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20th Century U.S. - Between the World Wars

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20th Century U.S. - Between the World Wars

Post by Margaret » Fri July 30th, 2010, 1:13 am

Just finished reading Percival's Planet by Michael Byers (see review). It's about the search for "Planet X" which culminated in the discovery of Pluto in 1930 by a Kansas farm boy with a high school education. I thought the subject matter would be interesting, but found myself enjoying it much more than I expected to, because it's not just about the search for the planet, but really about a group of people whose lives intersect at that time. All of them, in some way, are trying to figure out what's real and worth pursuing and what's illusory.

Byers does an excellent job of getting the feel of the time period, and it struck me that it was very much like our own time in many ways - lots of crackpot theories, as well as a lot of theories which seemed pretty loony until they led to genuine discoveries. Also, some of the main characters did not participate in the financial boom of the 1920s, which as we all know ended in the Great Depression. One of the things I like about the novel is the way it shows that not everyone fared badly in the Depression - and some who lost a lot of money gained in other ways. Life is like that, I think.
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