Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Profile for A. P. Story > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by A. P. Story
Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,627,506
Helpful Votes: 82

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
A. P. Story (London, UK United Kingdom)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean
The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean
by Viscount John Julius Norwich
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

34 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 4 July 2007
The book starts very well. Initially, it is light, amusing, and well paced. Unfortunately, it starts to fall down when the author broaches the Crusades. His view on the Crusaders are too prominant, haughty and biased. Richard Lionheart comes out as being a brutish (gay) psychopath. His achievements are brushed under the carpet. Saladin, however, and not so surprisingly given the nature of intellectuals in the UK, comes across as a paragon of virtue. He is a genius, the author tells us. The problem is that he lost all his battles against Lionheart. He fought most of his life against his co-religionists, and slaughtered thousands of Christian soldiers in the Hattin aftermath, whilst sending thousands more to slavery. This, the author never mentions. After that point, the book regains some panache, but, it is too late by then: with the readers antennaes at the ready, the authors prejudices seep out too often for the reader to enjoy what would undoubtedly have been a masterpiece had he been less intent stamping his opinions on history.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2010 2:11 PM BST


A History of the Crusades: Volume 1 - The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Penguin History): The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem v. 1
A History of the Crusades: Volume 1 - The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Penguin History): The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem v. 1
by Steven Runciman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 8 Aug. 2006
Steve Runciman's first volume is a good read. It stays very factual. Rarely does his own opinion obscure the facts. It is a surpringly quick read once the reader becomes used the plethora of names and foreign places. The lack of maps migth cause problems for those, who, like me, do not have thorough knowledge of the area. However, this does not distract from the overall quality of the history.


The Civil War Volume I: Fort Sumter to Perryville: Fort Sumter to Perryville v. 1
The Civil War Volume I: Fort Sumter to Perryville: Fort Sumter to Perryville v. 1
by Shelby Foote
Edition: Paperback

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning book, 7 April 2006
I picked up the first two volumes of Shelby Foote's Civil war series three weeks ago and have not yet recovered physically and emotionally from the experience. I felt the excitment I remember feeling when I was a child, learning that Christmas was around the corner. I locked myself in our bathroom to read peacefully until the small hours of the morning - my wife is very understanding. The breadth of the story telling, the love for the characters, the understanding of the geopolitical and the local, all combine to make this one of the most memorable books I have ever read. I wish I hadn't yet read the book, so that I could buy it again.


Hard Work: Life in Low-pay Britain
Hard Work: Life in Low-pay Britain
by Polly Toynbee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

35 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars New Labour at its best, 2 Jun. 2005
This book is odd. It mocks the Church of England for being the Conservative party at prayer, but then defends it for the good work it does in the community. It attacks Thacherite reforms as being immoral, but then states that Unions discriminated against women workers and kept a tight, therefore unpleasant leash, on the rest of the workforce. It belittles those who want to succeed and make a better life for themselves (take the example of the telesales man) blind to the fact that, for many, that dream of self betterment is all they, me included, have. The list of contradictions goes on and on. The only thing we know for sure is that Toynbee hates the conservative archetype, which she says she finds in an Old People's home. My impression is that she made this character up in order to remind people of who the enemy is. If that man did in fact exist, which I sincerely doubt, the fact that he invested his life, talent and skills in providing jobs and providing care for the elderly is irrelevant. What is important for Toynbee is that he wears a pinstripe suit and that he has small pig-like eyes.
I forced myself to read this book until the end and was mightily relieved when I finished it. It is morally vain, philosophically empty and indescribably haughty. Not worth the paper it was written on.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 17, 2014 11:35 AM BST


Page: 1