1632

3.22
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE -- AMERICAN STYLE 1632 And in northern Germany things could n't get much worse. Famine. Disease. Religous war laying waste the cities. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the easants, death was a mercy. 2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia, and everybody attending the christenin of Mike Stearn 's sister ( including the entire local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, which Mike leads) is having a ood 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 crossbo. On the other side, a scene out of Hell: a man nailed to a farmhouse door, his son and daughter attacked by men in steel vests. Faced with this, Mike and his friends do n't have to ask who to shoot. At that moment Freedom and Justice, American style, are introduced to the middle of the Hundred Years' War.
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Publication Date
Published June 15th 2006 by Baen Books (first published February 1st 2000
Original Title of the Book
1632
Number of Pages
597

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gave it

Sure, I 'm not propotent of feudal authoritarianism, and I know most nobles did horrible, horrible things, but I think the write is a little too gleeful about judging people raised in a very different environment by modern standards.Similarly, there is SOMETHING about the dar ide of living in a tiny villag.

( In fact, sometimes the randomly exceptional characters that just happen to be in that town make me think of a PC group in an RPG, both for good and for ill ...) While the introduction establishes that a time paradox is n't necessar, it 's not like the characters have access to that information.

It would be nice if SOMEONE worried about what they 're doing to history, rather than jumping headfirst and enthusiastically into the process of establishing a new United States of America over a century early in the middle of urope, backed by modern hunting rifles and home-made troop carriers.The Ugly: This nove is part of a series, so it just ...

It does n't really so much as end as " run out of time, " ready to bleed into the next book.In a lot of ays, this nove 's concept is better than the actual writing.

gave it

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 Seve Years War.The book is full of interesting history but the characters just never felt real to me and ultimately caused me to be unwilling to suspend disbelief.

gave it

In terms of relationships and any drama there, the omen are all beautiful and brilliant 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 istorian, you will very quickly skip over it.The book finished with a whimper.

gave it

Little details, like the act 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 example, take this scene from the middle of the novel in which the resident of Grantville have just made an alliance with the wome of a nearby German town against the invading Catholic army, where Brad, a slightly overweight nerdy D& D enthusiast who is acting as a scout and messenger, is just leaving on his motorbike: " A moment later, Michae was roaring off.

They get down to business, and follow their ( American) ideals, which include things like equality for women and freedom of religion.

For contex, 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 village, and run across some mercenaries having their way with a farmer and his stepfathe.

The seventeenth century characters are awesome too.

There 's an educated " jewess " who is one of the last to be rescued ( and remains an awesome member of the American 's elected assembly), an unwilling camp follower who was rescued by the White 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 eeth, and, of course, there is King Gustavus Adolfus II, the Swedish King and head of the " ood " guys' army, who is blustery and at first disbelieving but awesome.

Amongst the 21st century characters are that cheerleader mentioned above who becomes a crack sharpshooter ( not as nlikely 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 did n't really learn this until they were writing up their new constitution.) Maybe I just like badass historians.

gave it

Or the handsome, capable and good-natured coal-miner running things fairly and evenly since the en of the autobiography, who thinks everyone deserves a fair shake if they 're unable to work hard? It 's one thing to avoid ynicism, as the author states in his essay, but this book takes its weird mix of modernit and American propaganda to an optimistic place that 's a little nauseating in its sweetness.

gave it

As one reviewer at Amazon 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 ovel. " One of the most tediou aspects of the ovel was the reaso that it focussed very much on the political discussions of the time travellers, who discuss endlessly the various facets of their production facilities etc.

gave it

It 's a really onfusing and horrible time in human history.So of course Eric Flint complicates this by throwing a 21st-century American town into the enter of this hit and gleefully wreaks conceptual havoc.

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.

A ton of them are faceless and only recognizable by their title, and disturbingly all of the American characters are offbeat, kind, and awesome at what they do.

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.

To be cynica, there were a lot of points where the actual history was better than the shit going on in Grantville ... people who are interested in the detai 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 hit, but I 'm not particularly into it.

Thankfully he did n'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.

gave it

( In fact, I suspect the book may have been written in the irst 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 last quarter of the novel, mostly improbably, and everyone immediately has a happy marriage with no culture shock, despite differences in time period, religion, and language spoken.

Bo 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.

But I think that he took it too far -- happy endings do not require everything to turn out well for the rotagonists 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 processe.

And you can have decent characters and happy endings without demanding that they be so.

gave it

When their small town is transported, through a super-advanced alien race 's meddling with the fabric of space time, to Germany during the Hundred Years War, the local of Grantville, WV are willing to fight for these principles, in the idst 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.

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