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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 October 2008
I have read all of Tim's book and would rate this in the top quartile of his portfolio of writings (that's a good thing). Tim 'time travels' to a number or historical re-enactment groups who prefer the past to the current. Its funny and pleasingly short (248 pages) and each page has a laugh-out loud moment. There are a number of poignant moments and reflections which give the book greater depth than some of his earlier works. On par with Spanish Steps and French Revolutions and its difficult to say better than that. I wish he had done one of those dodgy Nazi groups though. They would have been ripe for the plucking by Tim's wit and cutting humour.
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on 13 June 2011
I had forgotten how funny Tim Moore is . This is an interesting, informative and laugh out loud journey through 700 years of living history. The authour joins a french Roman legion fighting Gauls , a medievil fortress in Germany and several other areas of history. The American Civil War re-enactment is taken so seriously I imagine it is as near to time travel as humanly possible. I still laugh when I think of him being forced to read Shakespear to a group of grim US Civil War generals and civilians by oil lamp in a crowded tent.

I recommend this book and would rate it as high as his other books
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on 25 November 2008
I've never read any other Tim Moore, but I must say that this book did not keep me wanting from laughs... admittedly not the 'out-loud' kind, but each page kept me continuously and noticeably amused--it's calmly funny throughout, and extremely enjoyable to read.

As for the content itself--hilarious; I have never seen (or rather, read) such a tangle of living history. The narrative moves quickly along a long and mishap-strewn path, avoiding many conceits of living history but also conveying lots of useful history and insights into the world of its re-enactment. A huge range of stuff here, and interesting for anyone who has even a passing interest in what the world of re-creation is like.
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on 2 January 2009
Having never read a Tim Moore book before I was drawn to this title due to my own experiences in the 'nactors world. I can only assume that those who have given poor reviews to this book are not re-enactors as i found Moore's astute observations of the antics of those he met on his journey to be highly amusing. Indeed they often left me nodding in agreement as similar personal encounters of my own were brought to mind!
I really enjoyed this book and will probably try some more Tim Moore in the future.
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on 31 December 2008
Tim Moore describes the obsessive yet self-conscious world of re-enactors perfectly. The juxtaposition of stitch counting authenticity with late night partying describes every group I know. A lot of the time we know we look like 'berks'.

As a bit of a time-tart I've done half the time periods in the book so could identify on many levels with what was going on. & any book that can get me to laugh out loud in the introduction is a rarity.

Tim balances his laughs, most of which are directed at himself not the re-enactors with short history lessons & insights into the motivations of living historians. Although it's a light book you can tell he has done his research and been won over by the people that he meets. Without being nostalgic he ponders the loss of skills in the modern western world - our inability to 'make do' or in a lot of cases make anything. Our lives are luxurious compared to those of our parents/grandparents and most people don't even know how to bake bread or light a fire...

It's a must read book for all re-enactors and anyone who wants to make the cross over from MOP to participant.
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on 1 June 2014
I love Tim Moore's writing. He is always able to make me laugh out loud and I love the way he drops literary allusions into his work, it always makes you feel as though you are spending time chatting with a really good friend. But...... I did get a tiny bit bored in some places - I kept thinking "Why??" Why put yourself through such hell voluntarily? But possibly I'm just a comfort-loving, sybaritic softie and Tim Moore is made of much sterner stuff!
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on 6 November 2008
One of Tim's best books to date.
Explores the odd world of historical re-enacting from the inside and manages to be truthful and funny without being to excessively look-at-the-weirdos-aren't-I-clever.
Loved it. Buy it.
PS If you're thinking of joining a re-enactment group this is definitely a must.
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on 20 April 2014
I always enjoy Tim Moore's way of writing but this one actually taught me something as well - perhaps mostly about human behaviour, the gaps in people's lives and their reasons for wanting to live in a different world. Don't worry, it is also very, very funny. I'm so glad he does these things and I don't have to.
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on 30 October 2008
I love early Tim Moore and I count French Revolutions as one of my favourite books of all time. However the last three volumes have all been progressively less and less funny.
I worry that the density of his early works humour, with a good quip on every other line, has mined out his seam of humour.
Time to try another genre perhaps?
This book is mildly entertaining at best even though the targets are eminently easy to parody.
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on 5 April 2013
Tim Moore is one of those authors I just can't miss. This had, perhaps, slightly fewer laugh-out-loud moments than some of his other work but was still a very funny account of life in re-enactment societies. I used to live with a load of re-enactors and they were just as mad as described here.
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