ã 1632 Ü Download by ↠´ Eric Flint This is a pleasant, well researched exercise in wish fulfillment.
The author did an immense amount of research some of which will be poured into your head via chapter long info dumps It s an underserved time period that is inherently interesting The characters are heart warming, each with their own Crowning Moment of Awesome It s a fun, sweet romp.
There is absolutely no narrative tension whatsoever.
At no point does any character experience a real setback or any frustration than momentary Only minor characters die and one major character receives an injury we never get the confirmation of the seriousness of Only one bad judgement call is made, and the other characters hasten to reassure the person who makes the mistake that it was the only thing he could have done And almost no damage is caused because of it Possible conflicts are repeatedly set up challengers to leadership, accusations of witchcraft, unrest between union and non union members, racism, sexism, etc and dispelled immediately, usually on the same page No one has legitimate differences of opinion on anything that truly matters that can t be resolved in a page and a half usually by saying they argued a lot but eventually came around, without showing the argument.
Each major character is essentially a Mary Sue The union leader is the Best Leader Ever The Jewish doctor s daughter is the Smartest Person Ever The spunky cheerleader is the Best Sniper Ever, the newcomer to town is the Best Leader of Germany Infantry Ever, the nerd is the Best Warleader Ever, his sweetheart is the Best Hooker With a Heart of Gold Ever The actual historical King was the BEST MONARCH OF ALL TIME, NO REALLY In fact, I suspect the book may have been written in the first place because the author loves this historical figure and wanted him to have a better ending than his actual death Everyone falls in love in the second quarter of the book, mostly improbably, and everyone immediately has a happy marriage with no culture shock, despite differences in time period, religion, and language spoken No one longs after an impossible object, there are no misunderstandings, no unrequited affection, no disapproving relatives Girl meets guy, both fall in love in the first 30 seconds, and all barriers are blown down as soon as they come up.
The author has an afterword in which he rather defensively explains that he wanted to write a sunny book featuring decent, working class heroes He justifies his nerd who falls for an ex prostitute with similar stories from WWII I do not require justifications to feature well meaning, hardworking, decent people instead of angsty antiheroes, nor do I challenge the likelihood of a young man rescuing a woman from being a forced camp follower and it coming out well It s ok to want to write a book with a mostly positive outlook But I think that he took it too far happy endings do not require everything to turn out well for the protagonists at every single stage with no setbacks, and not every attraction turns into a stable marriage These people have been ripped from their time period never to return, many losing family in the process They can expect to die earlier than they would have otherwise, their children s futures will be entirely different, their fundamental assumptions of the world have to be changed The natives they encounter have been brutalized, oppressed, starved, raped, tortured, and I m not asking for wallowing, but I think a certain amount of respect for the amount of trauma this plot device has caused is called for A magical orgasm does not cure months of rape after watching your family slaughtered Let us see good hardworking people make a few mistakes and learn how to correct for them let us see some romances end disastrously and the survivors pick up and move on Let us worry that the wrong person will win the election, or the overconfident Americans will lose a battle that involves conditions they are not used to Americans and our technologies are not perfect And you can have decent characters and happy endings without demanding that they be so.
A wedding in the Appalachian mining town of Grantville turns weird and wild when in a flash of light the entire town is transported to 1631 Thuringia, right in the middle of the insanely destructive and deadly Thirty Years War Some of my friends and readers may not know where the fuck Thuringia is or what the Thirty Years War is and that s totally cool Thuringia is a province of central Germany and the Thirty Years War wasuh, well, my impression was that it was a kind of 17th century extended massacre involving different nations at different times, with the ostensible reason being the religious conflict between the Catholics and Protestants and the actual reason being that motherfuckers were tired of those pesky Hapsburgs It s a really confusing and horrible time in human history.
So of course Eric Flint complicates this by throwing a 21st century American town into the center of this shit and gleefully wreaks conceptual havoc I have to mention that I didn t dig this book the first time I read it, but I was coming off of a Harry Turtledove high with the awesome Guns of the South everyone, please read that book Confederates with AK 47s, played straight faced and seriously by the author A true work of art and I guess I expected that kind of professorial, serious tone Well, Flint obviously knows his history and I credit him for that because this time period is confusing as FUCK and does take the book seriously, but just has so much goofy shit going on both content and prose wise that I had to just take it as the extremely, UNGODLY nerdy experience it is The fact that this novel contains a scene where an M60 is turned against a Spanish tercio is all I need to even mention to convey how indulgently dorky this shit is.
