• 1632

  • Ring of Fire, Book 1
  • By: Eric Flint
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (2,396 ratings)

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1632  By  cover art

1632

By: Eric Flint
Narrated by: George Guidall
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Eric Flint has received glowing critical praise for his Ring of Fire alternate history series. In this first installment, a West Virginia town is transported from the year 2000 to 1631 Germany at the height of the Thirty Years’ War. Thrust into conflict, the town residents must also contend with moral issues, such as who should be considered a citizen.

©2000 Eric Flint (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

“Gripping and excellently detailed.... A treat!” ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about 1632

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

NOT ALL THAT BAD

Good idea for a story! An entire town is somehow transported back in time, over 400 years. The town and the surrounding land is also moved to medieval Germany. They are immediately drawn into a battle, which is part of a larger war.

While the idea is good, the actual writing is not. It seems puerile and weak. They are taken back in time , but have all sorts of illegal weapons and plenty of ammo. I'm all for lots of guns and good action in books, but where does all this stuff come from and how do the never run out of it?

The author has heavy left leaning background, so you get an unrealistic cast of heroes and characters. I can certainly overlook his lefty drivel and enjoy the book. I just keep in mind that the author is a bit simple .

I am looking forward to the next in this series.

114 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great idea superficial follow through

Any additional comments?

I really thought the idea of the clash of personalities, technology, and perspective was a great premise for a terrific book. The problem I had was that the characters were only partially developed and explored. There were many missed opportunities to build the story line and really pull in some historic research. The final rationale for the "ring of fire" happening was sort of dropped in your lap at the end and really should have been built more slowly throughout the story. It was entertaining but lacked the back bone it needed to make it a really engaging book.

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Velveeta

I like sci-fi and fantasy, and can accept the initial premise that a town in modern day West Virginia has been mysteriously sent back to 1632 Germany. That is the cool part of the story. The problem is with the characters - they are mostly caricatures. And while that is fine for many entertaining novels with heavy action, this book, after the opening sequences, spends a lot of time on character "development." If you can call following the thoughts and dialogue of stock characters "development." Chunks of the book read like a romance novel, with breathless, love-at-first-site encounters and courtship. The Americans, almost without exception, are an amazingly virtuous lot, that embody the best American principals - hard work, self reliance, inclusion, democracy, tolerance, practicality, fairness, ingenuity - without fail. This is in stark contrast to the bad guys - who are truly vile. The narrator, George Guidall, is so good, that he can make this pulp seem to have substance. Yet Guidall can only cover for the author for so long. Eventually, you notice that your velveeta topped cheeseburger is missing the meat, and you only have a mouthful of cheese.

58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

If only it was written for adults...

Ok, the headline may be harsh, but it explains why a good performance and a good story manage to combine into a sum that's less than the individual parts.

The writing is decent, if unremarkable. The historical research adequate. The pacing ok. What's wrong then? Well, this is a time-travel book confronting modern Americans with Enlightenment Europeans in the midst of a religious war. So, if you abstract from the lack of 1-any discussion (even in passing) of religion, 2-any serious conflict between past and present values, 3-any character (modern or past) being remotely phased by the juxtaposition of times and 4-the lack of character development or ambiguity, then you will love this book.

Since I want this review to be helpful to prospective readers, I have to reiterate that it's not bad (if it stunk there would not be several sequels), it's just that the plot description suggested (at least to me) more thoughtful entertainment than what feels like a formulaic TV script.

54 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

disjointed and poorly written

This is a very bad book. I almost couldn't give it 2 stars. It starts off well enough. But then it gets mired in very bad writing.
First, the story line repeatedly goes down just a god awful romance line. You follow two characters for a few chapters as they fall in love, then repeat with two more charactrs. Nothing here against falling in love, just against bad writing. And the writing here is plodding.
Secondly, the story shifts wildly from one character to another. The best part of the book is when someone in the town is figuring out how to get some new technology in place. New as in industrial age tech.
Thirdly, the worst part of the book is when Flint decides to go 100 pages into detail on old battles from the 100 year war from the perspectives of the generals. This writing is beyond bad. Its painful.
There have been many authors to tackle this fish out of water story line before. Where a group of soldiers are flung to a different universe and are left in a world where their tech is hundreds of years ahead of the rest of humanity. Try the Lost Regiment for a much better story than 1632.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

Struggled to finish, with boring characters, out of place obsession with Jews and the Holocaust, and 50s-era American values (with lots of F-bombs, if that makes any sense).

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't waste time or money

Would you try another book from Eric Flint and/or George Guidall?

I would just to give them another chance. But, if it is anything like this one that would be the end of them for me.

What could Eric Flint have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Have a plot that is understandable, one can follow and doesn't drone on and on to no avail. I kept listening (audio) but it didn't get better so I quit half way through. Just couldn't justify any more tme.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was confused and disappointed.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

THE WORST.

If you could sum up 1632 in three words, what would they be?

A boring waste of time. Short on action, long of love story.

Would you ever listen to anything by Eric Flint again?

no

How could the performance have been better?

more action and a more exciting narrator.

Any additional comments?

Hard to finish

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

General storyline written by 12 year old

This was frustrating. I wanted to like it. It made me curious to learn more of the history of the 30-years war. The historical characters and plots surrounding them are not half bad. But the "modern" cast of castaway characters are just plain awful. People are divided up into the white hats and black hats. A black hat is BAD guy. Every motivation, every action, every word of the black hats is bad. The white hats are always good and right and true, oh, yeah, and they're all union dudes, so naturally anyone who has ever been a business owner (read: management) is BAD guy.

Contrast this approach with Harry Turtledove, "Southern Victory" series (also excellently read by George Guidall). In that series the reader is given a much more complete picture of characters -- a picture that demonstrates how characters are both good and bad; how they are often constructed by their experiences and upbringings. You might admire a character for certain aspects and just be furious at him for others. In comparison, this story falls flat.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

over rated

What a dissapointment. After hearing such raves I expectred a well written beginning to an exciting series. Well, there was no excitement. What there was included poor character development that nonetheless dragged on endlessly, alternative history that dragged on endlessly, soppy love stories ... it went on and on.

If you look at ratings before making a book purchase, be skekptical of this one!!!

40 people found this helpful