The other John's Reviews > The Gladiator

The Gladiator by Harry Turtledove
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Mar 12, 2008

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bookshelves: borrowed, alternate-history
Read in July, 2007

I don't know, but I've been aching to read some Harry Turtledove since I've returned from overseas. Maybe it was living in an "alternate world" for the past years that moved me to seek out the master of alternate history. Maybe not. Anyway, when I saw this one on the library shelf I snatched it up. The Gladiator is a novel in the Crosstime Traffic series, set in a world where the Soviet Union won the cold war. The year is actually around 2090, and the Crosstime Traffic folks have set up a few gaming shops in Communist Italy. The games they offer are quite different than standard fare, allowing folks to role play capitalism. The store also offers books to help customers play the game better. It's a brilliant, subversive scam, but one that the secret police notice and shut down. All but one of the Crosstime Traffic folks escape, and he has to rely on a teenage customer and his neighbor to find a way back to his home reality. The book isn't spectacular, but it is an entertaining read with good setting and likable characters. Check it out.
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