I ll just get the bad shit over with Flint s prose bothers me when he tries to insert little italicized humorous riffs or sidenotes on the current scene or character s thoughts I say when I laugh, goddamn it I don t need the author going Get it, man It s funny after every comedic part Also, the characters are still weak A ton of them are faceless and only recognizable by their title, and disturbingly all of the American characters are funny, kind, and awesome at what they do Even the chubby DD playing dork gets to be an action movie badass and end up with a gorgeous, blonde, stacked Teutonic war goddess It s ridiculous and gets wish fullfillment y, which always kind of makes me grossed out Since I brought up Jeff and Gretchen, allow me to segue to my last complaintEric Flint, please never ever write a sex scene again I literally just burst out in semi embarrassed laughter trying to recall the particulars It was awkward as fuck and featured a ridiculously complex telesexual mind meld between the participating characters and excruciatingly featured that aforementioned Greek chorus italicized garbage.
The military stuff is awesome That s one thing Flint can definitely do well I loved his description of the totally historical, non M60 featuring battle of Breitenfeld, with the unquestionably badass Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus facing off against the famed Count Tilly and his Catholic League cronies I probably mentioned this before, but Flint never skimps on the history in his books In the afterword he even mentions what a bitch it was to get a handle on the Thirty Years War, so that s awesome Dedication to the details of the setting is something I always look for in the books I read, be the genre alternate or real history, sci fi, crime, etc To be honest, there were a lot of points where the actual history was better than the shit going on in Grantvillepeople who are interested in the details of getting a modern day town back up and running and producing in what was basically the fucking Middle Ages will be satisfied by the amount of time Flint takes up on this shit, but I m not particularly into it Thankfully he didn t spend that much time on it and kept everything rolling with awesome battles and scenes featuring historical figures like the aforementioned Gustavus Adolphus.
I m glad I gave this a second shot Like I said, the concept is too ridiculous to not be entertaining, and there s just so many ways you could develop the plot from here on out That s what I m really looking forward to seeing what happens in this new timeline once Grantville is fully established and up and running The pages and pages of the characters saying or thinking some variation of Gee, how different is uptime person place thing idea from downtime person place thing idea Uptime and downtime are how the characters cleverly refer to things from 2000 and from 1631, of course were painful and boring Obviously they re fucking different and there s gonna be culture shock I already knew that was gonna happen, and I wanna see what s gonna happen NOW I see that David Weber co wrote the next book, which makes me excited because I really like the Honor Harrington books I recommend my nerdy military history loving friends give this a try if they haven t already.
Flint self identifies with the Left but his is an old fashioned, Jeffersonian sort of populist liberalism, which embraces democracy, human rights, religious freedom as opposed to freedom from religion , personal moral responsibility, retributive justice, and widespread gun ownership When their small town is transported, through a super advanced alien race s meddling with the fabric of space time, to Germany during the Thirty Years War, the residents of Grantville, WV are willing to fight for these principles, in the midst of a maelstrom of rampant evil and oppression and the reader is soon caught up in cheering them on As one might expect, there s a lot of graphic violence here the real Thirty Years War was no Sunday school picnic either but Flint s good characters employ violence only as an instrument of moral order, not in opposition to it While a few instances of illicit sex occur in the novel, the only explicit sex scene takes place in marriage and is treated in a wholesome, rather than salacious, way and one young woman s out of wedlock pregnancy her fiance is the father serves as the occasion for a simple, straightforward pro life statement from the lady and her doctor who are both characters the reader is apt to like and respect The plot is also based on a well researched knowledge of actual history, the events and personalities of which are brought to very vivid life My only complaint with the book which cost it a fifth star is the excessive amount of bad language, which often includes the f word although Flint misuses the term blasphemy many of his characters engage in profanity and obscenity, but none of them in blasphemy.
I ve never been much interested in these alternate history series, but when I found one set in one of my favourite periods in the setting of the 30 year war, I could not help but give it a chance Unfortunately, to put it bluntly, I was disappointed both by the quality of the story and the depiction of the historical era.
The novel tells the story of a small US township that is automagically transported back in time and place in the middle of the Thirty Year War in Germany The Americans take this major cataclysm rather calmly no crying over lost loves or other emotional outbreaks and almost immediately start using their phenomenal skills to mold a new United States for themselves Apparently, every single person in this township happened to own modern weaponry and cartloads of ammunition and one Vietnam veteran even had an M60 stored away for such an occasion Even cheerleaders turn out to be expert marksmen who murder the soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire with wild abandon.
