The Separation

The Separation

by Christopher Priest
     
 

Researching the war between Britain and Nazi Germany, which lasted from May 1940 to May 1941, historian Stuart Gratton becomes intrigued by the enigma of J.L. Sawyer, an obscure figure who played a key part in bringing the conflict to its conclusion. As he digs deeper, he discovers there were two J.L. Sawyers - identical twins Jack and Joe, one a fighter pilot and the… See more details below

Overview

Researching the war between Britain and Nazi Germany, which lasted from May 1940 to May 1941, historian Stuart Gratton becomes intrigued by the enigma of J.L. Sawyer, an obscure figure who played a key part in bringing the conflict to its conclusion. As he digs deeper, he discovers there were two J.L. Sawyers - identical twins Jack and Joe, one a fighter pilot and the other a conscientous objector - divided both by their love for the same woman and their attitudes towards the war. But as the brothers' story emerges from books, letters, and diaries, the evidence does not all add up, and there may be an even wider separation between them - divergent realities, in which different possibilities and unexpected truths emerge, and nothing is quite what it seems.

Both a brilliant historical novel about World War II and one of the best works of alternate history ever written, Christopher Priest's The Separation earned the Arthur C. Clarke and BSFA Awards and ranks among his finest achievements. Like his classics The Affirmation and The Prestige, it is an engrossing literary puzzle that will keep readers turning the pages until its startling conclusion.

'An astonishing achievement.' - Locus

'A masterly novel that deserves to become a classic.' - The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

'A complex and enigmatic tale of identity, illusion and deception.' - Glasgow Herald

'Superbly constructed, the prose admirably spare and elegant ... a queasily gripping and intelligent work of fiction.' - Daily Telegraph

'A subtle, unsettling alternative WWII history.' - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this subtle, unsettling alternative WWII history from British author Priest (The Prestige), Jack Sawyer is an RAF bomber pilot who encourages his government to distrust the peace proposal offered by renegade Nazi Rudolph Hess. At the same time, perhaps, Jack's identical twin brother, Joe, is a pacifist Red Cross staffer aiding peace negotiations with a German delegation headed by Hess. Jack's actions help shape the events we remember; Joe's lead to a truce between Germany and Britain in 1941 that results in a disturbingly familiar postwar world. Convincingly detailed diaries, scraps of published texts, declassified transcripts and more baffle a historian who tries to reconcile different realities. The brothers themselves recognize the uncertainty of motives and actions; Joe in particular struggles to believe that he's making a better future even though he realizes how much it costs him personally. Many alternative history novels are bloodless extrapolations from mountains of data, but this one quietly builds characters you care about-then leaves their dilemmas unresolved as they try to believe that what they have done is "right." (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780575070141
Publisher:
BPR Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/2003
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
4.31(w) x 6.94(h) x 1.10(d)

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