List Price: $7.99
Our Price: $7.99
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Manufacturer: Tor Fantasy
Average Customer Rating:
Binding: Mass Market Paperback Dewey Decimal Number: 813.54 EAN: 9780812564662 ISBN: 0812564669 Label: Tor Fantasy Manufacturer: Tor Fantasy Number Of Items: 1 Number Of Pages: 672 Publication Date: 2000-07-15 Publisher: Tor Fantasy Studio: Tor Fantasy
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
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: fantastic, engrossing read! I couldn't put it down! Comment: I thought that the protagonist was a normal person. Judgmental, yes -- as is the vast majority of humankind. I would venture to guess that she uncomfortably reflects qualities in some readers. Her prejudices stem from her modern health beliefs and personal hatred of alcohol due to her father being a substance abuser. I found them annoying too -- but I loved watching her blossom out of them and grow to appreciate her modern life in a deep way.
There was a theme of feminism throughout which I loved, because she neither 'learned her place' nor became hateful and bitter, but came to realize that the modern world offered her so many opportunities which she ignored because she was not willing to take risks or demand what she deserved. Her life in the past taught her what REAL risks are and that one person really can make a difference, and she came back understanding that women still don't have equality, but DO have much more of a chance for it than they did in the past.
It has been a long time since I've read a book in one sitting, especially one this long. I stayed up all night because I could not put it down until I had read all 664 pages! Definitely worth a purchase. Customer Rating: Summary: A Reason to the Madness of Her Temperment Comment: Yes, Nicole is a neurotic, hateful, selfish, woman who takes everything personally and assumes the worst. And did I say self-righteous, too? That's the point of it. It contributes to the story. I couldn't stand her either! But when she wants to get away, part of the reason she gets sent to Roman times by Liber and Libera is so she WAKES UP and grows some awareness that the world doesn't revolve around her.
Bit by bit, simply because of the circumstances and the people, she becomes more cognizant of her shortcomings in the way she has always thought and made assumptions. And her transformation is very realistic and commendable as the novel progresses.
Because ironically enough, you start to wonder if YOU could hack that stuff she's going through. Of course she didn't have a lot of choice, unless she wanted to simply commit suicide, but compared to other go-back-in history stories (medieval england couldn't have been half so difficult as ancient rome!), she faced some pretty nasty things.
Suddenly, between your appreciation for what she's dealing with, and the contemplation of those circumstances and comparisons that contribute to her becoming a different person, you come to appreciate her and admire her for her stamina, the events that give her cause to consider a different behavioral response, and what she notices as a result of it.
She comes to see herself as we see her in the beginning. After a while in ancient Roman times, she gets it. And she takes it back with her. And her life is very different.
I recommend the book. Understand there's a reason why she's been created as she is and keep reading. Try not to condemn her for the way she's been written - after all, why exemplify the very charachteristics that you don't like in the protagonist? Customer Rating: Summary: Glad I came to read the reviews before I gave up. Comment: Wow, I am about 90 pages into this book and I dislike the main character os much that I almost started to put the book down and not finish it. I am glad I came here to read the reviews first, because at least now I know the book might get better and I am not the only one who thinks Nicole is the biggest airhead, bigot, racist, and just plain stupid person ever. When she first realizes that she is in ancient Rome, it takes her a long time to wonder how her kids are doing back in LA and even then she only gives it a few minutes consideration. And giggles that her ex will have to take the kids with him. Giggles? And when the smell of the place almost gags her and she sees men urinating in public, why would she drink the water? Is anyone really that dumb? Oh yea, I forgot, she is a woman, that makes her a giggling imbecile, nevermind that she graduated from law school. Maybe they did not have regular classes at that college like history and personal hygiene. I will keep reading for another 100 pages and if she still makes me shake my head every page, I will give up. If not, I will follow up with another review.... Customer Rating: Summary: Mundane and Humdrum Comment: A good concept but had very little substance.modern Lady lawyer went back in time to anciant Rome.Found herself in another body.Was suprised at the horrors of that time.Slavery,sanatary conditions,killings in the arena,lack of modern medecines ECT,ECT.She had to have known these things so why the suprise.After the first 150 mundane pages of a 500 page book we find ourselves reading about someones humdrum day by day life.By this time I started skimming over the pages trying to find something of interest.There was a epedemic where her daughter,mother and lover died.A friend died in child birth.She got in dutch with her family by setting her slave free.By page 300 I gave up on this one as a waste of time.There are a lot of better books out there for me to read. Customer Rating: Summary: Hateful character ruins what could've been a splendid story Comment: This book is about a 20th century American lawyer who wakes up one morning to find herself living in the world of ancient Rome. I was very eager to read it, but I was disappointed.
The first 52 pages are entirely set in the present, as are the last 78 pages. These pages are designed to show us the contrast between modern life and ancient life, but readers already know about the present. We don't need to spend the equivalent of a short novel on it, especially given that the protagonist, Nicole, is off-putting. She is self-centered, prudish, self-righteous, bigoted, hypocritical, and constantly simmering with petty hostility. For example, when her regular babysitter decides to give notice due to family circumstances, Nicole's only reason for not having her arrested by the INS is that the INS might end up helping the babysitter. She is a repulsive human being.
Nicole is also unbelievably stupid. She wishes herself back to ancient Rome, and she is then *shocked* to discover that water was not chlorinated, that slavery existed, that women lacked legal rights, that animals and people were killed in the gladiatorial arena, and so on. There has been some debate, in the reviews below, as to whether it is realistic for Nicole to be as stupid as she is (she must have excelled in college, or else would not have made it into law school). Realistic or not, it is *painful* for the reader to inhabit such a mean-spirited and smugly ignorant character. That the authors intend for us to sympathize with her only makes it worse.