The characters posing as inhabitants of the area that the Americans decide to conquer as their own are all very much taken by the American way of life and immediately forget all about their religious beliefs, ethics and values As one reviewer at said, 17th century battlehardened mercenaries, haughty nobility and ignorant peasants alike renounce their entire belief system in days once introduced to ice cream, cute cheerleaders and American politics that part rings so seriously untrue it completely destroyed my enjoyment of this novel One of the most boring aspects of the novel was the fact that it focussed very much on the political discussions of the time travellers, who discuss endlessly the various facets of their production facilities etc As an history enthusiast, I would have liked to see focus on the period and the world of the early 17th century, but given the freedom that the author takes with the values and s of the characters of the time perhaps it is better that he did not attempt to describe the period too much Additionally, the time travellers or time displacementees happily kill the natives with no remorse at all and it seems that the author justifies this by the fact that the mercenaries of that time were ruthless to begin with And forgets that he s describing his heroes as even worse kind of murderers people who kill their enemies in vast hordes just because they can, with little or no mercy.
Overall, this was a disappointing and rather boring read.
This is a pleasant, well researched exercise in wish fulfillment.
The author did an immense amount of research some of which will be poured into your head via chapter long info dumps It s an underserved time period that is inherently interesting The characters are heart warming, each with their own Crowning Moment of Awesome It s a fun, sweet romp.
There is absolutely no narrative tension whatsoever.
At no point does any character experience a real setback or any frustration than momentary Only minor characters die and one major character receives an injury we never get the confirmation of the seriousness of Only one bad judgement call is made, and the other characters hasten to reassure the person who makes the mistake that it was the only thing he could have done And almost no damage is caused because of it Possible conflicts are repeatedly set up challengers to leadership, accusations of witchcraft, unrest between union and non union members, racism, sexism, etc and dispelled immediately, usually on the same page No one has legitimate differences of opinion on anything that truly matters that can t be resolved in a page and a half usually by saying they argued a lot but eventually came around, without showing the argument.
Each major character is essentially a Mary Sue The union leader is the Best Leader Ever The Jewish doctor s daughter is the Smartest Person Ever The spunky cheerleader is the Best Sniper Ever, the newcomer to town is the Best Leader of Germany Infantry Ever, the nerd is the Best Warleader Ever, his sweetheart is the Best Hooker With a Heart of Gold Ever The actual historical King was the BEST MONARCH OF ALL TIME, NO REALLY In fact, I suspect the book may have been written in the first place because the author loves this historical figure and wanted him to have a better ending than his actual death Everyone falls in love in the second quarter of the book, mostly improbably, and everyone immediately has a happy marriage with no culture shock, despite differences in time period, religion, and language spoken No one longs after an impossible object, there are no misunderstandings, no unrequited affection, no disapproving relatives Girl meets guy, both fall in love in the first 30 seconds, and all barriers are blown down as soon as they come up.
The author has an afterword in which he rather defensively explains that he wanted to write a sunny book featuring decent, working class heroes He justifies his nerd who falls for an ex prostitute with similar stories from WWII I do not require justifications to feature well meaning, hardworking, decent people instead of angsty antiheroes, nor do I challenge the likelihood of a young man rescuing a woman from being a forced camp follower and it coming out well It s ok to want to write a book with a mostly positive outlook But I think that he took it too far happy endings do not require everything to turn out well for the protagonists at every single stage with no setbacks, and not every attraction turns into a stable marriage These people have been ripped from their time period never to return, many losing family in the process They can expect to die earlier than they would have otherwise, their children s futures will be entirely different, their fundamental assumptions of the world have to be changed The natives they encounter have been brutalized, oppressed, starved, raped, tortured, and I m not asking for wallowing, but I think a certain amount of respect for the amount of trauma this plot device has caused is called for A magical orgasm does not cure months of rape after watching your family slaughtered Let us see good hardworking people make a few mistakes and learn how to correct for them let us see some romances end disastrously and the survivors pick up and move on Let us worry that the wrong person will win the election, or the overconfident Americans will lose a battle that involves conditions they are not used to Americans and our technologies are not perfect And you can have decent characters and happy endings without demanding that they be so.
A wedding in the Appalachian mining town of Grantville turns weird and wild when in a flash of light the entire town is transported to 1631 Thuringia, right in the middle of the insanely destructive and deadly Thirty Years War Some of my friends and readers may not know where the fuck Thuringia is or what the Thirty Years War is and that s totally cool Thuringia is a province of central Germany and the Thirty Years War wasuh, well, my impression was that it was a kind of 17th century extended massacre involving different nations at different times, with the ostensible reason being the religious conflict between the Catholics and Protestants and the actual reason being that motherfuckers were tired of those pesky Hapsburgs It s a really confusing and horrible time in human history.
