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The Kingdom of Ohio: 01/19/12

cover art

The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming is one part alternate history, one part romance, one part time travel and one part historical fiction. It has American setting at the turn of the 20th century and a style similar to Ada, or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov.

While mostly set in New York City at the time that it was being hooked up for electricity and that the subway tunnels were being built, there are two other times and places: the sovereign kingdom of Ohio at the time of its fall and a bookstore in modern day Los Angeles.

Narrated by the owner of the bookshop, the story follows the meeting of Peter Force, a subway digger from out west and Cheri-Anne Toledo, who claims to be the last surviving member of the Ohio royal family.

Peppered through out the book are footnotes and asides that fill out Cheri-Anne's recollection of her home in Ohio as well as the Federal Government's seizing of the land. Although no ones seems to remember Ohio ever being anything other than what it is now, the "scholarly" annotations serve to convince the reader just as Cheri-Anne's persistence does the same for Peter Force.

Ignoring both Cheri-Anne's past and the framing story of the photograph found in a box of old books, The Kingdom of Ohio is an excellent novel about the modernization of New York City.

Five stars.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Friday, January 20, 2012 at 12:47:04


Agreed. It's a good book. I read it a while ago but remember enjoying the alternate time lines.

Comment #2: Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 21:33:24


It was a good read. It kept me busy for a weekend.

Comment #3: Friday, January 20, 2012 at 19:38:23


Glad to see you liked it! I have a copy of this and was wondering how it was. :)

Comment #4: Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 21:34:33


You should crack open your copy. It's a good book.

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