Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Big Time (Book)

An odd little book. The 1958 Hugo Award Winning Novel The Big Time by Fritz Leiber feels like it could be an episode of the Twilight Zone. The setting reminds me of a USO hall in purgatory.

In the world of The Big Time, two warring factions go back and forth through time trying to change history to the advantage of their side, while also creating a lot of odd repercussions. The soldiers of the Change War are plucked from various times in history. Describing the context takes up almost more time in the book than the actual action of the story, which takes place in a recuperation facility-- part entertainment facility, part hospital – where a handful of these soldiers have gone to rest for a brief time.

The introduction to the book indicated that Leiber drew extensively from his experience in the theater when writing this book. In addition it was written barely ten years after WWII. I missed some of the allusions, references, and slang. I didn’t and still don’t know what to think of the book. While it contains a few deep, thoughtful moments, much of the book was lost on me and would, I guess, be lost on many other modern readers.

This is the beginning of my 40’s and 50’s reading week+. I feel like I am in my own personal time warp.

No comments: