Lawrence Lee Rowe Jr.,
Tempus Fugit
(self-published, 2005)

Citizens vote for political candidates they believe have their best interests at heart. In a perfect world, this wouldn't be a problem. But we don't live in a perfect world, and promises are shamelessly broken. Everyone knows, whether they acknowledge it or not, that deep pockets are the decision makers in our country. And when monumental mistakes are made, we are left to wonder what our forefathers would do if they were still alive.

In Lawrence Lee Rowe Jr.'s. book Tempus Fugit, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin by a supernatural force pay a visit to the future. Now that they are here, can the past impact the present!?

Tempus Fugit is a mixture of fact and fiction that's cleverly written, expounding on the way a trip to the future surprises and astounds our past leaders. Out of the blue they surface in a forest a short distance from Mount Rushmore, where their faces are sculpted, leaving them with the challenge of trying to blend in with tourists without being recognized. It doesn't go off without a hitch; they are reminded over and again about the resemblance.

Denying their identity and trying to leave town so as not to be discovered, they observe the direction society has moved in. No doubt what they discover is interesting, scary, confusing and amazing. Right off the bat, Jefferson is puzzled by African Americans walking amongst Caucasians and acting like they're free. If he used the word "nigger" once in his conversations concerning them, he must have used it over a dozen or more times. This sounds disturbing, but history reveals he lived in an era of slavery.

Words used to describe some of the things they saw were quite comical. For instance, a car was called a watt wagon, money was called notes, the numbers on the phone and in the telephone book were called ciphers, an ink pen was called a futuristic quill. A toilet, tub, TV and computer overwhelmed them, not to mention hearing that a man had landed on the moon. Wal-Marts in every city stupefied them; they had to travel for days sometimes to get the supplies they needed.

In all their dealings with the future they recalled the laws and decisions that were made during their times, opposed to the ones to date. Rowe appropriately placed the laws and amendments the leaders wrote in his book so readers could learn about history without boredom. Tempus Fugit is good reading, without trying to be, I was enlightened about laws in the past that affect our future. But I also realized we should never place individuals on a pedestal they don't deserve. After reading this book you'll know why.

Would I recommend reading this book? Yes, I would. It had drama and humor, and it was quite educational. However, I did think Jefferson's attitude towards African Americans was overkill. His stance on discrimination shouldn't have been a continuous factor; it didn't do much in making the book interesting, while the other events did.

review by
Renee Harmon

1 December 2007

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