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Beneath Gray Skies
 
 
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Beneath Gray Skies [ペーパーバック]

Hugh Ashton
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(US trade-size edition) Beneath Gray Skies tells the story of David Slater, a young conscript in the Army of the Confederacy in the 1920s, as he learns power politics from the inside in the West's last slave-owning nation. He makes friends with a British agent, and strikes up an unlikely acquaintance with Hermann Goering, eventually finding himself rubbing shoulders with President Jefferson Davis III and Adolf Hitler on the first (and last) flight of the doomed Zeppelin airship Bismarck, carrying a mysterious cargo from Nazi Germany to the Confederate States of America. The action moves between the Confederacy and Washington DC as well as London and Berlin, examining the world of "might have been" had the American Civil War never been fought, and the Confederacy survived into the 20th century. Hugh Ashton lives in Kamakura, Japan, where he works as a writer and journalist. Beneath Gray Skies is his first published novel. --このテキストは、 ペーパーバック 版に関連付けられています。

登録情報

  • ペーパーバック: 364ページ
  • 出版社: J-Views (2010/4/4)
  • 言語: 英語, 英語, 英語
  • ISBN-10: 4990516508
  • ISBN-13: 978-4990516505
  • 発売日: 2010/4/4
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 12.7 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • おすすめ度: 5つ星のうち 5.0  レビューをすべて見る (1 件のカスタマーレビュー)
  • Amazon ベストセラー商品ランキング: 洋書 - 904,675位 (洋書のベストセラーを見る)
  •  カタログ情報、または画像について報告


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最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー
1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 Very interesting alternate history 2011/3/2
投稿者 ありすママ
形式:ペーパーバック
1861年、アメリカ市民戦争は起こらなかった・・・
かくして20世紀に入ってもアメリカ南部連合国(CSA)とアメリカ合衆国(USA)という二つの独立した国家が存在していた。
1923年、今だ奴隷制度が罷り通っているCSAは近代国家から白眼視され、孤立していた。貧しいが天然資源に恵まれたこの国に目をつけたのがナチスドイツ。両者の利害が一致し、ヒトラーとジェファソン・デーヴィス(3世)大統領が手を結ぶ。そして、ヒトラーとゲーリング自らが乗り込んだ飛行船ビスマルクがジョージアに向かうことに・・・。

一見すると恐ろしい筋書きに思えるが、著者の巧みで温かみのある筆のおかげで、スリリングでエンターテイメント性の高い作品に仕上がっている。
若き連合軍兵士Davidと英国スパイBrian、彼らを取り巻く人物たちの活躍や合衆国および英国諜報機関の連携の描写は、まるでスパイドラマを見ているような感覚にさせられる。ツェッペリン型飛行船の記述にも詳しいのでスチームパンクファンにもお勧めだ。
映画化されたら、とても面白い作品になると思う。
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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 3.5  23 件のカスタマーレビュー
20 人中、19人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 3.0 Suspension of Disbelief 2011/6/3
投稿者 Dom Santos - (Amazon.com)
形式:Kindle版
The story's "what-if" premise of the the Southern States peacefully seceding from the Union in the 1860s and forming a separate nation called the Confederate States of America (CSA) and then some decades later forming an alliance with Nazi Germany is an interesting twist on history. However, the reader will have to take a leap from "what-if" to a suspension of disbelief if you are to enjoy "Beneath Gray Skies" by author Hugh Ashton. For example, you will have to believe that a nominally-educated male CSA "Negro" slave is freed as a result of a stereotypical racist incident and then - with no vetting or prior intelligence experience - is embraced by the British intelligence service as an instant colleague. In addition, you will have to believe that this former slave and a beautiful, white, Jewish female, a member of the American intelligence community, have an instant chemistry on first-sight and fall in love, resulting in the former slave marrying the woman and being warmly welcomed into the woman's socially- and politically-prominent and quite wealthy family and social circle.

Next, you will have to believe that a character named "David" - a private in what is described as the uneducated "white trash" Confederate Army - is discovered to have extraordinary aptitude for the game of chess - a game that he had never played before - said skill causing him to gain the notice of his superiors who, in turn, determine David also has extraordinary skills in calligraphy, the ability to read well, and even do "some calculating with figures," all of which lead David to an eventual rank of Sergeant and a key role with a group of Germans building a Zeppelin airdrome on Confederate Georgia soil.

Next is the enigmatic English hero, Brian, who darts in and out of the narrative with exploits of daring, deception, and spying in an effort to disrupt the CSA-Nazi alliance. Toss in a bunch of nasty Nazis and an equally nasty CSA President, a "save-the-world" United Kingdom intelligence service and its operative named "Dowling" (the former slave's original mentor), a plot to kill the bad guys, and it turns out that all's well that ends well.

