The Company of the Dead

The Company of the Dead

by David Kowalski


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Can one man save the Titanic?

March 1912. A mysterious man appears aboard the Titanic on its doomed voyage. His mission? To save the ship.

The result? A world where the United States never entered World War I, thus launching the secret history of the 20th Century.

April 2012. Joseph Kennedy - grand-nephew of John F. Kennedy - lives in an America occupied in the East by Greater Germany and on the West Coast by Imperial Japan. He is one of six people who can restore history to its rightful order -- even though it may mean his own death.

"A magnificent alternate history, set against the backdrop of one of the the greatest maritime disasters." Library Journal

“Imaginative, monolithic, action-packed… The reader will not be disappointed.” — Bookseller and Publisher

"Time travel, airships, the Titanic, Roswell ... Kowalski builds a decidedly original creature that blends military science fiction, conspiracy theory, alternate history, and even a dash of romance." Publishers Weekly

"Kowalski effortlessly smashes together high art and grand adventure in this alt-history juggernaut." John Birmingham, acclaimed author of Weapons of Choice

"Exciting action, twisty and ingenious characterisation, and complicated time-travel plotting, deftly handled." S.M. Stirling, NYT bestselling author of The Tears of the Sun

"A non-stop chase that takes place across two thousand miles ... and one hundred years of perdurant time." Walter Jon Williams, NYT bestselling author of Deep State

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857686664
Publisher: Titan
Publication date: 03/13/2012
Pages: 752
Sales rank: 584,163
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.98(d)

About the Author

David Kowalski is an obstetrician and gynecologist living in Sydney, Australia. Although he has written for many professional journals, The Company of the Dead is his first work of fiction and the winner of the Aurealis Award for Best Novel and Best Science Fiction Novel.

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The Company of the Dead 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Robholts More than 1 year ago
First off, I did enjoy the book on whole. That said, there were some areas in which it fell short of my expectations. Like the first reviewer, I felt the book had a fantastic opening. When it hit the middle it slowed down significantly, and some of it was difficult to read. I felt a lot of it could have been omitted or significantly shortened and not harmed the integrity of the story. The last 200 pages were very fast paced and it drew you along. It felt to me that the author spent too much time world building, and not enough time pushing the plot forward. It's my personal opinion, and not everyone will agree with me on it. Despite all that, I really enjoyed the story and the characters. There were even some great surprises. I wouldn't recommend this book to all my friends, but certainly to those who like alt-history or the Titanic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked the premise of the book. A couple of chapters lost me and I had to re-read them for clarity, but my biggest complaint is the length. The beginning is really good and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next, then the middle gets really bogged down and slow but picks up again at the end. I think if the author had edited it down it would've been much better.
sgtbigg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What if it wasn¿t a flying saucer that crashed in the desert in Roswell, New Mexico back in 1947? What if it was actually a time machine? That¿s the idea behind The Company of the Dead. In 2012, Dr, Jonathan Wells accidentally learns about the time machine while treating a patient at Area 51 and in order to save his life gets transported back to 1911. Once in 1911 with nothing to do, Wells decides to change history and make the world a better place. First on the list, save the Titanic, but as we soon discover, that¿s easier said then done. Rather then save the Titanic, Wells merely postpones the inevitable for a few hours. This small change allows some passengers to live that would have died and causes some to die that would have lived. And so the butterfly flaps its wings. If you have any intention of reading this book, I would recommend you stop reading this review as there be spoilers ahead. Make sure you come back and finish this review once you have read the book, I¿ll be waiting.In 2012 2.0, the world is a vastly different place with Greater Germany and Imperial Japan as the two leading superpowers with the United States divided and partly occupied. A small group led by Confederate Bureau of Intelligence agent Joseph Kennedy have learned about the time machine and Wells¿ changing of history. They¿ve decided they like the original version better and set out to prevent Wells from changing the past. Here¿s where the story gets a little murky. Apparently there is some type of time loop in which Kennedy continually tries to stop Wells and continually fails in one way or another, this is his last chance. I found this to be unnecessary and somewhat bothersome; the story gets all mystical for awhile. One other small issue was the explanation of how the time loop started. Rather then address the paradox in any meaningful way, it got one or two throw away lines. Otherwise I found this to be a quite enjoyable book. At 832 pages it was a bit long and there were some areas that probably could have been trimmed down a bit. This might not be the book to bring on a cruise. I received this book as an ARC from Titan Books.
psutto on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Time travelling, alternative history adventure yarnThis is a first book by this author. This fits my 1912 category as the time travel part revolves around the sinking of the Titanic. Kowalski hits the alternative history buttons in a slightly different way ¿the first world war has been won by the Germans and the Americans were not involved, instead the States had a second civil war and is split into confederate and union. Playing Russia to Germany¿s ¿USA¿ is Japan who are the other superpower and have occupied the Union (Samurai in New York). A whole bunch of stuff hasn¿t been invented and so we get to see biplanes and airships as well as ¿Stratolites¿ (giant dirigible cities). So instead of the usual ¿what if the other side won the civil war¿ or ¿what if Hitler won WW2¿ we get an earlier divergence. Why is the Titanic a key to the alternative history? Well you¿ll just have to read the book to find out. On the plus side the setting is very well thought out, the adventure yarn has some interesting twists and turns and there are some great set pieces. On the down side its 750 pages long and feels like around 200 pages could have been dropped without harming either the atmosphere or the story ¿ a good editor required I reckon. Additionally it took me a long time to care about the characters who seemed quite flat. Overall ¿ Good adventure tale recommended to those who like alt history
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I both enjoyed and was disappointed by "The Company of the Dead." Initially, it is hard enough to take on and handle themes like time travel, resulting paradoxs, time loops, new world orders, apocalyptic wars, the Titanic sinking (twice), etc., but to do so in over 750 pages (my copy) exacerbates those difficulties. Although I enjoyed this book, I would have enjoyed it more if it had been subject to more carefull editing - it could have lost about 200 or so pages. For example, at least for me, I failed to see all the reasons for the interminably long description of the trip from New York south and then west. While parts of it helped the story much of it did not. Also, the dialogue between characters was for me many times cryptic and hard to follow..... I found my self wondering who was saying what to whom and why and what did they mean. Also, certain characters where in the story whose meaning and purpose were hard for me to grasp given the nature of the character (as described over many pages) and what they did and how they faired in the novel (e.g., Webster).. and who the heck was Stead and what purpose did he serve? I think this book would have been a five star, for me that is, if it were shorter and if a character had been added as a surrogate for the reader to ask the main characters questions so that the confused reader could essentially have things explained to them through this inquisitive character. But there was no such character and many times I found myself re-reading sections, trying to understand certain aspects of the story, sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always reading on. So, notwithstanding the above comments, I WOULD RECOMMEND this book to a friend (hey I gave it to my wife to read) but I would caution you to read slowly and perhaps even take notes!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't miss this one. If you like time travel, science fiction, and history all wrapped around the Titanic you won't want to miss this 750 page opus. The characters are well drawn and believable and the plot grabs hold of you. There are plenty of twists and turns to please everyone. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago