on 28 May 2008
I'm not a European. I came over to the UK to study. Therefore, you can say that i have almost zero knowledge about European history.
I have read more than half of the book now. I have to compliment the author for his ability to make European history fun to read. It is true that almost every page could make you laugh-provided that you know at least SOME european history beforehand.
There are a few problems with the book:
1. Out of 406 pages, there's only 1 map of Europe on the first page. No photos, no pictures, no other maps to illustrate the events written.
2. The author attempts to SUMMARISE everything happened in europe into 1 book-which is good for people who knows some history beforehand....but for a person like me who knows nothing about it, it's quite hard to follow the stories. How could you summarise Alexander the Great into 1 page?? Sometimes there're 10 new names and 5 new places in 1 page. How could a dummy like me understand what's going on?
In conclusion, this book is a great "summary" of European History, but not an informative book for dummies.
I would be happier if the author could just give an "overview" of what happened in Europe over certain times, the significance of them, and focus on some interesting events that happened, rather than squeezing every name and every event into 1 book.
...as it's a history book that you will actually read from start to finish without too much effort. This is how fantastic this book is - it will clear up all those niggling bits that were left out of school and it will also set pathways to explore other avenues that are more in-depth and has been made for people that just want to read about major events in past history and not in the normal dry-as-dust way an academic book would have it. The author uses his knowledge and sense of fun to the full, otherwise it would be another case of boring objectivity where you make you're own mind up about how people were feeling at the time during the major cultural change blah-blah-blah. There was always, ALWAYS, something on every page that made me chuckle.
If you have even a passing interest in the world you live in, buy it.