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08/08/2006 Archived Entry: ""Tempus Fugit": a novel by Lawrence Lee Rowe, Jr."

I'VE JUST BEGUN READING TEMPUS FUGIT, a novel by Lawrence Lee Rowe, Jr. Its premise: Near the end of their lives and after their most notable accomplishments, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin are zapped into the twenty-first century. Dropped in the woods near Mt. Rushmore by their unknown temporal kidnappers, pockets stuffed with $100 Federal Reserve notes, they're faced with figuring out modern society and making their way through it.

As you might expect, this is a "what would the founders think about what happened to their republic?" book. Yet it's not as predictable as all that. Rowe -- who did an absolutely frightening amount of scholarship -- recognizes the diversity of abilities, interests, personalities, and outlook between his three larger-than-life protagonists.

Simmering differences of opinion threaten to boil over between Washington and Jefferson. Ben Franklin, scientist and man of the world, observes everything with unflappable acuity and wit. Jefferson is a languid-mannered aristocrat, Washington a muscular man of action. All are portrayed as human beings with quirks, personal proclivities, and warts (in Franklin's case, literal ones). All this is based on historic record.

Normally, lectures in the form of novels affect me like literary Sominex. This one even has footnotes. But so far I'm finding it intriguing. Though self-published, Tempus Fugit is a first-class production. It's hardbound (yet budget-priced) with a professionally designed and illustrated cover and quality typesetting. Unlike the sorry majority of freedom novels, it was thoroughly proofread (none of the "it's" for "its" and "their" for "they're" that drive a critical reader to mental mayhem). The characters come across as real people, not figureheads. And -- wonder of wonders -- a plot seems to be thickening!

I'll report again when I finish. Meantime, thank you to SJ for the lead. You can buy a copy of Tempus Fugit through our Wolfesblog Amazon.com Associates link or directly from the author.

Posted by Claire @ 11:35 AM CST

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