So of course Eric Flint complicates this by throwing a 21st century American town into the center of this shit and gleefully wreaks conceptual havoc I have to mention that I didn t dig this book the first time I read it, but I was coming off of a Harry Turtledove high with the awesome Guns of the South everyone, please read that book Confederates with AK 47s, played straight faced and seriously by the author A true work of art and I guess I expected that kind of professorial, serious tone Well, Flint obviously knows his history and I credit him for that because this time period is confusing as FUCK and does take the book seriously, but just has so much goofy shit going on both content and prose wise that I had to just take it as the extremely, UNGODLY nerdy experience it is The fact that this novel contains a scene where an M60 is turned against a Spanish tercio is all I need to even mention to convey how indulgently dorky this shit is.
I ll just get the bad shit over with Flint s prose bothers me when he tries to insert little italicized humorous riffs or sidenotes on the current scene or character s thoughts I say when I laugh, goddamn it I don t need the author going Get it, man It s funny after every comedic part Also, the characters are still weak A ton of them are faceless and only recognizable by their title, and disturbingly all of the American characters are funny, kind, and awesome at what they do Even the chubby DD playing dork gets to be an action movie badass and end up with a gorgeous, blonde, stacked Teutonic war goddess It s ridiculous and gets wish fullfillment y, which always kind of makes me grossed out Since I brought up Jeff and Gretchen, allow me to segue to my last complaintEric Flint, please never ever write a sex scene again I literally just burst out in semi embarrassed laughter trying to recall the particulars It was awkward as fuck and featured a ridiculously complex telesexual mind meld between the participating characters and excruciatingly featured that aforementioned Greek chorus italicized garbage.
The military stuff is awesome That s one thing Flint can definitely do well I loved his description of the totally historical, non M60 featuring battle of Breitenfeld, with the unquestionably badass Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus facing off against the famed Count Tilly and his Catholic League cronies I probably mentioned this before, but Flint never skimps on the history in his books In the afterword he even mentions what a bitch it was to get a handle on the Thirty Years War, so that s awesome Dedication to the details of the setting is something I always look for in the books I read, be the genre alternate or real history, sci fi, crime, etc To be honest, there were a lot of points where the actual history was better than the shit going on in Grantvillepeople who are interested in the details of getting a modern day town back up and running and producing in what was basically the fucking Middle Ages will be satisfied by the amount of time Flint takes up on this shit, but I m not particularly into it Thankfully he didn t spend that much time on it and kept everything rolling with awesome battles and scenes featuring historical figures like the aforementioned Gustavus Adolphus.
I m glad I gave this a second shot Like I said, the concept is too ridiculous to not be entertaining, and there s just so many ways you could develop the plot from here on out That s what I m really looking forward to seeing what happens in this new timeline once Grantville is fully established and up and running The pages and pages of the characters saying or thinking some variation of Gee, how different is uptime person place thing idea from downtime person place thing idea Uptime and downtime are how the characters cleverly refer to things from 2000 and from 1631, of course were painful and boring Obviously they re fucking different and there s gonna be culture shock I already knew that was gonna happen, and I wanna see what s gonna happen NOW I see that David Weber co wrote the next book, which makes me excited because I really like the Honor Harrington books I recommend my nerdy military history loving friends give this a try if they haven t already.
Flint self identifies with the Left but his is an old fashioned, Jeffersonian sort of populist liberalism, which embraces democracy, human rights, religious freedom as opposed to freedom from religion , personal moral responsibility, retributive justice, and widespread gun ownership When their small town is transported, through a super advanced alien race s meddling with the fabric of space time, to Germany during the Thirty Years War, the residents of Grantville, WV are willing to fight for these principles, in the midst of a maelstrom of rampant evil and oppression and the reader is soon caught up in cheering them on As one might expect, there s a lot of graphic violence here the real Thirty Years War was no Sunday school picnic either but Flint s good characters employ violence only as an instrument of moral order, not in opposition to it While a few instances of illicit sex occur in the novel, the only explicit sex scene takes place in marriage and is treated in a wholesome, rather than salacious, way and one young woman s out of wedlock pregnancy her fiance is the father serves as the occasion for a simple, straightforward pro life statement from the lady and her doctor who are both characters the reader is apt to like and respect The plot is also based on a well researched knowledge of actual history, the events and personalities of which are brought to very vivid life My only complaint with the book which cost it a fifth star is the excessive amount of bad language, which often includes the f word although Flint misuses the term blasphemy many of his characters engage in profanity and obscenity, but none of them in blasphemy.
I ve never been much interested in these alternate history series, but when I found one set in one of my favourite periods in the setting of the 30 year war, I could not help but give it a chance Unfortunately, to put it bluntly, I was disappointed both by the quality of the story and the depiction of the historical era.
