Messing with history: John Birmingham

26 Oct

I am reading John Birmingham’s Designated Targets (2005), the second book in the Axis of Time trilogy. I haven’t read the first, but I got into what is going on fairly quickly. “A US-led task force off Indonesia in 2021 finds itself sent back to 1942, just prior to the Battle of Midway. The novels deal with a rapidly altered version of World War II, and to a lesser extent the social changes that result amongst the Allied powers.” I find the thoughts the book generates on social change, mores and attitudes then and now, most interesting.

They’re all there: wartime PM John Curtin, Churchill, Douglas MacArthur, J. Edgar Hoover, Marilyn Monroe, even a juvenile Elvis Presley! Delicious naming of some characters too: Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt, right-wing Australian columnists, are there as SAS demolitionists; Amanda Lohrey is a RAN intelligence officer; Prince Harry is adult and in the British military, while Philip Mountbatten is still in the Royal Navy.

It is great fun, and well researched, so long as you don’t mind your head being messed with. I must look out for the others at the library.

See Cheeseburger Gothic, John Birmingham’s blog.

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Posted by on October 26, 2006 in Aussie interest, OzLit, Reading



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