Amo, Amas, Amat... and All That: How to Become a Latin Lover Hardcover – 2 Nov 2006
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If you know someone who missed out on Latin at school and wants to live a happier life, you could do no better than give them Harry Mount's entertainingly educative Latin primer --Daily Mail
Amo, Amas, Amat... is a diverting meander and Mount's love of Latin shines out on every page --The Spectator
Latin without the pain --Guardian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Harry Mount read Classics at Oxford and was a Latin tutor before becoming a journalist. He has been a leader-writer and New York correspondent at the Daily Telegraph. His memoir of his time as a barrister's pupil, My Brief Career, is also published by Short Books --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I think the discrepancies in the reviews above are largely due to people's misguided expectations of the book. It is not (nor could it possibly be used as) a reference work by which one could expect to learn the language. Its audience is probably limited to those who already have a reasonable knowledge of Latin, and, put simply, the author aims to reward your knowledge (no matter how basic) with some clever 'in jokes' and literary references. He does so, in my opinion, with a good deal of skill and success.
I recognise that certain parts of this book may appeal to individuals who possess a particular type of 'schoolboy' humour, but such individuals (of which the author, presumably, is one) are not likely to be numerous. My general feeling at the end of the book was that I was very disappointed and that I had wasted my time, though fortunately not my money as I had borrowed it from my local public library.
I wasn't clear whether Mount was trying to teach me Latin or not. His presentation of grammatical tables, without much in the way of explanation or context, would be of little help to someone wanting to learn the subject, and unnecessary for someone who knows the language. It wasn't clear to me why he included them at all, unless to fill up space. As someone who has learnt a number of languages I wouldn't advise anyone to use this book as a beginner.
By the end I was left feeling that the book had given rather a poor impression of Latin and I was less, rather than more, interested in the subject.
The book contains frequent vulgarities, making it inappropriate for children.
Mount introduces accidence by dodging back and forth with bits from Kennedy's primer, which is all very well, and quoting the paradigms fills out the pages nicely. His few perfunctory stabs at syntax are hardly likely to give a proper feel for the structure of sentences. If you want to study the thing as a whole, better buy the (complete) Kennedy, treat it as a reference book, and look for a properly structured way in which to learn the language (which this certainly is not). The gratuitous attacks on the Cambridge Latin Course and (more personally) its director are distasteful in the extreme -- and I have no axe to grind on behalf of either.
The odd diversions on teachers, emperors and so on might have a place if integrated into a serious attempt to describe the Romans and their language. If this be intended as such an attempt, it fails -- not least when Mount appears to discount, for instance, Vespasian and Diocletian.
Latin deserves better than this wretched ramble round the subject. I suppose that the book may rekindle enthusiasm among a few people who studied the language at school; I doubt that it would attract anyone without previous knowledge; surely, no teacher could make serious use of it?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Decent book if you want a helpful dictionary but I was really looking for a Latin joke book.Published 20 months ago by Kirsty
This book brings back all my childhood memories of my schooldays in the 1960's and my Latin teacher, Miss Gall.Published 21 months ago by Phoenix Greene
Another disappointment from a once exciting and promising author he seems to have lost his way and become a gun for hire. Read morePublished on 12 Jun. 2014 by Mr Michael Sparks
Found this book in my cab, have to say it was off very poor quality.Dont waist your time,a copy of the Daily Star is a much better read and a lot more better writen.Published on 11 Jun. 2014 by Pen Name
Written for and by someone from a very privileged upbringing, who is also an embittered little Pratt.
A book you could only enjoy if you have no sense of the real world.
Absolute rubbish he claims to be factual, funny even but he should really go back to school.... Only entertaining for people wish a shallow and narrow perspective of life.Published on 1 Feb. 2014 by Mr Joe Cork
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