The novel tells the story of a small US township that is automagically transported back in time and place in the middle of the Thirty Year War in Germany The Americans take this major cataclysm rather calmly no crying over lost loves or other emotional outbreaks and almost immediately start using their phenomenal skills to mold a new United States for themselves Apparently, every single person in this township happened to own modern weaponry and cartloads of ammunition and one Vietnam veteran even had an M60 stored away for such an occasion Even cheerleaders turn out to be expert marksmen who murder the soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire with wild abandon.
The characters posing as inhabitants of the area that the Americans decide to conquer as their own are all very much taken by the American way of life and immediately forget all about their religious beliefs, ethics and values As one reviewer at said, 17th century battlehardened mercenaries, haughty nobility and ignorant peasants alike renounce their entire belief system in days once introduced to ice cream, cute cheerleaders and American politics that part rings so seriously untrue it completely destroyed my enjoyment of this novel One of the most boring aspects of the novel was the fact that it focussed very much on the political discussions of the time travellers, who discuss endlessly the various facets of their production facilities etc As an history enthusiast, I would have liked to see focus on the period and the world of the early 17th century, but given the freedom that the author takes with the values and s of the characters of the time perhaps it is better that he did not attempt to describe the period too much Additionally, the time travellers or time displacementees happily kill the natives with no remorse at all and it seems that the author justifies this by the fact that the mercenaries of that time were ruthless to begin with And forgets that he s describing his heroes as even worse kind of murderers people who kill their enemies in vast hordes just because they can, with little or no mercy.
Overall, this was a disappointing and rather boring read.
What an interesting idea What a disappointing realization.
The idea behind the book immediately intrigued me when I read the back cover Through some unknown phenomena, the town of Grantville, West Virginia and it s surroundings are transported back in time to 1632 in Germany.
How would the 20th century Americans cope How would the 17th century Germans react What sort of alternative history would result Unfortunately, for me, not one that was very compelling The characters all felt one dimensional The Americans hit the ground running with barely a moment to catch their breaths and set out making their collective and remarkably unified presence felt in a Germany caught up in the Thirty Years War.
The book is full of interesting history but the characters just never felt real to me and ultimately caused me to be unable to suspend disbelief.
America, F k yeah In the 17th century This book manages to combine really deeply disturbing elements with kinda fun stuff and some surprising insight on psychology The good There s some instances where the author really manages to get into a character s head and to present some really good insights into their psychology, for example when Gretchen s band arrives in the town, which almost saves the novel Almost The setup of the town is or less believable in terms of being provided with water, electricity and food Although the author clearly makes things as easy as possible for them, by giving them a relatively uncomplicated kind of powerplant, a river connecting to their stub of river, and a lot of trusting German peasants all aroundThe bad The ridiculous elevation of the American small town style of life, and the amazing prowess of the average American gun toting redneck, I mean, heroic fighter for the freedom of others They just seem to be a united front against whatever comes, no bad apples in there at all The above also has as a consequence that there s no suspense whatsoever in this novel Even when Rebecca is assaulted by the, what was it, Croats you never for a second doubt that she s going to get out of there safe and sound The author s tendency to go off and wax lyrically about this or that historical person for pages and pages, ranging somewhere between boring and ridiculous And apparently not very historically correct, although I couldn t comment on that.
The ugly Maybe that s a European view, us not being quite so gun crazy, but was no one else bothered that a 17 year old high school cheerleader turns into a sniper, who, without any feelings at all, picks off person after person The fact that she s a mass murderer doesn t seem to register with her at all, which is kinda creepy But maybe that s ok if you re only shooting murderous raping Germans and CroatsSo, in generalmeh FREEDOM AND JUSTICE AMERICAN STYLE And In Northern Germany Things Couldn T Get Much Worse Famine Disease Religous War Laying Waste The Cities Only The Aristocrats Remained Relatively Unscathed For The Peasants, Death Was A Mercy Things Are Going OK In Grantville, West Virginia, And Everybody Attending The Wedding Of Mike Stearn S Sister Including The Entire Local Chapter Of The United Mine Workers Of America, Which Mike Leads Is Having A Good Time THEN, EVERYTHING CHANGED When The Dust Settles, Mike Leads A Group Of Armed Miners To Find Out What Happened And Finds The Road Into Town Is Cut, As With A Sword On The Other Side, A Scene Out Of Hell A Man Nailed To A Farmhouse Door, His Wife And Daughter Attacked By Men In Steel Vests Faced With This, Mike And His Friends Don T Have To Ask Who To Shoot At That Moment Freedom And Justice, American Style, Are Introduced To The Middle Of The Thirty Years War The plot goes thusly the small West Virginian town of Grantville is displaced in time and place from the year 2000 to the year 1632, essentially dumping them in the middle of the Holy Roman Empire in the midst of the Thirty Years War, one of the most bloody conflicts in European history And it is awesome The West Virginians don t try to pretend that they re sorcerers or anything they re just brutally honest And