The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski Online

The Company of the Dead
Title : The Company of the Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781405038041
Language : English
Format Type : Trade Paperback
Number of Pages : 744

"He could feel it. The flutter of butterfly wings that would herald a brighter, better world. He looked out to the flat, calm ocean, the moonless night. Beyond the ship's illumination the dark waters rose up so that he felt as if he and the ship lay at the centre of a vast opaque bowl. Then, at a distance, under the starlight's dim flicker, he saw"He could feel it. The flutter of butterfly wings that would herald a brighter, better world. He looked out to the flat, calm ocean, the moonless night. Beyond the ship's illumination the dark waters rose up so that he felt as if he and the ship lay at the centre of a vast opaque bowl. Then, at a distance, under the starlight's dim flicker, he saw it. First, a jagged edge, then two irregular peaks, riding black against the black night sky."Conspiracies linking events as disparate as the sinking of the Titanic and the assassination of JFK have played themselves out in dark and unforeseen ways.The Cold War between Greater Germany and Imperial Japan is drawing to a close.America, divided and scarred, will be the final battleground in a world distinctly different, yet disturbingly familiar to our own.Six people have the means to avert the apocalypse.Welcome to the secret history of the twentieth century.


The Company of the Dead Reviews

  • David

    Warning: This is a non-review review. If you are one of those priggish scolds who demands actual review reviews, pass this one by. I'm just not in the mood right now for one of those 'How dare you review a book without reading it!' lectures. It's a free galaxy, so go ahead and buzz off. (Who am I kidding? Nobody will notice the irrelevance of this review because nobody will notice this book.)I am David Kowalski. No, not that David Kowalski—the world-renowned Australian gynecologist who writes [...]

  • Daniel

    THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD is an alternate-history novel that centers around the sinking of the Titanic. At the start, a time traveler named Wells attempts to stop the well-known disaster from occurring. He doesn't succeed, but he does delay the event by three hours. This small change creates massive ramifications that drastically alter the future. America is no longer United, Hitler is a famous artist, and most of the globe is under the rule of either the Japanese or German empires. A young man na [...]

  • Christine

    It is the maiden voyage of the Titanic and one man aboard knows exactly what is about to happen. As he hands the man on watch a pair of unusual binoculars he tells him to keep a close eye out for anything. As the warning whistles blow the ship avoids a collision with an iceberg only to hit another one three hours later. Three hours which were enough time to change the list of survivors and thereby change the course of history.I really, really wanted to like this book. The premise of the story so [...]

  • Megan Baxter

    This is, it appears, a first novel by a medical doctor. I'm not sure that the doctor part comes across in the book, but some of the inexperience does. As it stands, this book has promise. It also has terrible pacing, and needs more fully developed characters to take advantage of the admittedly intriguing ideas he's throwing out there. In summary, it's uneven.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision he [...]

  • Rachael Rodgers

    This is the best book I’ve read in a long, long time…The premise behind this book lies in the theory of chaos. This theory describes how a seemingly inconsequential event can change the way subsequent events evolve. In regards to the weather, it describes how the flapping of a single butterfly’s wing produces a tiny change to the state the atmosphere, causing the atmosphere to diverge from what it would have done otherwise. The net effect being that markedly different weather conditions ca [...]

  • Marleen

    I actually rated this book 4.5 stars but decided to round it up since it is a fascinating read.It is April 1912 and Jonathan Wells is travelling on the Titanic towards New York. Armed with knowledge that he shouldn’t be able to have he is on a mission to save the ship from the Iceberg that would make the ships maiden-voyage also her last. His action will have shocking results for the world, results Wells couldn’t have foreseen and doesn’t live to experience.In April 2012 a newly build copy [...]

  • Joanne

    I like playing with the idea of alternative histories, like Fatherland. In this case, the query is: what would have happened if the Titanic hadn't gone down? Or if it had gone down and different people had survived? That's the way the book opens, and it's fairly good (though the main character uses the F-word so much that one of the contemporary passengers asks why he's being so crude), but then the book cuts to the present, where the Confederacy is still around, and the Japanese occupy New York [...]

  • Chris

    At times I found this book a gripping and encompassing read, and then other times I just wanted Kowalski to get on with it.The idea of what would happen if the history of the Titantic changed is interesting, and I liked the plays with history ideas. The pacing could have been slightly better, and the sole female character better drawn - not been the object of lust for so many men.

  • Nathaniel Gritsman

    Loved this book to bits. It's scope is truly huge. As an historical fiction it's both fascinating in its exploration of an alternative (and fascinating) 20th century as well as presenting the most realized world I've yet to explore.From there it segways seamlessly into an amazing thriller, with wild action sequences and an exploration of paradox which you'll never see coming. (at least I didn't!)The book is excellently written, brilliantly plotted, and I read a blog somewhere that stated the alt [...]

  • Stephen Arvidson

    We’ve all heard of the ‘Butterfly Effect’: a metaphor in chaos theory wherein a butterfly flaps its wings in Central Park resulting in a devastating hurricane in China—a tiny, seemingly inconsequential change in a nonlinear system leading to immense, even catastrophic changes of a future state. This theory largely drives the debate concerning time travel and provides the stimulus for a great many science fiction stories, including The Company of the Dead.The fluttering butterfly wings of [...]

  • Stephen Holak

    Without a doubt, the best book I have read in the past year, and one of the best time-travel / alternate history works ever. From plot, to prose, to tone and intersection with actual historical events, this book is masterful.I give it five stars; however, I do have one small critique: the main protagonist, Joe Kennedy, could have used a bit more character development, perhaps in the form of internal monologue or emotional reaction to events. We do get a decent sense of the man, but I closed the [...]

  • Jaooooo

    This profoundly tedious seven hundred page epic fails as a kooky science fiction tale, fails as a tense thriller and fails as a character study of its lead; the disturbing moral hypocrite Joseph Kennedy, who the narrative begs and pleads with every gasping breath we root for. Shilled into the second coming by his rabid band of fanatics that compose the rest of this aggravating tale's cast.A simple and conceptually effective 'For want of a nail' story misses the mark by three archery dojos as mor [...]

  • Matt Mitrovich

    Just because something is improbable does not mean it is impossible. That is a common phrase you will find in David Kowalski's The Company of the Dead. Originally published in Australia, this award-winning novel is Kowalski first work to be published in the United States and a lot of hype has come with it, including praise from John Birmingham and S. M. Stirling. So does the novel deserve the attention it has been getting?The story begins when a time traveler from OTL goes back in time to preven [...]

  • Danielle Neldon

    The last 50 pages were great-everything a time-travel novel should be. However, you had to force your way through hundreds of pages of boring military strategy to get to it. Not really worth it.

  • Alan

    This squat, massive trade paperback has room enough on the spine to print the quote that drew me in "A magnificent alternate history, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest maritime disasters" (Library Journal). Well, no. Magnificent, it's not. But The Company of the Dead is well-timed, coming as it does upon the centennial of the Titanic's sinking, and it is for the most part suspenseful and compelling.Time traveler Jonathan Wells keeps the Titanic from colliding with the iceberg that [...]

  • Sheri

    This book needs to be a movie. A dumb, action packed, James Cameron (maybe that's just because he did Titanic) movie. If this thing only took 2 hours and was all Hollywood and action packed, I probably would have liked it. I wouldn't have loved it, but I might have at least liked it. Instead, it is a 750 page monstrosity with little to redeem it except the moral of "don't do time travel, it fucks things up." I'm pretty sure (given the all knowing ghost dancers) that Kowalski would also want me t [...]

  • Paul Lunger

    David Kowalski's "The Company of the Dead" is perhaps the most complicated alternate history story in the history of the genre & yet it's more than that & then some. The story begins with the premise that the Titanic doesn't sink when it's supposed to on April 15, 1912 due to the interference of Jonathan Wells who changes the when & leaves one rather important person alive after the sinking. Fast forward a century into a world where the US didn't enter WWI thus causing the Confederac [...]

