One of the most gruesome times in history came during the holocaust. This was a dark time in history where genocide was part of a process in eliminating a people, a time when Hitler had plans to rule the world with what he considered his supremacy.
Reich TV by Jeff Pearce, is a look at the times and events in history, and gives us a background to the beginning. Chock full of actual accounts, Pearce has also used his imagination to give us a fuller story of those who opposed the Reich, as well as giving us alternative information. One of the big uses of media during this darkest of times was set to the television which was just making its debut. Realizing the ability of using this device for propaganda was one of the uses Hitler found to move forward with his schemes. He found a way to twist technology into the story in such a way as to be remarkable.
Pearce has taken liberties with his characters, and while staying true to form, he at times moves them forward or back into history in order to set the tone for the work. He delves deep into the Marx brothers and their part in this work, but we are also put in touch with David Niven, George Orwell and Winston Churchill. The work is set with spies and underground, with dissenters and the disenfranchised. I was remarkably interested in the way it was written and found it to be informative, with many heroic efforts and much sadness. The work revolves around the Marx’s variety shows in London and the efforts that keep the public informed through the use of their comedy routines. We are also treated to a huge cast of characters, names that are familiar to many.
He touches on many of those targeted at the time, and while the picture builds, the story line is more about the efforts to stop and control the madness. The times were horrifying and dark, yet there were those that gave their lives trying to right many of the wrongs.
I found his work to be very compelling, and while it does not follow history as it happened, he built a strange parallel, and peopled it with characters full of nerve and strength. We get a glimpse into some of the more famous people of the times and their part of the process – but do we? The story is written so well I found it difficult to separate fact from fiction.
If you are interested in history and fiction, and if you enjoy good spy stories this is just the work to take you there. Imagine the world of George Orwell, and you will find just a bit of the S/F here as well. Full of background and panic, it is also full of heroics. It is not for the faint of heart, there is much to despair, yet there is also some bravery beyond compare.
This would make a fascinating book for a book club or reading group. It is not the usual read or novel, and yet it is impactful and informational.