Weekend Reading

Project Gutenberg offers the text of more than twenty thousand copyright-free books for your reading pleasure. With such an array to choose from, deciding what to read can be quite the challenge. A low-risk one, admittedly, but no less daunting.

Allow me to help. 🙂

In keeping with a recent theme of oddly prescient near-future speculative fiction, allow me to introduce you to Havoc, by E. Phillips Oppenheim. Published in 1911, an era when titles were short and authors’ names were long, Havoc is a good example of both popular fiction of the period, and Oppenheim’s writing. It contains politics, intrigue, spies, a handful of espionage, a murder or two, a healthy dose of adventure, and no small amount of humor, baked in the oven of early-20th-century London, and left to cool on the shelf of the Continent for a period. There’s even a hint of romance and, as in many of Oppenheim’s works, a hapless man of finance or two.

What makes Havoc, published in 1911 and likely written in 1909 or 1910, so remarkable in my opinion is that it accurately predicted the casus belli of World War One, right down to the party responsible, and forecast many of the consequences. Quite amazing, when you think about it.

If you’re looking for something to read this weekend (or are perhaps stuck in front of a computer, and your employer happens to have banned your usual forms of entertainment,) you can’t really go wrong with Havoc. Hey, look at it this way – the price is right, right? Besides, have I ever steered you wrong before? No. So get on over to Project Gutenberg and start downloading Havoc. You’ll thank me someday, honestly. 🙂

Published in: General, History | on May 18th, 2007| Comments Off on Weekend Reading

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