Friday, 30 June 2017
The Edge of the World
As a matter of course I am always dubious about any book that claims to be an 'International best seller' as they are often pap that appeals to the less bright masses. This book, pictured in a blurred fashion above, makes that claim and I am still wondering if it fits the description or not.
This is a big book with a great deal of research behind it (the author has read lots of books is what I mean) and each chapter is stuffed full of information. That is one of the problems as there is a great deal of info written at high speed and we race along somewhat breathlessly through the story he offers. Each tale attempts to fix on one man or one type of people living in a certain way around the north Sea. Frisians, Norse, those who now fill the Netherlands, Belgian, Danish regions and including some of the British Isles when he feels like it. There is a lot to read but with no previous depths of knowledge about much of it I cannot tell if he is historically accurate.
However for all the pace I found it a hard read.
Possibly too many words, possibly as some indicate too much emphasis of the money side (the author appears to be somewhat anti capitalist while rolling in the dough the books he writes bring him) and possibly his irritating PC attitudes keep appearing. He uses 'women and men' and 'BC & BCE' instead of 'BC & AD' needlessly just to prove his 'right on' credentials. Occasionally he forgets this but I will not indicate where.
'How the North Sea made us who we are' is the subtitle of the book but I am not sure he indicate an answer. Too much happens on land as opposed to sea and it seems to me that since the ice age left and the sea arrived we have been crossing it to trade or explore so what new can he say about this? We were passing across the sea since time began and if he intends to claim we are what we are because of the traffic round the sea I have to ask how else would we be as we are?
Humans trade, explore and pick up good and bad ideas from one another. The places we live in have an effect on how we live and how we see the world, no book is required to know this surely? The author gives much information but while the book is well worth a read and will stay on the shelf for reference I am still not sure what his intentions were.
I must add here my family have often won the 'Most stupidest person' award many times and this must be taken into consideration when reviewing book reviews...!
Now I'm not one to complain but when I saw the board outside Sainsburys this morning I was tempted to inform the girls that the board was out of date. Both exhibitions advertised have finished and the new one is not yet on show.
Should I let them know....
..or is keeping my teeth where they are more important?