The writing is adequate; however, with the exception of some British dialogue, the dialogue of most of the other characters too often lacked the ring of authenticity because what should have been dialects and idioms unique to those characters was lacking. Said another way, the drawl of the South and the unique syntax of German-to-English was missing.

Finally, I felt that the author also had a subtle and personal political and social agenda woven into the story - an agenda that can be explained best by reading both the author's preface to the first edition and his preface to the second edition.
2 人中、2人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 "Beware the Richmond-Berlin Axis" or "If Your Only Friends are Nazis, Get New Friends" 2013/9/3
投稿者 Ralph E. Vaughan - (Amazon.com)
形式:ペーパーバック
Once you get over the rather trivial nature of the split in history that inspires this novel (Lincoln was sick, so we couldn't have the War Between the States), it quickly becomes an engrossing and exciting adventure tale involving an industrially stunted Confederate States of America, a politically stunted United States of America, a dynamic British Empire where spying (the alternative to war) is still conducted by gentlemen, and a fledgling Nazi Germany. Actually, I probably should not characterize the split in history as "trivial" (that's reserved for Avram Davidson's alternate history tale where events went sideways because Brigham Young stubbed his toe), but as "slim." The Republican Party split from the Whigs solely on the issue of slavery, and the abolition of slavery was the only plank in the Republican platform, so Lincoln's sudden illness would seem to me a bit insufficient to stop the political juggernaut that led to war; still, momentous events have turned before on just such small actions. This novel rarely delves into politics, but we can surmise much from the comments and the timeline. The split between the states would also have been a split between the parties, with the Republicans (maybe Whigs, if the failure to end slavery doomed the new party)running the USA and the Democrats grasping the reins of the CSA. While the USA did not entirely avoid conflicts (Washington state was lost to Canada), it did seem to avoid the Spanish-American War because there were no Democrats beating war-drums; similarly, the CSA fared poorly against Cuba and lost Florida. The USA did not enter the Great European War, and no one cared what the CSA did there because it was so ineffectual, more of a troublemaker, I assume, than a combatant. At one point, a character visiting the USA War Department remarks about all the empty office space -- "I suppose that's what comes from not fighting so many wars."

The USA at the time of the novel is semi-isolationist and rather politically/diplomatically naive from the viewpoint of the Brits, who had to fight the Central Powers and save the day pretty much on their own; the CSA is a sort of corn-pone Sparta with a hereditary dictator and lacking the industrialized economy that would make slavery ineffective, a country shunned by everyone except the Nazis...well, when your best friends are the Nazis you have more problems than you can even count.

It is this developing "axis" between Richmond and Berlin that moves the story, propelling action after action...in some of those actions we see echoes of our own history (can't always escape destiny, I guess), the motivating force behind the characters, who include a freed slave, a Confederate chess-playing soldier, and a British secret agent who was supposed to come in from the cold...but didn't. Not a lot of Finch-Molloy's (the spy) background is revealed, but a later book, Red Wheels Turning, tells of his recruitment and an exploit during the Great War.

Since alternate history novels are in a sense historical fiction we come across quite a few familiar names, especially with regards to the Germans. All the big-hats are there, including the little chap wearing the Charlie Chaplin mustache, as well as Dr Hugo Eckner, of Zeppelin fame, but the airship bound for Cordelle (not Lakehurst) is named for Bismark, not another famous German. As with other AH novels, you can approach this story from any number of avenues -- there we go but for the grace of God, if only we had ourselves been so prescient about the Nazis, what does this story say about us, or what else has gone differently to create such a world with such people; but I think the most rewarding way to approach this novel is as a rattling good adventure novel filled with such characters that would make our own world a better place to live...if only they were real.
1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 A great alt-fiction piece 2014/2/17
投稿者 Amazon Customer - (Amazon.com)
形式:Kindle版|Amazonで購入
I enjoyed this book from the first page to the end. Between the description and the other reviews of the book you can get a pretty clear picture of what this book is about: what if the American Civil War didn't happen and the south became a separate country.

It's a fun idea to consider and handled very well and enjoyably by the author, I had no trouble grasping his concept and running with it. The characters are fun and interesting (I especially liked Brian) and there's very, very little that I would even consider criticizing. Get it, read it, enjoy.
1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 Surprisingly Good 2013/9/27
投稿者 Della Fahsholtz - (Amazon.com)
形式:Kindle版|Amazonで購入
Good, inventive plot, with a lively and agile grasp of history. Some dialogue sounds rather stilted and improbable, but otherwise a good, solid alternate history adventure.
1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 I loved it! If you're from the south 2014/9/9
投稿者 Rockilu - (Amazon.com)
形式:Kindle版|Amazonで購入
I had never a read a book about "alternate history" before. I loved it! If you're from the south, you'll really enjoy and be frightened by how close to home it is.
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