Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Book Review: 1633

Note: I’m not in the business of reviewing books or being a book critic but I thought I might make mention of points I find commendable or objectionable in books I have recently read. Having said that do not expect a full and or traditional style review.

The basics are that 1633 is a continuation of 1632 in which the town of Grantville WV, c. 2001 finds itself transported temporally and spatially into central Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years War. Too many people to try and blend in and not enough to simply roll out the M1A1s and declare Europe US territory. The books touches on Predestination vs. Free Will – making a mockery of Predestination – but mainly deals with the personal interactions of the “up time” Americans and their new 17th century neighbors. The thing I noticed is the why the authors dealt with the American tendency to hold all life sacred while the European of the 17th century have a much more pragmatic world view. One German is lost in battle and the Americans want to make a shire while the family of the lost fighter is to our eyes cold to his loss. The book doesn’t get into the whys and wherefores of this as the authors assume the read intelligent to know how life is in the US now and understand that those growing up in a war torn Reformation era Europe are used to quick and violent deaths and I will make that same assumption.

What I did see was a sort of parallel between the differing world views on the value of a single humans life between the “up time” Americans and 17th century Europe and those of the West and Islam. We in the West are the up-timers to the brutal fatalistic view of Islam today. Just as the Reformation Europe had strong views on how God and predestined everyone’s life today Islam holds the same view. That Allah chooses our paths for us and we are helpless to fight against his will.

When a high speed cigarette boat – with homemade rocket launchers – is hit by a lucky shot from the Danish fleet it is decimating the Americans cry at the loss of their comrades while their 17th century allies lament the loss of the ship.

In the book for the Americans to make it they have to become as hard as those wishing to wipe them from the map. An allegory to Israel perhaps?

We need to learn the lessons that the Up-timers learned and while not forgetting our core values understand that we cannot stand around fretting over the potential loss of a deck hand while the boat is being taken form under our feet.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?