13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A truly awful book!,
This review is from: In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made (Paperback)As a keen amateur historian, I have encountered several dire books that have purported to relate historical events whilst displaying a stunning ignorance of known sources of information on the period concerned. However, none have been such a rich fount of unmitigated drivel as this book!
The text is dry and uninteresting, showing no passion for the subject matter whatsoever. The writing style of the author is banal to say the least, with the degree of repetition being truly astounding - surely even a retarded goldfish would succumb to boredom induced by encountering the same "fact" for the umpteenth time. Indeed, the intellectual level of the target audience is summed up by the reference to Henry II being a "young stud" (the fact that Henry had died in 1189 - over one hundred and fifty years before the onset of the Black Death - gives an insight into the pertinence of much of the text to the subject matter allegedly being dealt with).
However, the shortcomings of the prose are as nothing compared to the main problem with the book - that it is simply factually inaccurate in so many places! There are, regrettably, far, far too many errors to cite here - just one example occurring in the first few pages of the book is that the works of Thomas Hardy are transposed to Devon (providing not only a shock to the tourist industry of Dorset, but also another example of how relevant most of this tosh is). The author displays absolutely no grasp of British or European history whatsoever, being consistently inaccurate with his chronology of events and paying scant regard to the most basic historical fact.
I have never come so close to failing to finish reading a book because it was unbearably awful, but this one tested my resolve. I would certainly challenge it's classification as a "history" title - bad fiction would be more suitable. In summary - PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS RUBBISH!