The Iron Dream By Norman Spinrad – Dystopian Books Review

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Review, Synopsis, and Summary of Alternate History Novel The Iron Dream

American author Norman Spinrad published his meta-fictional alternate history novel, The Iron Dream, in the year 1972. It nests the narrative of this book, so there is a story within a story. In this novel, there is a post-apocalyptic adventure story written by alternate history Adolf Hitler, just before his death. This adventure story is titled as Lord of Swastika.

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Author: Norman Spinrad

Genre: Alternate History, Science Fantasy

Pages: 255

Good reads:  3.62 of 5

My Ratings: 7.1 of 10

Published: 1972

Publisher: Avon Books

Language: English

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Review and Summary of Alternate History Novel The Iron Dream

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

This book offers a different narrative focusing on experimental politics where Adolf Hitler migrates to the United States in the year 1919. There he becomes an illustrator of science fiction, an editor and an author. He dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in the year 1953. Just before his death, he writes his final science fantasy novel titled ‘Lord of Swastika’, in a period of just six weeks. The novel wins a Hugo award after his death. The colourful uniforms described in the novel then become a regular feature of cosplayers at different science fiction conventions. There are some other published works of Hitler too.

Dr Homer Whipple of New York University writes a faux review on the main narrative of the book written by Hitler. In this alternate history, we come to know about the fate of the Nazi Party after Hitler’s emigration. According to which the Nazi party fell apart in the year 1923 which lead to the German communist revolution in 1930. The Greater Soviet Union took control over the United Kingdom in 1948 and its influence grows in Latin America by the year 1959. It refers to World War I like The Great War and indicates the non-existence of World War II. Although the core story of Lord of Swastika revolves around nuclear apocalypse, Whipple in his review did not discuss weapons of mass destruction.

There surely is irony in Whipple’s review as he states that the author Adolf Hitler assumed wrongly that midnight rallies and phallic symbolism could generate many supporters for a movement.

Final Say on The Alternate History Novel The Iron Dream

Although written very well, The Iron Dream is a difficult novel to comprehend. Much of the alternate history in this novel and the narrative of the storyline make it satirical. This novel surely receives my ratings of 7.1 out of 10 due to its quality. Would I re-read this novel? No. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

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Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.