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An Honorable German


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A sweeping saga of World War II, An Honorable German is an uniquely epic, suspense-filled debut novel featuring a heroic German naval officer

About the Author

Born in Alabama and a graduate of Tulane University, Charles McCain lives in Washington, D.C. An Honorable German is his first novel.


American readers of World War II stories are familiar with the Allied point of view. First novelist McCain reverses that perspective, portraying the war from the viewpoint of a German naval officer. Max Brekendorf begins the war aboard the "pocket battleship" Graf Spee, hunting Allied shipping in the South Atlantic and looking forward to the postwar life he hopes to enjoy with his aristocratic fiancee. The brutality of war and the stodgy German class structure stand in his way, but the most sinister obstacle may be the growing political power of Nazi hard-liners, who seem to become ever more fanatical as Germany's military prospects darken. Exposed to wartime atrocity from both sides, Max may have to choose between loyalty and humanity. No government, Axis or Allied, comes out looking very good in McCain's tale; Brekendorf's moral salvation is up to him alone and could cost him his life and his reputation. A vivid and compelling portrayal of World War II naval service.-Bradley Scott, Brighton Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

A fast paced, old fashioned naval yarn that crackles with authenticity, AN HONORABLE GERMAN will leave the taste of salt on your tongue as you breathlessly turn the pages. A first-class tale that afficionnados of the Second World War will find especially satisfying. I enjoyed it immensely!--Christopher Reich
A truly epic and stirring tale of war, love, and the sea. AN HONORABLE GERMAN is a remarkable debut novel by a writer who has done his homework so well that it seems he was an eyewitness to the history he portrays in such vivid detail. An original and surprising look at World War II from the other side.
--Nelson DeMille
Novels of naval warfare have long captured readers' attention and imagination, perhaps because many of them, in addition to simply being great yarns, illuminate the moral dilemmas of command, offer glimpses of social and political history, and describe life at sea. An Honorable German does all those things... A gripping and eye-opening first novel.--Booklist
The action sequences are undeniably stunning...Fans of naval fiction couldn't ask for more authentic action.--Publishers Weekly

Outstanding maritime action sequences are the high points of McCain's otherwise naOve-feeling debut. Max Brekendorf, a young German naval officer during WWII, serves on a battleship in the Atlantic, a merchant raider in the Indian Ocean and, after being adrift in a lifeboat and a convalescence in Paris, he volunteers for the U-boat force. As the war wears on, the navy, an institution that once forbade officers from joining political parties, becomes overrun with Nazi loyalists, creating tensions on Max's submarine that will eventually force him to choose between his moral sense and party directives. Unfortunately, the numerous good German/bad German scenes sustaining this uncomfortable premise are clown-ish at best. However, the action sequences are undeniably stunning, and McCain is no slouch with details, such as a ship's teakwood deck planks (which don't splinter when hit by shells) or the smell of petroleum in a submarine that "permeated even the canned food." Fans of naval fiction couldn't ask for more authentic action, even if the novel falls short of its ambitions to salvage the reputation of the German navy. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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