maintain their American values They quickly take charge of their own situation and decide to help out the German refugees of the area, with awesome results The author is a trained historian, I believe, and this is the kind of book I would love to write if I had that kind of knowledge of 17th century politics and society The reactions of characters from both sides just seem so REAL Little details, like the fact that the Americans win most skirmishes mostly due to sheer rate of fire, that 17th century men have bad teeth, and that visual details about a modern person would read differently to a 17th century person are just awesome For instance, take this scene from the middle of the book in which the citizens of Grantville have just made an alliance with the men of a nearby German town against the invading Catholic army, where Jeff, a slightly overweight nerdy DD enthusiast who is acting as a scout and messenger, is just leaving on his motorbike A moment later, Jeff was roaring off He made it a point to do a wheelie as he passed a small group of young men standing by the road The local toughs, by their looks They were suitably impressed not so much by the acrobatics of the machine as the ferocious scowl on the face of the very large man who rode it That, and the odd but deadly looking weapon slung over his shoulder a sawed off shotgun Jeff would have been quite shocked and utterly pleased had he known the impression he made on those bravos They saw nothing of a shy young man in his leather jacketed form Just a killer The fact that he wore spectacles made him seem all the dangerous The better to see his victims, no doubt The characters are engaging and have a refreshing pragmatism They don t go messing about like a lot of other fantasy timetravel characters I ve read about They get down to business, and follow their American ideals, which include things like equality for women and freedom of religion They re also just plain badass For instance, early in the book some men from the United Mine Workers of America the local union, AKA the UMWA go off to investigate some smoke, before they really realize what has happened to their town, and run across some mercenaries having their way with a farmer and his wife The Americans, ah, take care of business, rescuing the injured and traumatized family A few chapters later, a different set of mercenaries, Scotsmen on the other side, run across this placard planted on the top of what is clearly a mass grave WE DON T KNOW WHO THESE MURDERING RAPING BASTARDS ARE THAT WE PUT HERE DON T MUCH CAREEITHER IF THERE ARE ANY MORE OF YOU OUT THERE, BE WARNED THIS AREA IS NOW UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE UMWA IF YOU TRY TO HARMOR ROB ANYBODY WE WILL KILL YOU THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER WARNING WE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE.
WE WILL NOT ARREST YOU.
YOU WILL SIMPLY BE DEAD.
WE GUARANTEE IT.
GO AHEAD TRY US Then the Scottish mercenaries try to brush up on their Polish because they have no idea at all what Umwa means, but it sounds Polish to them The seventeenth century characters are awesome too There s an educated jewess who is one of the first to be rescued and remains an awesome member of the American s elected assembly , an unwilling camp follower who was rescued by the Americans and becomes almost a spy agent for them as an ardent supporter of 21st century women s rights, a young Scottish mercenary officer who visits a 21st century dentist before he starts wooing one of the Grantville cheerleaders because he feels self conscious about his teeth, and, of course, there is King Gustavus Adolfus II, the Swedish King and head of the good guys army, who is blustery and at first disbelieving but awesome You re also treated to scenes of 17th century germans showing off their abilities to drive busses or use telephones to recent arrivals in Grantville Amongst the 21st century characters are that cheerleader mentioned above who becomes a crack sharpshooter not as unlikely as it seems , and the school s history teacher, a former Civil Rights activist who was only working in this tiny West Virginian town because she was too radical to be hired in the big city where she used to live although the townspeople didn t really learn this until they were writing up their new constitution Maybe I just like badass historians ANYWAYThere are so many things to love about this book If you like the following, GET THEE TO A booksTORE POST HASTE alternate universes HISTORY, especially European history a writer of historical fiction that understands that people in the past didn t do things like wear bras, understand democracy, have accurate guns or good teeth, etc political shenanigans in which racist bigots don t win tactics that combine historical techniques with modern weaponry characters who have personalities independent of their love interests strong female characters who have personalities independent of their love interests, who sometimes have moments even badass than the menfolk badass scenes in which the 17th century people actually demonstrate that the people of the 21st century actually DO have things to learn from the past.
Flint set out to write an optimistic Connecticut Yankee story and he succeeded Things came too easy they just happened to have an M 60 and three boxes of ammo and the good guys always won, but he hewed to his formula Wonder how his Americans in Europe in 1632 would have reacted to the murderous attack on their school children had Flint written this after 9 11 2001 The most fun section was the appearance and exploits of Captain Gars A mad man It is well known I may doubt that a 2000 community of 3,000 could have brought off such a feat, but I m sure a 2010 community could NOT have As we become tied to our increasingly sophisticated gadgets, their physical basis is farther and farther away CB radios work independently of towers and servers cell phones won t A library full of books is a storehouse of knowledge a library full of computer terminals is nothing if the Internet no longer exists or is interfered with How convenient that Grantville had both a coal mine and natural gas wells Most towns don t and, even if they did, couldn t exploit them.
