Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Conrad's Quest for Rubber by Leo Frankowski
It had been a long time since the previous book in this series came out, so I was a little lost to start with, but I rapidly got into the story. The first book in the series was The Crosstime Engineer, but I couldn't tell you off the top of my head what the rest of them were named. This is a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court type of theme - with the hero sent to 12th century Poland rather than England, but...
For a change, the story isn't told, primarily, from Conrad's point of view, but is presented as excerpts from the journal of a baker's son named Josip. Josip isn't too happy with the bakery business, and doesn't look forward to inheriting the business from his father when the time comes, so when he is drafted into the army to fight the invading hordes, he takes to military life with a will.
We follow the story of his military service on Conrad's riverboats, then converted to the merchant marines (sorta). Eventually, he joins the new Explorer Corps and goes on journeys north to the Arctic Circle and south to Brazil, in search of rubber, which Conrad's new industrial society needs for a variety of reasons.
Lots of action, in both the art of war and the art of love (I almost think that the book should be titled Conrad's Quest for A Condom, but-). The book is a quick read, and I recommend it, as well as all the other novels in the series, to anyone who's ever wished that they "knew then what we know now."