Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hugo Winner Review: 1958 The Big Time

Fritz Leiber
Read 2012, reviewed 4/22/2013
2 stars

I didn't get this book.  There were many things about it I could recognize and react to.  A group of people are locked in a room and philosophize on what’s going on outside.  In our case, outside is a war where time travel is used in an attempt to change the course of history.  The scenario reminded me of Sartre’s "No Exit," or Genet’s "The Balcony."  In the end, though, I just didn’t get it. 

What I got most out of the book is the concept that other reviewers refer to in their synopses and reviews, the conservation of time.  It says that when the past is changed, time will do as much as it can to have the minimum effect on future events.  It’s a fun concept, and having a war to change the past enough to have a substantial effect on the present is brilliant. 

I also agree that this would have made a great play.  I think it would have told the story better, and would have been a better philosophical soap box.

I enjoy existentialism and the absurd, but I was often distracted while reading the novel.  I found myself drifting away, and suddenly not realizing who was even speaking.  This may be one to put on the re-read list, just to see if I get it better the second time.

2 stars.  I reviewed this book about a year after reading it. Perhaps another reason to re-read this book: so I can review it again, but a little less sketchily.

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