CRUSADE IN JEANS by Thea Beckman


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Blue-jeaned Rudolf Hefting steps through a crude time machine and into the midst of the Children's Crusade which he promptly takes over and organizes in accordance with his 20th century sense of ""social responsibility."" Of course Rudolf learns something himself about 13th century loyalty but mostly he triumphs over the superstitious and gullible medieval mind. Ultimately Rudolf's anachronistic superiority is a cheap shot, though there's no denying the ingenuity behind his numerous successes--breeching a well-defended castle with homemade gunpowder and a handful of carefully coached ""demons""; stemming an epidemic of scarlet fever; talking and tricking his way through a heresy trial; exposing Father Anselmus, the group's leader, as a slave dealer. One can't help wishing Beckman had gone straight to the Children's Crusade and stayed there. Still Rudolf's deus ex machina character is stiff and serviceable as denim, the sort to keep followers who have more energy than sophistication marching along.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1976
Page count: 276pp
Publisher: Scribners