Well researched and written A fun read.
This is a great premise for a book and it definitely starts with a bang It s all downhill after the first fifty or so pages.
I was really interested to see how modern Americans would deal with 17th century life in Germany The answer unfortunately was all too easily Since the whole town had been transplanted they had all the comforts of modern life, including electricity, phones, TV and far superior weaponry.
This meant there was never any real drama, as they simply wiped out their opponents In terms of relationships and any drama there, the women are all beautiful and clever and all end up with their soulmates, knocked up by the end.
The men are all brave and brilliant and think nothing of knocking up a new constitution, or planning military strategies.
There is a horrible info dump of about 50 pages in the middle, all about the political situation before the Thirty Years War Unless you are an historian, you will very quickly skip over it.
The book finished with a whimper I was bored well before the end and won t be carrying on with the sequels.



America, F k yeah In the 17th century This book manages to combine really deeply disturbing elements with kinda fun stuff and some surprising insight on psychology The good There s some instances where the author really manages to get into a character s head and to present some really good insights into their psychology, for example when Gretchen s band arrives in the town, which almost saves the novel Almost The setup of the town is or less believable in terms of being provided with water, electricity and food Although the author clearly makes things as easy as possible for them, by giving them a relatively uncomplicated kind of powerplant, a river connecting to their stub of river, and a lot of trusting German peasants all aroundThe bad The ridiculous elevation of the American small town style of life, and the amazing prowess of the average American gun toting redneck, I mean, heroic fighter for the freedom of others They just seem to be a united front against whatever comes, no bad apples in there at all The above also has as a consequence that there s no suspense whatsoever in this novel Even when Rebecca is assaulted by the, what was it, Croats you never for a second doubt that she s going to get out of there safe and sound The author s tendency to go off and wax lyrically about this or that historical person for pages and pages, ranging somewhere between boring and ridiculous And apparently not very historically correct, although I couldn t comment on that.
The ugly Maybe that s a European view, us not being quite so gun crazy, but was no one else bothered that a 17 year old high school cheerleader turns into a sniper, who, without any feelings at all, picks off person after person The fact that she s a mass murderer doesn t seem to register with her at all, which is kinda creepy But maybe that s ok if you re only shooting murderous raping Germans and CroatsSo, in generalmeh What an interesting idea What a disappointing realization.
The idea behind the book immediately intrigued me when I read the back cover Through some unknown phenomena, the town of Grantville, West Virginia and it s surroundings are transported back in time to 1632 in Germany.
How would the 20th century Americans cope How would the 17th century Germans react What sort of alternative history would result Unfortunately, for me, not one that was very compelling The characters all felt one dimensional The Americans hit the ground running with barely a moment to catch their breaths and set out making their collective and remarkably unified presence felt in a Germany caught up in the Thirty Years War.
The book is full of interesting history but the characters just never felt real to me and ultimately caused me to be unable to suspend disbelief.
The plot goes thusly the small West Virginian town of Grantville is displaced in time and place from the year 2000 to the year 1632, essentially dumping them in the middle of the Holy Roman Empire in the midst of the Thirty Years War, one of the most bloody conflicts in European history And it is awesome The West Virginians don t try to pretend that they re sorcerers or anything they re just brutally honest And maintain their American values They quickly take charge of their own situation and decide to help out the German refugees of the area, with awesome results The author is a trained historian, I believe, and this is the kind of book I would love to write if I had that kind of knowledge of 17th century politics and society The reactions of characters from both sides just seem so REAL Little details, like the fact that the Americans win most skirmishes mostly due to sheer rate of fire, that 17th century men have bad teeth, and that visual details about a modern person would read differently to a 17th century person are just awesome For instance, take this scene from the middle of the book in which the citizens of Grantville have just made an alliance with the men of a nearby German town against the invading Catholic army, where Jeff, a slightly overweight nerdy DD enthusiast who is acting as a scout and messenger, is just leaving on his motorbike A moment later, Jeff was roaring off He made it a point to do a wheelie as he passed a small group of young men standing by the road The local toughs, by their looks They were suitably impressed not so much by the acrobatics of the machine as the ferocious scowl on the face of the very large man who rode it That, and the odd but deadly looking weapon slung over his shoulder a sawed off shotgun Jeff would have been quite shocked and utterly pleased had he known the impression he made on those bravos They saw nothing of a shy young man in his leather jacketed form Just a killer The fact that he wore spectacles made him seem all the dangerous The better to see his victims, no doubt The characters are engaging and have a refreshing pragmatism They don t go messing about like a lot of other fantasy timetravel characters I ve read about They get down to business, and follow their American ideals, which include things like equality for women and freedom of religion They re also just plain badass For instance, early in the book some men from the United Mine Workers of America the local union, AKA the UMWA go off to investigate some smoke, before they really realize what has happened to their town, and run across some mercenaries having their way with a farmer and his wife The Americans, ah, take care of business, rescuing the injured and traumatized family A few chapters later, a different set of mercenaries, Scotsmen on the other side, run across this placard planted on the top of what is clearly a mass grave WE DON T KNOW WHO THESE MURDERING RAPING BASTARDS ARE THAT WE PUT HERE DON T MUCH CAREEITHER IF THERE ARE ANY MORE OF YOU OUT THERE, BE WARNED THIS AREA IS NOW UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE UMWA IF YOU TRY TO HARMOR ROB ANYBODY WE WILL KILL YOU THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER WARNING WE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE.
