- Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
- Publisher: Tor Fantasy (July 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812564669
- ISBN-13: 978-0812564662
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.4 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 112 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Household Gods Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 2000
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The standard time-travel plot turns on what might be changed by the futuristic know-how of an intrepid time traveler--typically a mechanically-minded man who "invents" modern weapons, medical technology, and so on. In Household Gods, Tarr and Turtledove make their time traveler a 1990s Los Angeles lawyer with no special technical or historical knowledge.
Nicole Gunther-Perrin is a single mother of two. Today her daycare provider's quitting. At the office, her male colleague has made partner and she hasn't. The kids get sick, the microwave dies, and her ex goes on vacation with his girlfriend. Staring at a votive plaque of Liber and Libera, Roman household gods, Nicole falls asleep wishing she lived in the past, surely a better and easier time. She awakens in second-century Carnuntum, a town near the Roman Empire's borders. Death, disease, and dirt are commonplace. Slavery and corporal punishment are facts of life, and war, pillage, and rape are constant threats. Mere survival is hard work. Though Nicole adapts and even enjoys some of her experience, she longs to return to her own time. The problems she left behind no longer seem unconquerable.
Tarr and Turtledove know their history and bring the reader into a past as vividly real as Nicole's Los Angeles. They create genuine, sympathetic characters whose thoughts and feelings are true to their era and deliver a satisfying conclusion. Household Gods should be on the shelf next to L. Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall and John Maddox Roberts's SPQR mysteries. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Historical fantasists Tarr and Turtledove rework The Wizard of Oz in this absorbing new collaboration. Nicole Gunther-Perrin, their L.A. '90s version of Dorothy, is a 30-ish attorney trapped in a single mom's nightmare. Her well-to-do, deadbeat ex-husband is frolicking with a bosomy blonde. Her baby-sitter abruptly decides to move back to Mexico. A youngerAmale!Acolleague gets the partnership she's been thirsting after. The kids throw up in the car. The microwave gives up the ghost... and Nicole, praying for a simpler life, collapses. She wakes up in the body of a widowed tavernkeeper in 2nd-century Carnuntum, a Danube-side outpost of the Roman Empire. Life is simplerAbut even more miserable: battling filth, lice, lead poisoning, dysentery, plague, starvation and barbarians, Nicole learns that the mangy lions in Carnuntum's arena eat real people, and she is raped by one of the armor-clattering Roman soldiers who beat back the ravaging Germans. Then Titus Calidius Severus, a reeking workman with a tender, generous heart, thaws Nicole's brittle spirit and helps her share the basic happiness that keeps the everyday Romans around her going. Nicole also abandons some of her liberal sacred cows for solid Roman common sense: a swat on the bottom, she learns, does wonders for pre-teen rebellion that futile attempts at reasoning cannot. Once Nicole whirls back to present-day Los Angeles, she's more grown-up, far better able to cope with her life because she now understands the people around her and cares about them more. Drawing on a wealth of fascinating historical material and fleshing it out with snappy dialogue, superb characterizations and a genuinely appealing heroine, Tarr and Turtledove genially prove how much fun it can be to go back to OzAand even better, that there's no place like home. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I read this 600+ page book quickly because the authors did an amazing job of vividly portraying daily life in an...Read more