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1632 (Ring of Fire) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: Ring of Fire
  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671319728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671319724
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (519 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

When a cosmic accident transports a West Virginia community back in time and space to 17th-century Thuringia, the citizens of Grantville find themselves thrust into the midst of the bloody and savage conflict that history books would call the Thirty Years War. Surrounded by warring armies and burdened by the prospect of diminishing resources, Grantville residents, under the leadership of a council that includes a union leader, a doctor, and a teacher, proceed to turn their new world upside down, beginning the American Revolution a century and a half before its time. Flint (Mother of Demons) convincingly re-creates the military and political tenor of the times in this imaginative and unabashedly positive approach to alternative history. A solid choice for fantasy collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In Flint's novel of time travel and alternate history, a six-mile square of West Virginia is tossed back in time and space to Germany in 1632, at the height of the barbaric and devastating Thirty Years' War. Repelling marauding mercenaries and housing German refugees are only the first of many problems the citizens of the tiny new U.S. face, problems including determining who shall be a citizen. In between action scenes and descriptions of technological military hardware, Flint handles that problem and other serious ethical questions seriously and offers a double handful of memorable characters: a Sephardic Jewish family that establishes commercial and marital ties with the Americans, a cheerleader captain turned lethal master sniper, a schoolteacher and an African American doctor who provide indispensable common sense and skill, a German refugee who is her family's sole protector, and, not least, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Not, perhaps, as elegant as some time-traveling alternate histories, Flint's is an intelligent page-turner nevertheless. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I really enjoyed Eric Flint's 1632 (Ring of Fire).
The premise of a West Virginia town being sent back to the year 1632 in the middle of Germany and the 30 years war is just TOO good!
Amazon Customer
The plot was great and the character's very well developed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 132 people found the following review helpful By M. Broderick VINE VOICE on February 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Basically, this book is about a coal-mining town in West Virginia which is mysteriously transported to Germany at the time of the Thirty Years War. This theme has been developed before, going back to Mark Twain (or maybe further). To my knowledge, S.M. Stirling was the first major writer to move a whole community back to another time, with his Nantucket Series, and now Eric Flint seeks to get his version in. I am a fan of this genre, so I expected to enjoy this book, and I did. One way that it is different from most of these stories is that it focuses on the "little people"--The movers and shakers of this book are not professors or military officers or big-time politicians. The hero is a failed boxer who is a minor union official. On the other hand, the book is filled with affectionate praise for King Gustavus Adolphus. Gustavus Adolphus was a real historical figure, and if you don't know who he is, don't worry, you will know when you finish the book! I enjoyed the book, think most who are interested by this idea will enjoy it. Only criticism I have are that too much time is spent with the time travellers offstage, describing the Battle of Breitenfield, a real historical battle. Some may be disappointed that a minimum of time is spent describing clever technological improvisations--These seem to be a staple of this genre, but there isn't much of it here. If you enjoyed this book, I'd look up H. Beam Piper's LORD KALVAN OF OTHERWHEN, S.M. Stirling's ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME, and L. Sprague deCamp's LEST DARKNESS FALL.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Schofield on February 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Time travel stories have been a staple of Science Fiction essentially forever. The plot device of a modern man displaced into a historical era is a popular one, and traces its immediate lineage to Mark Twain's A CONNETICUTT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. While always great fun these stories tend to push the bounds of credulity when it come to the introduction of modern technology, and they frequently fall apart toward the end for that reason. 1632 manages to remain faintly plausable throughout. Just how historically reasonable its plot may be is open to question, but it manages not to jar the reader too badly while he is engrossed in the tale. The characters are mostly well drawn, with the exception of one cardboard cut-out whose presence does not materially detract from the book. the action is brisk and (at least to my non-military eye) believable in context. Most importantly the book is just plain fun to read. The author has a good command of human emotion and motives, as well as seeming to know his history.
If this sub-genera is one that you like I heartily recommend this example. If you are unfamilliar with the whole time-traveler gig you could do much worse than this book as an introduction.
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58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By S. M Stirling on January 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I love time-travel stories... particularly when they're done well. In "1632" Eric Flint shows solid research, believable characters and gripping action, all combining in a tasty stew. He makes his people -- both 21st-century West Virginians and 17th-century Germans -- live and breathe. The plight of the castaways will keep you glued to the page, and the action will bring you to the edge of your seat. Bravo! Buy this book!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "ly_reese" on October 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an unusual book, particularly in the time-travel/alternate history field, which is littered with winning Confederate States and the like, reflecting attitudes which would have suited Adolf Hitler. Many of the reviews have pointed out the one superb feature of this book: it's told from the point of view of the ordinary citizen. And it is relatively free of gratuitous violence. Unfortunately, it is not quite free of gratuitous sex, but at least the sort of abuse you come across in this sub-genre is absent. Still, the author was obviously attempting something very difficult: This is not just the usual `we Americans can beat them' sort of book. It's a book about why the Americans, who are outnumbered, can win. It is a book about what is valuable in Western Democracy. Essentially this is a book about politics behind history, made pleasant and easy to read, by giving it a good story-line. It's one of the few sf books you'll buy this year that will give you a good read and give some uplift and some insights. A few reviewers have complained about the short sentences and simple vocabulary. I can't say I find this a fault: if anything one of the problems with `new wave' Science Fiction was that authors tried to show it was `literature' with Dickensian sentences. This just highlights these authors' ignorance about the trend in great literature since Conrad: the more difficult the concept, the simpler the English. The length of the sentence has been getting shorter for the all of the twentieth century. Try Dickens compared to Henry James if you don't believe me! Flint is trying to write about something complex and dry as dust: the politics behind history. He succeeds remarkably well in a very readable story.Read more ›
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Virginia E. Demarce on February 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not traditional alternate history (how did things develop on a different line?) so much as it is transposed history--analyzing the impact of a transplanted culture. The time/place of both were shrewdly chosen. As a Ph.D in early modern Europe, I like it; as someone who works in coal mine workers' compensation programs (and wanted to name our oldest son Gustavus Adolphus!), my husband liked it after I insisted that he read it; as a man who stayed home to keep a rural community running, my brother liked it also, after I insisted that he read it. It's not just a remarkably good story -- though that is the case. As a possible history, it works.
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More About the Author

Eric Flint is the co-author of three New York Times best sellers in his Ring of Fire alternate history series. His first novel for Baen, Mother of Demons, was picked by Science Fiction Chronicle as a best novel of the year. His 1632, which launched the Ring of Fire series, won widespread critical praise, as from Publishers Weekly, which called him an SF author of particular note, one who can entertain and edify in equal, and major, measure. A longtime labor union activist with a Masters Degree in history, he currently resides in northwest Indiana with his wife Lucille.

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