Houshold Gods and annoying heroines

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 28 22:34:51 EDT 2002

--- "Dorian E. Gray" <israfel at eircom.net> wrote:
> Jon said...
> > I've just started reading "Household Gods" by
> > Turtledove and Tarr which is looking promising,
> This
> > is a historical novel, with a very minor fantasy
> > element so far, in which a modern woman ends up in
> > Roman times, The point seems to be that "the past
> is a
> > foreign country - they do things differently
> there",
> > so far the only book I've ever read that really
> > captured this was Shogun.
> I read that recently, and spent most of the book
> wanting to smack some sense
> into the heroine.  Can anyone *really* be that
> ignorant of history, and so
> stupid as to insist on applying their own standards
> to what is so obviously
> a very different world?  In many ways, the book
> seemed to me to be a thinly
> disguised social history lesson - though, when I
> wasn't wanting to smack the
> heroine, a very interesting one.
> I'll be interested to hear your reactions when you
> finish reading the book.
> Until the sky falls on our heads...
> Dorian.

Finally finished Houshold Gods and I enjoyed the final
product. The woman was very annoying for the first
third of so of the novel especially in her complete
ignorance of the past, although I forgave her this to
some extent as I tended to regard it as not her fault,
the authors wrote her that way as a plot device (there
are plenty of annoying central characters in books who
don't have that excuse). As Nicole learned to adapt to
the second century and took more charge of her life I
found myself liking her more. My wife also read it and
hated her constantly being suprised by what she found
in the past. By the end of the book my only complaint
was that I wanted to find out what happened to Umma
afterwards. The history in the book was very well
done, although I have my doubts about Christians using
the cross as a symbol at that time. I understood that
it wasn't realy popular for another couple of
centuries, and that the early church tended to
downplay the crucifiction, as they were embarassed by
having a God who'd been executed as a criminal. 
On Nicole's ignorance of the past, I'm not sure. there
are plenty of people around who are that ignorant of
the past. But for someone who has had a good
education!! I would have thought that a law degree
would have included something about the history of the
law. The other day i tried to get some responses from
a class here about their knowledge of the past,
unfortuantely I was immediately attacked by a
marauding kidney stone and ended up being taken to
hospital. (I seem to be fine now)

Jon Noble

“The average Dragon Silver in the Dragon Librarian
Service currently has 1.64 deaths on his or her hands.
For Dragon Gold it is 2.78 deaths, and the averages
are slightly higher for women. On my way to Dragon
Black I fought eleven duels and killed six senior
librarians and the champions of another two, as well
as inflicting some rather serious wounds.”  Sean
McMullen  -Eyes of the Calculator-

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