes overrun with Nazi loyalists, creating tensions on Max's submarine that will eventually force him to choose between his moral sense and party directives. Unfortunately, the numerous good German/bad German scenes sustaining this uncomfortable premise are clownish at best. However, the action sequences are undeniably stunning, and McCain is no slouch with details, such as a ship's teakwood deck planks (which don't splinter when hit by shells) or the smell of petroleum in a submarine that "permeated even the canned food." Fans of naval fiction couldn't ask for more authentic action, even if the novel falls short of its ambitions to salvage the reputation of the German navy. (May)

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Library Journal

American readers of World War II stories are familiar with the Allied point of view. First novelist McCain reverses that perspective, portraying the war from the viewpoint of a German naval officer. Max Brekendorf begins the war aboard the "pocket battleship" Graf Spee, hunting Allied shipping in the South Atlantic and looking forward to the postwar life he hopes to enjoy with his aristocratic fiancA©e. The brutality of war and the stodgy German class structure stand in his way, but the most sinister obstacle may be the growing political power of Nazi hard-liners, who seem to become ever more fanatical as Germany's military prospects darken. Exposed to wartime atrocity from both sides, Max may have to choose between loyalty and humanity. No government, Axis or Allied, comes out looking very good in McCain's tale; Brekendorf's moral salvation is up to him alone and could cost him his life and his reputation. A vivid and compelling portrayal of World War II naval service.
—Bradley Scott

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446538992
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

Nelson DeMille
A truly epic and stirring tale of war, love, and the sea. AN HONORABLE GERMAN is a remarkable debut novel by a writer who has done his homework so well that it seems he was an eyewitness to the history he portrays in such vivid detail. An original and surprising look at World War II from the other side.
Christopher Reich
A fast paced, old fashioned naval yarn that crackles with authenticity, AN HONORABLE GERMAN will leave the taste of salt on your tongue as you breathlessly turn the pages. A first-class tale that afficionnados of the Second World War will find especially satisfying. I enjoyed it immensely!

Meet the Author

Born in Mobile, AL, and a graduate of Tulane University, Charles McCain lives in Washington, D.C. An Honorable German is his first novel.

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Honorable German 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
MaximusTheGreat More than 1 year ago
I believe this is Charles McCain's first novel, and as such is a pretty darn good one. His writing definitely isn't perfect yet, but he did a great job with WWII research and connecting you to the characters. The story of course revolves around a German Naval officer, which is a refreshing take and may succeed in changing opinions of the less serious WWII scholar. The characters and action are great, and McCain even does extremely well with the romance plot of the main character and his fiance back in Germany. I would definitely recommend this book, and one doesn't even have to be engrossed in history or war novels to take something from the story.
Jimbo59 More than 1 year ago
This is a book I was told I'd find interesting. I wasn't sure I was going to but the more I got into it with its excellent writing, the more I became immersed. A detailed view of the life of a loyal, accomplished German Naval officer performing his job. One who loved Germany, his fiancee, his father and his profession but not necessarily the power in command of his Germany. How they all melded together made an extremely interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For a first time novelist, Charles McCain has created some of the most amazing characters that will better the readers' lives just by knowing them, particularly Dieter, a true man. I am jealous of anyone who has not yet read this novel, because you have such a thrill awaiting you!
DYSios More than 1 year ago
The literary and dramatic re-tellings and interpretations of World War II are legion. Every now and then one appears that offers a perspective we haven't had. Among those, even fewer works stand out--the ones that open our eyes to things we never understood or even knew about. "An Honorable German" belongs in the ranks of James Jones" "From Here to Eternity," Herman Wouk's "The Caine Mutiny," David Lean's "Bridge on the River Kwai," Clint Eastwood's "Letters from Iwo Jima," or a personal favorite, Stephen Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun." Each of these works takes us behind and beyond the conceptions born of the reporting of the era, old newsreels, Hollywood potboilers, lesser novels and TV schlock. But "An Honorable German" is more than empathetic. It is a powerfully told story that, once started, is hard to put down. The author's skill is impressive for a first novel. McCain has the talent to both expand his scope and hone his craft--if he writes a second novel, look for it to deliver even more dazzle.
CARlovesbooks More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. The author does a good job showing the life in the German navy during WWII. Easy read and highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth the time---I lent it to friends, all of whom liked it
LifeTimeReaderNM More than 1 year ago
I just finished your book, "An Honorable German." It was one of the best books I have ever read and I have read several thousand. Leo M. McCormick
subcapt More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for future books from him when he hones his skills as an accomplished writer of the likes of say, Tom Clancy or Steven Coonts !!! Keep it up charles your on the right track just stay on them, then pour on the coal's it was good to see a read that showed how innocent german citizens of germany suffered at the hands of just a few tyrant's that had complete control of their destinys. Hope his next novel run's along the same or similar lines.
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TheLionHeart More than 1 year ago
Anyone interested in this aspect of WWII will find this an excellent and exciting read. The characters are convincingly believable and the events consistent with the history of that special period.
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MUNIR More than 1 year ago
Most of the book is known facts about WWII, so our hero is "proactive" in the various scenarios. A good mind refresher of the various notable events of the German Navy.
Metusela More than 1 year ago
A great book that shows you the human side of the German soldier and the plight of the civilian population. McCain did his research and it resulted in a novel that gives you historical fact and an excellent plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leigh_Rutledge More than 1 year ago
Military history and fiction buffs will love this book; however, other audience's will appreciate it every bit as much. An intelligent action story is a rare thing, particularly one with a thoughtful, introspective protagonist and a memorable female character interesting in her own right. The pace, action and tension will hook you if you're an action reader. If historical fiction is your thing then the well developed characters and WWII context from the German viewpoint will be engaging. If you tend toward non-fiction then the meticulous research and realism will be compelling. Perfect gift for Father's Day and when Dad finishes, Mom will pick it up and recommend it to all of her friends. Perhaps not the first title a woman would open when visiting the book store but, when word gets out, readers of both sexes will have their noses buried in McCain's story. Put it on my Kindle and bought the hardcover - this book is a welcome addition to even terminally overcrowded shelves.
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slatsdawson More than 1 year ago
This might be his first novel, he has potential. Did not have a hard edge and was dragging at times.