Recommended Reading: "Freddy and Fredericka"

I've previously recommended The Oil Drum blog as a resource for all things energy-related, but it also directed me to one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time, Mark Helprin's 2006 Freddy and Fredericka. I'll even borrow the blog's summary of the book's premise, if you're not inclined to click over:
...the future King and Queen of England are dropped naked from an airplane into America as sort of a rite of passage. Though heir to the throne and infinitely wealthy back home, Freddy must use only his wits, skills of persuasion and physical abilities to somehow rise to the unlikely position of the leader of the USA - if he manages this, basically from scratch, he will then have earned the throne of England not only due to hereditary decree but via his own merits.
The book is, as the Oil Drum writer puts it, a hilarious romp - often bordering on Monty Pythonesque silliness - but it's also a sweet love story, and a thought-provoking essay on what it means to be a servant-leader. The British monarchy is an institution that many believe has no place in the 21st century, and the Royals have frequently been their own worst enemy in terms of public perception. But Helprin manages to bring to life a picture of a would-be king whose human foibles (and boy, are they manifold!) are tempered by a nobility of purpose that's sadly lacking in American politics.

Freddy and Fredericka works on several levels. Read it for pure entertainment and escapism, or look for underlying messages of loyalty and self-sacrifice.

The book is also available in a Kindle edition.


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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on March 12, 2010 7:57 AM.

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