source for free and affordable eBooks


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of THE TWO GEORGES by Richard Dreyfuss and Harry Turtledove (see his website)

    TOR, 1996

    In a world where Geogre Washington travelled to England and addressed his issues with George III, the United States never existed. Instead, a North American Union, consisting of both Canada and the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii) remains a part of the globe-encompassing British Empire. That Empire is threatened only by the Russians (still an empire) and the combined French and Spanish (still a Kingdom). America is less heavily populated (no vast migrations from Italy, Eastern Europe, China, or Germany swelled its population) and technologically behind our own science. But it is also a more peaceful society where guns are rare and where years have gone by since the last Mountie was killed in action.

    The symbol of the North American Union is the portrait of the Two Georges--Washington and Hannover reconciling their differences. When this painting is stolen, apparently by the terrorist Sons of Liberty organization, Mountie Colonel Thomas Bushell is tasked with tracking it down and returning it to the government--before King Charles III arrives in the new world. Bushell's investigation takes him from California to northwest Canada, to the Pennsylvania coal mines, Boston, and finally Victoria (Washington D.C.). But the portrait and the terrorists who stole it remain ahead of him, almost as if they had been warned of his coming.

    Authors Richard Dreyfuss and Harry Turtledove (see more reviews of novels by Turtledove) create a fascinating alternate history. There was a time when supporters of complete independence from England were few. Compromise would have been possible if George III had been sane and lucky. And without independence, America would never have become the open door for the world's poor and freedom-seeking. The smaller population (with better treated Indians and African-Americans) would have led to fewer scientific advances. Dreyfuss and Turtledove lace their narrative with historical characters including Sir Martin Luther King, now Governor General, Tricky Dick Nixon (a car salesman shot from the grassy knoll) and John F. Kennedy (editor of a radical newspaper and sexual predator), adding humor to their world-building conjecture.

    Bushell, with his continuing anger over his wife's betrayal and his problems with alcohol abuse makes an interesting character. The mystery, however, was a little too simple to support almost six hundred pages of narrative (in the paperback edition). THE TWO GEORGES is an interesting story, fascinating alternate history worldbuilding, filled with quips of humor and references to movies (especially Casa Blanca) and political history. It isn't the best of Turtledove, but it is certainly an enjoyable read.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 11/07/03

    Want to buy it? Click the button:

    Want to learn more?
    Click this link and see more reviews, similar books, and other Amazon information on THE TWO GEORGES from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for THE TWO GEORGES from Barnes and

    Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name. Banner Exchange