  • Rebecca

    I'm hovering somewhere between 3 and 4 stars on this, so I guess it's a solid 3.5. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it had some definite pacing/editing issues. It could easily have been at least 200 pages shorter, and would have been a better novel for it. You figure out fairly early on where everything is headed, but it takes 500+ pages of meandering to get there. Instead of a tense climax and big payoff once you do get there, the pacing slows way down and stalls out for another 50+ pages. Someone so [...]

  • Mike

    What if it wasn’t a flying saucer that crashed in the desert in Roswell, New Mexico back in 1947? What if it was actually a time machine? That’s the idea behind The Company of the Dead. In 2012, Dr, Jonathan Wells accidentally learns about the time machine while treating a patient at Area 51 and in order to save his life gets transported back to 1911. Once in 1911 with nothing to do, Wells decides to change history and make the world a better place. First on the list, save the Titanic, but a [...]

  • Patrick Nichol

    Wow! What an epic adventure.This is a truly satisfying read by first-time novelist David Kowalski, a rich alternate-history/time-travel tapestry sandwiched between a bloody war story.One man from the future ends up on the Titanic on April 14, 1912 the night of her disastrous sinking. This man (named Wells in a literary in-joke)hands Lookout Frederick Fleet a pair of 21st Century binoculars to aid his watch.These help Fleet sight an iceberg, warn the bridge, and help avoid disaster. But Titanic h [...]

  • Alex Lee

    Kowalski made a masterpiece here. The basis of the novel reels you in -- a man goes back in time to try to save the Titanic, and the future is altered greatly as a result. The backstory is detailed and solid, with plenty of interesting alterations to what actually occurred. It did mess with my head a bit, though; my historical knowledge, as limited as it had been beforehand, was jumbled with the 'reality' of the novel. The dialogue isn't boring, with plenty of description yet not so much to the [...]

  • C.S.

    What an interesting concept. A crazy time travel story which takes place in the present and the it e of the Titanic. A marvelous What if. I loved the begining of the story, my problem came in the middle where the book really dragged. After awhile I just didn't care about the alternate history timeline. The story in the past crackled though. I would have cut a few pages out if this book. I think it would have been a tighter, faster read. I still enjoyed it but be warned if long books are not your [...]

  • Shane Wilson

    Read this a while back in the Aussie editon. This book blew my mind when it first came out. I was expecting escapism and a fair amount of cliche, just a chunky read.Well, there's a lot of familiar tropes here, the titanic, Roswell, the Kennedys. But cliche? Nah. It takes a while to get in to it, but once I cracked the first quarter it was a smooth sail (pun intended). THis is a seriously fun, seriously entertaining read. It actually got me reading some histroy books too!

  • Renelle

    Amazing concept, really gets you thinking about the past, the present and the future and the ideas of fate or freewill

  • Denise

    In 1912, time traveller Jonathan Wells boards the Titanic, hoping to save her from her impending sinking. As a consequence of his actions, the US never enter World War I and the history of the 20th century unfolds differently. By 2012 in this new timeline, most of the world, including what used to be the United States, is controlled by the German and Japanese Empires, and a war is brewing that threatens to be more devastating than any seen before in this timeline or any other. Enter Joseph Kenne [...]

  • Lisa Stethem

    I would give this book 4 stars if it was only the first 180 pages and the last 150 pages. 750 pages was way to long and the middle drags something terrible. I love the time travel aspect and this book would make a great movie. Nice twists and turns toward the end.

  • Molly

    The first 100 pages and the last 100 pages are awesome unfortunately it's a 750-page book.

  • Frederick Heald

    I enjoyed this, but got about halfway through before getting bogged down and giving up; it didn't seem to be going anywhere.

  • Rica

    Impressive debut novel that won multiple awards in author's home country of Australia. Great for fans of alternative history and/or time-travel stories.

  • Justin

    I found this very long and difficult to keep track of all the details.