Why did Napoleon and Robert E. Lee suddenly abandon their principles of maneuver causing them to lose in frontal assaults at Waterloo and Gettysburg? What if Eva Braun was not just the innocent young girlfriend? What monster did Truman and J. Edgar Hoover keep from the public? What if Shakespeare knew about golf and Plato had a sick sense of humor? All these questions and more are explored in Twisted History: An Alternative History Anthology. Written by rising stars in the literary world, enjoy their unique takes on what could have been.
Where to start? I guess at the beginning..that’s what they always tell you to do, right? I picked this book up from the publisher mostly because a) I love history and b) the model on the cover is a friend of mine, Cara Nicole. Honestly, if I hadn’t noticed her on the cover and been nudged to take it by the gentleman behind the table, I might have passed this one by.
For the people involved in this book, by the time I’m done writing this review, they may be wishing that I had. Okay, that’s a bit harsh. Let me break down my thoughts on this book…for the sake of my tired brain (it is ridiculously hot and humid here still!), we’re going to use a bullet list. Ready? Good…cuz here we go:
• The cover – I just don’t know about this cover. I love the swirly giant clock but somehow that’s the only bit I do love. The pictures look odd in front of it and Cara…well, this is not the best look she’s ever done. Her makeup is nearly the same color as the clock which throws things off and those fangs…well, I’ll let you be the judge on those.
• The “collection” – Yes, I put that in quotes because this is another thing that I’m confused on. The book opens up with two paragraphs about how there was a selection process as part of putting this book together. They weeded out entries and yet half of the stories in the book were by the same author. So, either they didn’t get very many submissions or the formula used to decide who got in was really off. I’m honestly curious as to who and how many people were on the selection committee. Even the spine of the book reads “By Michael Bradley and Others” …To me, a good anthology has a good blend of authors involved.
• The stories – Some were good, some were okay, but I don’t think that any of them were great. A good alternative history story takes you back to that time period and even goes into how the changes would affect the history as we know them. Only the first story sticks out in my mind as having done this.
So here’s what it comes down to. This book is available on Amazon for 99c. At that price, it’s worth picking up. It’s a quick, easy read at 103 pages and while I wouldn’t consider the stories alternative history per se, they’re not so awful that you won’t get any enjoyment out of it. However, at the cover price of $6.99, I’d give it a pass.