WE WILL NOT ARREST YOU.
YOU WILL SIMPLY BE DEAD.
WE GUARANTEE IT.
GO AHEAD TRY US Then the Scottish mercenaries try to brush up on their Polish because they have no idea at all what Umwa means, but it sounds Polish to them The seventeenth century characters are awesome too There s an educated jewess who is one of the first to be rescued and remains an awesome member of the American s elected assembly , an unwilling camp follower who was rescued by the Americans and becomes almost a spy agent for them as an ardent supporter of 21st century women s rights, a young Scottish mercenary officer who visits a 21st century dentist before he starts wooing one of the Grantville cheerleaders because he feels self conscious about his teeth, and, of course, there is King Gustavus Adolfus II, the Swedish King and head of the good guys army, who is blustery and at first disbelieving but awesome You re also treated to scenes of 17th century germans showing off their abilities to drive busses or use telephones to recent arrivals in Grantville Amongst the 21st century characters are that cheerleader mentioned above who becomes a crack sharpshooter not as unlikely as it seems , and the school s history teacher, a former Civil Rights activist who was only working in this tiny West Virginian town because she was too radical to be hired in the big city where she used to live although the townspeople didn t really learn this until they were writing up their new constitution Maybe I just like badass historians ANYWAYThere are so many things to love about this book If you like the following, GET THEE TO A booksTORE POST HASTE alternate universes HISTORY, especially European history a writer of historical fiction that understands that people in the past didn t do things like wear bras, understand democracy, have accurate guns or good teeth, etc political shenanigans in which racist bigots don t win tactics that combine historical techniques with modern weaponry characters who have personalities independent of their love interests strong female characters who have personalities independent of their love interests, who sometimes have moments even badass than the menfolk badass scenes in which the 17th century people actually demonstrate that the people of the 21st century actually DO have things to learn from the past.
Flint set out to write an optimistic Connecticut Yankee story and he succeeded Things came too easy they just happened to have an M 60 and three boxes of ammo and the good guys always won, but he hewed to his formula Wonder how his Americans in Europe in 1632 would have reacted to the murderous attack on their school children had Flint written this after 9 11 2001 The most fun section was the appearance and exploits of Captain Gars A mad man It is well known I may doubt that a 2000 community of 3,000 could have brought off such a feat, but I m sure a 2010 community could NOT have As we become tied to our increasingly sophisticated gadgets, their physical basis is farther and farther away CB radios work independently of towers and servers cell phones won t A library full of books is a storehouse of knowledge a library full of computer terminals is nothing if the Internet no longer exists or is interfered with How convenient that Grantville had both a coal mine and natural gas wells Most towns don t and, even if they did, couldn t exploit them.
Well researched and written A fun read.
This is a great premise for a book and it definitely starts with a bang It s all downhill after the first fifty or so pages.
I was really interested to see how modern Americans would deal with 17th century life in Germany The answer unfortunately was all too easily Since the whole town had been transplanted they had all the comforts of modern life, including electricity, phones, TV and far superior weaponry.
This meant there was never any real drama, as they simply wiped out their opponents In terms of relationships and any drama there, the women are all beautiful and clever and all end up with their soulmates, knocked up by the end.
The men are all brave and brilliant and think nothing of knocking up a new constitution, or planning military strategies.
There is a horrible info dump of about 50 pages in the middle, all about the political situation before the Thirty Years War Unless you are an historian, you will very quickly skip over it.
The book finished with a whimper I was bored well before the end and won t be carrying on with the sequels.