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Fiction Dystopian

The Good German

A Novel

by (author) Dennis Bock

HarperCollins Canada
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Dystopian, Alternative History, World War II
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

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In November 1939, a German anti-fascist named Georg Elser came as close to assassinating Adolf Hitler as anyone ever had. In this gripping novel of alternate history, he doesn’t just come close—he succeeds. But he could never have imagined the terrible consequences that would follow from this act of heroism.

Hermann Göring, masterful political strategist, assumes the Chancellery and quickly signs a non-aggression treaty with the isolationist president Joseph Kennedy that will keep America out of the war that is about to engulf Europe. Göring rushes the German scientific community into developing the atomic bomb, and in August 1944, this devastating new weapon is tested on the English capital.

London lies in ruins. The war is over, fascism prevails in Europe, and Canada, the Commonwealth holdout in the Americas, suffers on as a client state of the Soviet Union. Georg Elser, blinded in the A-bombing of London, is shipped to Canada and quarantined in a hospice near Toronto called Mercy House. Here we meet William Teufel, a German-Canadian boy who in the summer of 1960 devises a plan that he hopes will distance himself from his German heritage and, unwittingly, brings him face to face with the man whose astonishing act of heroism twenty-one years earlier set the world on its terrifying new path.

In this page-turning narrative, Bock has created an utterly compelling and original novel of historical speculation in the vein of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids and Philip K. Dick’s cult classic The Man in the High Castle.

About the author

DENNIS BOCK'S first book of stories, Olympia, won the 1998 Canadian Authors’ Association Jubilee Award, the Danuta Gleed Award for best first collection of stories by a Canadian author and the British Betty Trask Award. His first novel, The Ash Garden, was a #1 national bestseller and was shortlisted for the prestigious 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the in Canada First Novel Award, the Kiriyama Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Caribbean and Canada Region). It won the Japan-Canada Literary Award and the Drummer General’s Award for Fiction. Dennis Bock lives with his family in Toronto. Visit him online

Dennis Bock's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A cunning, twisted, compelling tale of deeply unexpected consequences."
Margaret Atwood, author of The Testaments

“… darkly absorbing alternate history.... all of Bock's themes come to vibrant and disturbing life.” — Brian Bethune, Maclean’s Magazine

"A gripping and rather terrifying read." — Toronto Star

“… [a] riveting alternative history … terrifying.” — Vancouver Sun

"Absorbing and disturbing, intimate and sad, Dennis Bock's The Good German imagines an alternate history of World War Two that is no less savage for not being true. In young William Teufel, Bock gives us a character of melancholy complexity, a boy caught between loyalties, whose world is being unmade even as he struggles to find his place within it. This is a startling novel.” — Steven Price, Giller Prize finalist for Lampedusa

"In his new novel, Dennis Bock depicts the chillingly plausible butterfly effect of a simple twist in history. The Good German is a compelling and thought-provoking story that's remarkably relevant for our times." — Ellen Keith, bestselling author of The Dutch Wife

“An astonishing concept that speaks directly to our current affairs.” — Leon Rooke, author of House on Major Street

Other titles by Dennis Bock