2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A catalyst - read the 1 star review, but still buy it, aware that it will take time,
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This review is from: Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923 (Paperback)
The 1 star review by Mr Dunkin Wedd is spot on, but I would be interested to know whether he finished it, found an alternative, gave up on Ottoman history or is still wondering - because I keep jettisoning this book, for the reasons he gives, only to pick up a year later. Why?
For example, in a single half-page paragraph, this book can summarise an episode to which another historian might devote an entire book, which makes you wonder whether the episode is a meaningful link in the story's chain (in which case, spend a few pages) or a marginally relevant digression (in which case, spare us the detail). So be aware that Osman's Dream surrenders narrative momentum to (often tedious) detail. Yet passages of it can be an absorbing read and these odd half-page paragraphs do at least encourage you to explore events, characters and tales in more enjoyable detail elsewhere. I stop and re-start books these days, a bad habit I have ceased trying to resist, and this book made me put it aside in favour of Crowley's wonderful Empires of the Sea, which I have since let slip for the gob-smacking emotional power of Tim Willocks's The Religion. I know I'll finish all three, but this one will take me a lot longer. Nevertheless, stop-start narrative is a price I'll pay for all the other books (did I mention Jason Goodwin?) it will either lead me to or give me context for. I think.