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1632 (Ring of Fire series) by Eric Flint
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1632 (Ring of Fire series) (original 2000; edition 2004)

by Eric Flint

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1,482475,031 (3.84)63
Member:hardlyhardy
Title:1632 (Ring of Fire series)
Authors:Eric Flint
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1632 by Eric Flint (Author) (2000)

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Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Great concept but the over-simplified characters let it down. ( )
  TheoClarke | Sep 29, 2014 |
I didn't mind the book at first, and its depiction of Appalachia is sound, but the more I read of it the more exasperated I became.

To take a vice characteristic of both sides in a conflict, and depict one side as completely innocent of that vice, and the other side as evil on account of that vice, is intellectually dishonest, and is exactly what this author does. After Westphalia, the Swedes had a reputation for being nasty to the civilian population even by the standards of the era, but there is not a word of that in this book. (We also see plenty of the evil of the Austrians' Croat light cavalry, but the Hackapells are depicted as if they were angels of the battlefield, when in reality they were as bad as the Croats or worse.)

Nor is there a single word of the fact that Gustavus Adolphus was fighting for Sweden, not for Protestantism; or that Richelieu was fighting for France and to hurt the Habsburgs -- not for Catholicism. (He is utterly out-of-character in this novel.) The author even has the audacity to say that had Gustavus Adolphus won, Adolf Hitler would never have come to power -- but it was Adolphus, the French, and the Protestants in general who were responsible for the Westphalian system of sovereign states, in which, to use the term of a French jurist of the era, "the king can do no wrong." Which of these sounds more Hitler-friendly: a system in which the king is responsible to no man (and his subjects are taught to do his will unconditionally), or a system in which he has superiors (the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope) who can and will depose him if he gets out of control, and in which his subordinate know that if the king orders them to do something evil, they are to resist him to the death?

The Second World War is excessively on this author's mind; so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that his style of propaganda is familiar from it. Summarize it this way: Gustavus Adolphus gets the Josef Stalin treatment in this book, depicted as a hero because he's working on the main character's side -- after all, whoever's on the main character's side is a good guy, and good guys are not capable of doing anything wrong, by definition.

This is without even bothering to point out that the Black Legend is a flat-out lie, invented by a woman who tortured more people for death for religious reasons in her reign alone than the Spanish Inquisition did over the course of its 350-year existence.

If you want a plausible novel set in the Thirty Years' War, which doesn't arbitrarily designate villains and warp the historical record until they fit, read The Adventures of Simplicius Simplicissimus, a novel by an actual veteran of the war (and which, unlike most works of its era, is still eminently readable). Avoid this piece of dreck: it starts out plausible, entertaining, even gripping, then proceeds to go insane.

(Reposted from Amazon.com) ( )
  ex_ottoyuhr | May 7, 2014 |
Outstanding book from an excellent writer. Recreating an intelligent alternate history of one of the most exciting periods of Europe's past is a very real tour de force. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jan 22, 2014 |
Have just gobbled up this time-travel novel. I'm not sure if I'll read through the series as -honestly- the blood and guts gets tiring. Still, an interesting concept, well-developed characters, historical accuracy, and darned fun read. ( )
  jawallac27 | Dec 31, 2013 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2100081.html

This is the story of a coal-mining West Virginia community which finds itself transported back in time to 1632 (actually 1631 but it's the following year before the action starts) in the middle of Germany during the Thirty Years War. Using good old 'Murrican know-how, the townsfolk develop representative democracy, religious freedom and cheap banking, and use their locally available arsenal to ally with Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden to help him win the war (and avoid death) fifteen years early. There is much loving description of a cute girl who blows people's heads off (finishing with Wallenstein), and similar battle scenes; the transported Americans make it through almost 600 pages of fighting without suffering a major casualty. Flint's protagonists never lose an argument or a battle. There is only one black guy in town and he happens to be the doctor, so that means that any discussion of racism is largely confined to the Americans bringing enlightenment to the anti-Semites of central Europe. People who like that sort of thing will like this, but I am not really sure that I am one of them. ( )
  nwhyte | Apr 30, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flint, EricAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Asplund,RandyInterior mapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elmore,LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
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To my mother, Mary Jeanne McCormick Flint, and to the West Virginia from which she came.
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The mystery would never be solved.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671319728, Paperback)

FREEDOM AND JUSTICE -- AMERICAN STYLE

1632 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.

2000 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:24 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A mysterious accident in time causes twenty-first-century American democracy to collide head-on with the Thirty Years War in seventeenth-century Germany as Mike Stearn and a group of armed miners take on a gang of strangely attired invaders who are threatening peaceful Grantville, West Virginia. Original. Freedom and Justice-American Style 1632. And in northern Germany things couldn't get much worse. Famine. Disease. Religious war laying waste the cities. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasants, death was a mercy. 2000 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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